40-09 Bell Boulevard, Bayside
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Monday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 4 a.m., Friday
and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday
CARDS: All major
to go on a trip to Spain without leaving Queens?
down to El Patio Tapas Restaurant and Lounge in Bayside.
about the place, from its peaceful, European atmosphere to its Arroz con
Pollo, is as authentic as can be, and makes for a delicious evening of
great food, friendly service, and the sweetest Sangria around.
companion and I sat on the second floor of the warm and inviting
restaurant, overlooking bustling Bell Boulevard in a colorful dining room,
complete with romantic lighting and authentic Spanish music playing in the
scanned the menu, which has dozens of selections to choose from, and
decided to taste several small Tapas to start. For those not in the know,
Tapas are small dishes served before lunch or dinner in Spain. They’re
similar to American appetizers, but are more like small meals than finger
El Patio, there are seven cold Tapas available and 32 hot ones, all for
between $2.50 and $8. We tried the flavorful Seasoned Artichokes, which
were cold artichoke hearts covered in a tangy blend of olive oil, vinegar
and various spices. The seasoning is also available on olives and
also tried several hot Tapas, including a Spanish Omelet, Mussels in
Marinara Sauce, a Cod Fish Pastry, Chicken in Red Wine and Shrimps in
Garlic Sauce. All of the food was absolutely delicious, and came in a size
perfect for sharing. The Omelet, made with eggs, potatoes and lots of
onions, was my favorite, bringing a truly authentic flavor to the table.
The chicken was very tender and the fish was all fresh, particularly the
mussels, which were large, sweet and succulent. El Patio offers mussels in
several different sauces.
were many other Tapas on the menu, but we decided to move on to the
entrée. In the past, I’ve tried the Seafood Paella ($18 for one
person), which came in a large pot and was packed with fresh scallops,
shrimp, fish, sausage, rice and other goodies mixed and seasoned just
also tried the Mar y Tierra ($24), which combines a buttery sweet lobster
tail with a Filet Mignon that you can cut with a fork.
time around, we opted for a Grilled Red Snapper ($18) and Arroz con
Camarones ($14), or rice and shrimp.
Snapper came on the bone in a fragrant green sauce, while the shrimp and
yellow rice came in a small pan with vegetables. The shrimp – which came
with the shells off like I like them – were sweet and delicious, and
when mixed with the firm, seasoned rice, tasted even better.
Snapper was tender and fresh, melting in our mouths. Like all entrees, it
came with rice and veggies.
were many more authentic choices on the menu, including Pulpo al Gusto, or
octopus, cooked to your liking ($14). On the Tapas menu, authentic treats
like tripe were available, as well as Spanish sausages and meats.
price is right at El Patio, with several specials to save Queensites
money. An after-work special gets you a glass of Sangria and a Tapas for
$7.99 from 4 to 7 p.m. on week days, and a lunch special gets you three
courses for $9.95 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
a full bar into the mix, and El Patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a taste
of Spain right in Queens.