Monday, April 11, 2011

Birthdays and Tapas at Dali

On Friday night, I ended a busy work week with tapas and wine at Dali in Somerville for my cousin, Carolan's, birthday. Despite how close Z lives to Dali, I have never dined there - but have always been intrigued by it's purple exterior. Upon walking inside, I was immediately impressed with the kitschy decor and upbeat, friendly waitstaff.

Dali does not let you sit down until your entire party is there, so Carolan, myself, my other cousin Catherine, and Carolan's friend Amanda all waited at the bar for our fifth guest to arrive. As Dali got a little busier, the host offered to sit us before our fifth member arrived to clear up some space at the bar. 

Upon being seated, I ordered a glass of Vega Sindoa Blanco ($6.50), which is a light, crisp and refreshing Chardonnay blend (highly recommended).

Our fifth guest unfortunately went to Diva in Davis Square instead of Dali, so while we waited for him, we ordered a round of tapas. In the first round was Queso de Cabra Montanes (baked goat cheese with tomato and basil), $7.50.

Patatas Ali-Oli (potatoes in a garlic and caper aioli sauce), $5.

Complimentary hummus, for the complimentary bread.

Dali had me at baked goat cheese. The queso was insanely comforting, and perfect when dolloped on a piece of bread. The potatoes were also delicious - basically a garlic-y, revamped version of potato salad - and the hummus, albeit simple, was very flavorful and wonderfully smooth.

Once Carolan's other friend finally arrived, we ordered another round of tapas (and drinks). In the second round was one of Dali's specials for the evening, Cintas Con Esparragos (pasta with lemon, asparagus and cheese), $7.50.

All I can say about this dish is wow. While it sounds simple, the flavors were poignant and fresh. Although tapas are for sharing, I could have easily eaten this dish by myself.

We also shared a plate of the Alcachofas Rellenas (mushroom-filled artichokes), $7.50, which were tasty, but not mind-blowing.

In addition to the stellar food and service, Dali also knows how to celebrate a birthday. There were several patrons celebrating on Friday evening, and each acknowledgement was complete with singing, bubbles and candles. 

Carolan and her friend Amanda.

I will definitely be going back to Dali again. While it's not the most economical dining experience, the food, atmosphere and attentive service are worth every extra penny.

Have you ever been to Dali? What's your review?

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  1. I've never been to Dali but I've heard great things about their tapas!

  2. Never been to Dali, but I have been to Cuchi Cuchi to celebrate a birthday. I imagine the experience is similar!!

  3. HAHAHA That poor 5th guest...I wonder why he went to Diva.....

    Great food/Sangria/Company/Waitstaff I can't wait to go back again!

  4. love Dali! The food is always solid and the dining room is very pretty. Also, their house red is not bad at all (for a house wine). Now I want to go....

  5. That asparagus dish sounds delightful. I used to live a few doors down from Dali and would go often. I haven't been in such a long time though. There was some crispy fried cheese served with a honey onion sauce that is just amazing. And that baked goat cheese is pretty awesome as well.

  6. I love Dali!! I agree that while it can get expensive, it is totally worth it. You guys ordered some really good food!

  7. Dali is right down the street from where I live! I've gone to their sister property, Tapeo, and I love it there. Best sangria. :-)