Laura and I went to Dalí last night to celebrate our anniversary. We've been there a few times before and it continues to impress. Dalí is basically a Spanish tapas bar. As such, the menu consists mostly of appetizers, although there are a few traditional spanish dishes such as paella.
We started with a small pitcher of sangria. Their sangria is on the expensive side and while good, it's roughly equivalent to the sangria I make at home with two $6 bottles of merlot. (Believe me, I don't ever drink merlot, except in sangria. But the sugar and fruit make the wine hit heights of which it never dreamed.) With the drinks comes a loaf of bread with a delicious chick pea spread. The spread has a drier texture than hummus, but its sort of along the same lines.
For our dinner, Laura ordered a vegetarian crepe and fried spanish cheese with honey and roasted onions. I ordered herring with asparagus and a saffron cream sauce (Pescado de San Pedro), and saffron battered shrimp with mojo sauce. (Yes, mojo sauce. I don't know what was in it, but it was downright excellent). We shared Patatas Ali-Oli (cold potatoes in a sort of mayonnaise sauce), and a dish of marinated olives. Let me tell you, I have a newfound respect for olives. Simple, and delicious. I am going to start eating them much more frequently.
As a tapas bar, the food comes out when its ready, so Laura got her first dish the fried cheese much earlier than the rest of the meal. She seemed to really enjoy it, much more than the crepe. ("Its a crepe, with vegetables. You know how I like vegetables" says Laura.)
My food was astounding. The saffron battered shrimp paired well with the spicy mojo sauce. The herring was blast-furnace hot, probably just coming out of the deep-fryer. The asparagus in the dish was cooked to the perfect texture. Not overcooked, but enough that once it got to my mouth it disintegrated with ease. This is a feat that I've never accomplished. My asparagus is usually a little too undercooked. I like it that way, but Laura tells me she doesn't.
For dessert, Laura had a seasonally-offered dish: battered strawberries in a delicious sounding sauce (something with cream and liquor), along with some chocolate ice cream. I had a fruit-filled crepe with a rich dark chocolate sauce. Dalí is very big on seasonal foods, and only offers some dishes (asparagus, strawberries) when the ingredients are at their best.
Dalí isn't some place I would necessarily go on a regular basis, as its a little on the expensive side. With a party of 4 hungry adults, the bill could easily top $200-250, especially when you start throwing in big pitchers of sangria. However, it is an excellent place for a special occasion. This seems to be a common thought, as there were no less than 8 birthday parties being celebrated at the restaurant during the hour and a half that we were there.
Dalí Restaurant & Tapas Bar
415 Washington Street
Somerville, MA 02143
(Corner of Beacon & Washington Sts.)