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Restaurant Bar Eslava - Seville

A classic haunt in the San Lorenzo district of Seville, where host Sixto Tovar welcomes you to try traditional tapas with a modern twist. Getting a table might be difficult but forgetting a meal in Eslava is next to impossible.

By:  Lakshmi I. Aguirre
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Traditional Sevillan restaurant
Birth: 1988
Type: traditional Andalusian cooking
Founded by: Sixto Tovar
Location: Seville
Chef: Isabel Capote
Price: 10 € to 15 € per person Stands out for: quality and moderate innovation in their tapas
Did you know? aside from tapas they also have a menu of the day

People keep coming through the doors. A table is cleared and is empty for only a few seconds. The waiters, in their white shirts and black ties, complemented by the tinkling sound of plates and cutlery, look like keys on a piano as they bustle around this small restaurant in Seville. Bar Eslava is a light blue enclave, established by its owner, Sixto Tovar, twinned with the eponymous restaurant next door.

After working in the restaurant for nine years, Tovar decided to offer a little more to his customers and give them “a space to enjoy a quick snack before having a meal” he explains. It didn’t last long. Word quickly spread around and before long they had to divide the two spaces. Bar Eslava had become a popular haunt. “Both establishments are good value for money and share the same philosophy. In the tapas bar we haven’t forgotten how important popular and traditional dishes are, whereas in the restaurant we can be more adventurous” explains Tovar. Some clients have gone as far as to say: “Eslava serves everything from chickpeas to foie gras”.

Everyone from couples and families to executives and retired people visit the legendary San Lorenzo neighbourhood, “a town within a great city” in the words of the owner. They each take their place at the bar as they eagerly sample the wine and tapas. Here they serve just about everything including creamy croquettes, vegetable strudel and a plate of pork cheeks in sauce that melt in the mouth. Tovar happily recommends the spare ribs with honey and sirloin steak with dill. It makes no difference really, everything that comes out of Isabel Capote’s oven is evidence of the quality of the ingredients and the traditional detail that go into the cooking.

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“We have always lived and breathed cooking at home. My mother has been running a kitchen for over 40 years now” explains Tovar, a man who is always smiling and chats with the customers with a confidence that comes only with age and experience. “There may be dishes missing from our menu but if we find an old recipe from Andalusia, or anywhere for that matter, then we will try and include it” he says. Every day he surprises visitors with dishes such as tumbet menorquín (a dish made with aubergines and red peppers), Moroccan tagine or cous cous. “We like to introduce new ideas to the restaurant” he explains.

Eslava Restaurant has a separate menu and so Tovar and his team, made up of 18 people from both the bar and the restaurant, can “develop the dishes, research new ones and experiment”. Although siphons and liquid nitrogen haven’t quite made their way into his kitchen yet, he is working with foams and gels “without going over the top. We mustn’t forget our traditional roots”.

You leave the restaurant with the feeling that you’ve just eaten a home-cooked meal. Tovar, or Sixto, as we like to call him, says good bye at the door as a group of customers greet us on their way in. While we wander into the streets of Seville the taste of chocolate and orange mousse still lingers on the palate and the beautiful church of San Lorenzo seems to be waving goodbye.

Getting there?

Bar Eslava
C/ Eslava, 3

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El 23 May 2010 a las 8:47 AM, Carmen dijo...

Me gusta ir al Elava con mi familia, se come de maravilla.

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El 27 July 2010 a las 9:13 AM, earrings dijo...

Me gusta ir al Elava con mi familia, se come de maravilla.

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El 14 December 2010 a las 2:23 PM, Estrella dijo...

Aparte de su extraordinaria y novedosa cocina,debo destacar la profesionalidad y amabilidad del Sr.Tovar con sus clientes.

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El 29 October 2012 a las 4:28 PM, txiki dijo...

Estuvimos en sevilla 3 días y nos recomendaron este sitio. Tiene bar para tapeo y restaurante.
El bar desconozco cómo es, pero el restaurante está montado en plan minimalista, muy intimo con luz tenue y música barroca, con pocas mesas. La comida me pareció normalita y el precio excesivo para lo que servían. El servicio, muy atento en principio, fue empeorando según avanzaba la cena hasta el punto de tener que recordarles que faltaba un postre por salir, cuando habían 3 camareros para 3 mesas con clientes. El peloteo y atención de los camareros va acorde al dinero que te vayas a gastar.
Me quedé con ganas de probar el bar de tapas. Al restaurante no volvería.

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El 23 December 2013 a las 9:26 AM, scott dijo...

dictatorial@hettys.rejects” rel=”nofollow”>.…

good info!…

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