Mimosa Bar de Tapas
We find ourselves in Carlow quite a lot these days. Ali works with Music Generation Carlow and the Carlow College of Music, so she can be on the road there 5, 6 times a week delivering music classes. Sometimes I drive down to see her groups perform and we go for food after. We’ve tried a few different places around Carlow town – Lennons @ Visual is our favourite and it’s usually our first port of call. Last Sunday, Ali was helping with Early Years Music Workshops as part of the Carlow Arts Festival and I was there to visit some of the exhibitions. The hunger hit us and after seeing that Lennons was fully booked, we went on the hunt for somewhere else. We passed Mimosa and saw a sign on the door stating an early opening for the Arts Fest. Great news! We’ve both been eager to try their tapas but as we are usually only in town during the day, it has never worked out.
Mimosa is a warm, cosy tapas restaurant located just across the road from the Cathedral in the centre of Carlow Town. The decor is rustic with wine bottles adorning the walls and dim, moody lighting sets the tone perfectly. We arrived just after opening and were greeted by an enthusiastic, welcoming server who looked after us for the duration of our meal. A quick glance at the menu showed that although it’s a tapas bar, this doesn’t mean that it’s a Spanish restaurant and the dishes have more of an entire world influence. There was a great selection on the menu and it was difficult to decide what dishes to choose! We ordered 5 tapas and a ciabatta basket between us.
The bread and Patatas Bravas arrived first. The bread was delicious and the Patatas Bravas provided the perfect start to the meal. The smoked paprika was intoxicating (in a good way!) and although the sauce could have done with a pinch of salt, that was easy to fix at the table. The rest of the tapas arrived a couple of minutes after each other, each bringing something different to the meal. The Tandoori Tiger Prawns were spectacular: tender and juicy, with just the right amount of spice. The Lamb Sliders were excellent with a good hit of cumin cutting the rich meat. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Arancini, the lack of seasoning was disappointing. The Beef Churrasco, the last dish to arrive, completely stole the show for me – the fresh and zesty chimichurri sauce bringing the entire meal to a crescendo at just the right time.
For dessert, I had a beautifully presented Baked Alaska on a chocolate brownie base which tasted just as good as it looked. Ali had one of her favourite desserts, Churros with chocolate and salted caramel dips – I had never tried them with salted caramel before, a revelation. My double espresso was of good quality with a hint of bitterness, just as I like it.
We had a gorgeous lunch at Mimosa and will definitely be back for an evening meal. The food was excellent and although not authentically Spanish, it works and doesn’t feel like a mish-mash of dishes. Be sure to order the Beef Churrasco and Churros; you won’t regret it! The service never felt forced and all of the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. The value is also exceptional. It cost us €53 for 1 bread, 5 tapas, a sparkling water, a San Pellegrino orange, 2 desserts and 2 coffees. To be honest, I thought they had forgotten something until I looked at the receipt!