It’s a hoot to appropriate words because you can’t be arsed to use the correct terminology. Hence why the word tapas has been plonked on the end of numerous countries’ cuisines at a growing pace by the hospitality industry. Greek tapas? No, that would be meze. Italian tapas? No, that would be Cicchetti. It is therefore delightful to see that the Four Bells in Woodborough are sticklers for not being pricks and their tapas menu is refreshingly, predominantly Spanish.
When presented with an extensive tapas menu, I like to place three separate orders. I go fish dishes first, with a glass of Cava (can’t understand why this isn’t called Spanish Prosecco for ease). Then meat and vegetables, and finally an order of the spicier options, while doubling down on anything from the previous two orders that were particularly moreish.
With this strategy, we proceeded to absolutely smash our way through the menu, starting with fried squid with pink peppercorns, king prawns in garlic and chilli and red mullet with samphire. After that, Piquillo peppers, patatas bravas, Manchego cheese with membrillo (quince jelly), veal and herb meatballs with pistachio were all washed down with the help of a lovely Spanish red wine. Finally, chorizo in honey and toasted sesame seeds, morcilla de brugos and a reorder of manchego and squid.
One standout was the veal meatballs, as the pistachio and herbs gave them distinct character. The red mullet, with fillets of perfectly cooked fish paired with the sea saltiness of the samphire, also worked wonderfully well. The pub’s last tapas night of 2019 is Wednesday 11 December, so get on it. They do run regular steak nights and mussel nights though, and I’m sure the quality of them is superb if the tapas evening is taken as a baromoter. Sebastian Powell
87 Main St, Woodborough, NG14 6EA
There are plenty of places to scoff your face when the belly starts a'rumbling at midday in Nottingham city, but what's the Super Lunch at Jamie’s Italian saying?