This past Thursday, my friend and I had the pleasure of having dinner at the new hotspot in the Ivanhoe Village: Santiago’s Bodega. Santiago’s Bodega is a tapas style restaurant and bar that originated in Key West, and just opened their Orlando location a couple of weeks ago.
Santiago’s has a great floor plan, with the dining area separate from the crowded bar scene. We chose to sit at the beautiful oak wood bar and share some tapas. The restaurant boasts an open aired vaulted ceiling, gorgeous drapes, dim lighting and a large wrap around bar with a pretty presentation of liquor and wine set beside mosaic glass.
The atmosphere has a sexy, yet relaxed vibe, with a mix of Frank Sinatra, jazz and salsa beats playing in the background. We arrived just in time to catch the tail end of happy hour, which ends at 6PM. Half off wine! The bar area had a mixed crowd of large groups, couples and families. The friendly, good looking male bar staff clearly made it a hit for “ladies night out.”
What makes Santiago’s stand out from other ordinary tapas restaurants is that their tapas offers an eclectic mix of French, Greek, Italian, and Spanish/Basque influences.
We started with some cold tapas: Tomato and basil bruschetta with olive tapenade on crostini. Yum. The Yellowfin tuna ceviche was amazing. Large chunks of tuna marinated in a spice citrus juice with avocado, mango and cilantro. Definitely worth the $14 price tag. We then had some hot tapas: Shrimp and chorizo skewers with minced garlic. Great for sharing! We also had the Dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped with prosciutto. Absolutely delicious.
My friend and I did not have room for dessert, but we heard from the bartender that the bread pudding was the best! I can’t wait to go back to Santiago’s Bodega soon to try more amazing tapas in a fun, inviting atmosphere.
802 Virginia Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
Open: Monday-Sunday from 11AM-2AM