Tapas 218: Canton’s New Spanish Restaurant
Nestled away in the Court Avenue alley in downtown Canton, you’ll find the newest restaurant to the area, Tapas 218. The Spanish-style ‘tapas’ restaurant is located in the space previously occupied by Tozzi’s and Fedeli’s. The establishment is determined to satisfy Stark county with a new cuisine not yet offered to this area.
Tucked inside the alley, the location almost feels like a secret for those aware of its existence. It’s comfy, cozy and welcoming.
Friendly hostesses will take you to one of a few seating options. Half booths and tables upstairs, and high tops or a bar top downstairs. With the ability to fit couples, singles and large groups, there isn’t a limitation on party size.
Tapas 218 is the perfect setting for nearly any occasion. Girls’ night, double dates, lunch with coworkers, happy hour with friends or just to enjoy some alone time. Because tapas are meant to be easily shared, I certainly suggest groups take advantage of this spot.
If you’re wondering, here’s the skinny on tapas: these shareable bites vary in flavor, but are served in small portions, which allow you to enjoy multiple plates to create a meal.
Great for those of us who like to eat a lot, but not a lot of the same thing; equally enjoyable for those looking to expand their palate without a lot of commitment.
What you’ll find on the menu:
Tapas Tasting: The series of tastings are tailored by your choice of classic, vegetarian, gluten-free, or if you’d like to leave it to the professionals, the chef’s choice. Depending on how hungry you are, you can opt for the 5-course tasting for $40 or the 8-course tasting for $60. Very cool idea, and great for first-timers who can’t decide which plates to pick.
Sopa Y Ensalada: Soup and salad cravings can be satisfied here. Four different soups are available, as well as eight salads. Leafy greens are dressed with a variety of tasty options like chorizo, margarita shrimp, asparagus, eggplant and much more…and if you don’t want to fill up on a large salad, order the tapas portion.
Tapas: 23 tapas options! With an almost unlimited number of combinations, you can visit Tapas 218 as many times as you’d like and not tire of the menu. After browsing, we narrowed down our choices (it was difficult) to the Bruschetta Español and Empanadas.
As a certified mushroom-hater, I immediately fretted when the bruschetta came out with white mushrooms in all of their glory. But, after some prompting, I popped one in and was astonished to be eating a delicious, perfectly seasoned and crunchy bruschetta bite. You must try them, and you’ll be happy to see they’re a steal at only $2.
Also recommended are the empanadas. The pork stuffed empanadas are topped with a puréed tomato sauce and complimented with a red cabbage and tomato salad. Tasty, filling, and affordable at $6 for three empanadas.
Platos Grande: Served in tapas or meal portions. We opted to order the Salmon Español Con Mojo and Patatas Con Chorizo as tapas to share. I recommend both, but the salmon truly outshines the chorizo dish.
The 5oz salmon was perfectly grilled and served with crispy potatoes, roasted carrots, broccoli and snow peas. A full portion would serve as a wonderful dinner, but the tapas portion would be perfect for lunch.
The chorizo and potatoes were pretty good, and E loves anything chorizo, so they were a no-brainer order. The highlight of this tapas pick was the caramelized onions and slightly spicy Spanish sausage. I was a bit overloaded with potatoes (patatas) because they were in both of our picks, so I recommend to be cognizant of what comes with each dish so not to double order. Case in point, Spanish in high school is a better option than French.
Other platos grande options include Filet Mignon Con Cognac Scampi Sauce, Cataluña Scallops, Paella Chicken, and 11 other options. Tapas 218 took all tastes and preferences into consideration; guests will find nearly all protein options in addition to gluten-free and vegetarian choices. Overall, Tapas does a fabulous job of crafting a diversity of food options and pairings. All dishes are related in theme, but each is distinct and unique, making an exciting meal possible.
Postre: Dessert! As you know, I’m not one for dessert most of the time, but theirs do look delicious here. Options to choose from include Flan, Blueberry Cake, Tres Leches Cake and Churros Espanolas – all served in manageable portions.
We ordered four plates (two tapas and two platos grande) to share between the two of us and felt satisfied, but probably could have split one more plate. The bill, with all plates and two drinks came out to $36 – not too shabby.
Like beer? Tapas 218 has eight taps that serve up a variety of crowd pleasers and specialty beers. When we ordered, our options included: Fat Head’s Ranger IPA, Stella Cidre, Guiness, Dos Equis, Shocktop Belgian White, Estrella, GLBC’s Conway’s Irish and Dortmunder Gold. All of which come in short or tall, and range from $4-$7.
For $4, other beer options include bottled Newcastle, Negro Modela, Sam Adams and a few more in that tier. Tapas 218 also offers domestics for $3 a bottle.
Although the traditional cocktail pairing for tapas is Sangria, or wine, Tapas 218 went a different route and chose to include a bourbon and Whisky bar. Not sticking to the “norm”, I think it actually works best for the Canton area.
In addition to the fully-stocked liquor bar, about five red wines and six white wines are on the menu. While the wine list doesn’t extend over multiple pages, the choices are reasonable for table wine that a group of guests can share. The selection is also super affordable at an average of $7 per glass, or $26 per bottle.
Many folks don’t think of downtown as a viable option for dinner many nights of the week because they’ve surrounded themselves in a “Belden Village bubble.” Hopefully, those people soon realize that there are things to do in this area! After dinner, we stopped by Grapes in a Glass for live music and a drink. Other options include a movie at The Canton Palace Theater, shopping at local artists’ galleries or listening to a new band over at Buzzbin.
What I’m saying here is don’t just wait until First Friday to try Tapas 218. Or any other downtown biz, for that matter.
The Ly family, responsible for the very successful Basil Asian Bistro, have done an outstanding job of establishing a restaurant that satisfies a void in downtown cuisine. It’s a lovely option for those heading downtown (or out in general) for a bite to eat, and given the success of Basil, I hope to see the same for Tapas.
Monday – Friday: 11a-10p
Meter parking; Street parking is free after 6pm
18 Court Ave. NW
Canton, Ohio 44702
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