Restaurateur Adam Hegsted is bringing a little bit of Spain to downtown Spokane.
Hegsted opened tapas restaurant and bar de España earlier this week in a space formerly occupied by Incrediburger & Eggs at 909 W. First Ave.
“We are using Spain as sort of our directional arrow and using traditional ingredients,” Hegsted said. “But, then, we’re tying it together with seasonal products made here in the Northwest.”
Hegsted, who operates Le Catering and several local restaurants under Eat Good Group, drew inspiration for de España during a trip to Barcelona, he said.
“We wanted the feeling of walking down one of the side streets in Barcelona and popping into a place, a hidden gem that not everybody knows about,” Hegsted said.
The restaurant features Spanish-inspired tapas with a modern twist. Tapas are small plates, snacks and appetizers originating in Spain and typically served with drinks or combined with other tapas to create a larger meal.
“It enables you to maybe go out on a limb and try some unique things because that’s not your whole entrée,” Hegsted said, referring to tapas. “It’s great for people who want to try new things. You can still get a hamburger, but if you want to try octopus, you can too.”
So far, popular dishes among customers include the grilled octopus with confit potato, red pepper sauce and aioli ($22); marinated and grilled garlic shrimp with chiles, parsley and lemon ($18); and fried potatoes tossed in a spicy tomato sauce and aioli ($14).
De España’s specialty ham and charcuterie plates – such as the salmon chorizo, jamon serrano and jamon iberico – are big hits, too. The restaurant imports a majority of its ham from Spain, Hegsted said.
Some of the restaurant’s desserts include churros, a fried pastry with cinnamon and sugar served with warm chocolate sauce ($10); and Basque cheesecake topped with salted caramel and cream ($13).
De España carries gins and wines from Spain as well as Spanish varietals from the Northwest. It also serves classic cocktails, beer as well as traditional and seasonal sangrias.
“We’ll always have a couple of different sangrias that are ready to go,” Hegsted said.
“And we’ll make a tea-based cocktail. It comes out in a really beautiful, clear vessel that has a lot of aromatics, oranges and citrus – a lot of things that are in sangria, but it’s more like a cocktail.”
The restaurant’s interior gives a nod to Barcelona, with old street posters, Pablo Picasso art prints and a mural painted by North Idaho-based artist Alexandra Iosub.
De España’s focus is on serving the evening crowds with a happy hour, dinner and a late-night menu with drink specials and free snacks, Hegsted said.
Hegsted said his goal with de España is to blend traditional Spanish and Pacific Northwest flavors to create an experience unique to Spokane.
“Instead of just doing a traditional American restaurant,” Hegsted said, “we’re like, ‘How can we add to the dynamic of Spokane and help be a catalyst for getting guests, our employees and other chefs in the area to be inspired and excited to take a little bit of a risk and try some new things?’”
“We wanted the feeling of walking down one of the side streets in Barcelona and popping into a place, a hidden gem that not everybody knows about.” Adam Hegsted De España owner
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