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There’s something inherently charming about restaurants in tucked away corners of German Village. Sure, parking can be tricky and space is limited, but that’s a small price to pay for the instant vacation vibes that you get from visiting a restaurant like El Lugar.
This Spanish tapas spot is attached to another great German Village restaurant, Alpine. In fact, you can order off either menu when dining inside. But if you’re looking for the full “is this Europe or am I still in Columbus” experience, then grabbing a spot on the patio outside is the way to go.
The menu at El Lugar is all about tapas and shareable plates, making it the perfect spot to gather with friends or enjoy a romantic date night. The specialty here is Iberian ham and you’ll find it on the menu in a few different ways.
One of the things I love mode about tapas is that it feels like every bite is a treat. And when I think of treating myself, there’s one dish on the tapas menu that jumped out immediately.
The truffle scallop was pan-seared to perfection. Not only was it served on an adorable shell plate, but it also sat on the most delicious puddle of truffle sauce and was served with crostini. It was divine and my only complaint is that I only ordered one.
If you’re looking for something a little spicier, I highly suggest the stuffed banana pepper. Full of ground beef, cheese Etc, this dish has a low heat that is flavorful but not overwhelming.
Sharing is caring so if you’re out with friends, don’t miss the rustic bread skillet. Bread covered with a sweet, housemade marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, and ham, it’s the perfect hearty dish.
For me personally, the highlight of the evening was Iberian ham served over house-made potato chips. It’s salty and served with two lemon wedges, giving it a fresh edge.
The menu at El Lugar is all about a communal experience. No matter which dishes you choose, you can enjoy them with some wine or cocktails and great vibes.
As I mentioned before, parking can be a little tricky. There is a small parking lot for both restaurants, but if you have to park a little further away, don’t think of it as an inconvenience. German Village is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods for an evening stroll in the city, and after you get your fill at El Lugar, you’ll appreciate the walk back to the car!
El Lugar is located at 525 S 4th St, Columbus, OH 43206. For more info, visit ellugar614.com.
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