It’s been just about a year since One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar opened at, not coincidentally, 119 N. Kirkwood Road, bringing the tapas trend to Kirkwood. We made our way to the eatery not long ago to have a taste, and if they keep doing what they’re doing, their first anniversary won’t be the last.
From the outside, the restaurant doesn’t stick out much from the hustle and bustle along this busy strip of restaurants and retail. But the interior is a whole different story. The walls have a stucco-type finish, and the bar area is framed with a stone arch, evoking a Mediterranean villa. The atmosphere is casual but classic, as well. We’d feel comfortable arriving in a suit or shorts.
The tapas on tap at One 19, for the most part, aren’t the traditional Spanish version. Instead, the offerings are more of a small-plate take on a variety of cuisines.
The menu is broken down into Primas (starters), Seafood, Vegetables and Meat, and we decided to get a sampling from each. We started with the Oven-Baked Goat Cheese ($7) from the Primas list. It came out hot and gooey with a really nice, tangy Italian puttanesca sauce and some crispy bruscetta.
Under Seafood we picked the Grilled Tuna Filet ($11) and the Grilled Crawfish Etouffee ($10). The tuna was sushi-grade and perfectly seared, topped with small slices of avocado and served with a citrusy Japanese ponzu sauce and a dab of high-grade wasabi. It was as delicate and flavorful as the tuna served at most sushi bars we’ve been to lately. The etouffee had plenty of Louisiana crawfish swimming in a creamy roux, though no trace of the usual white rice we’re used to with this dish. It wasn’t missed though, as the idea was to use it to spoon it over pieces of French baguette.
From Vegetables, we chose the Roasted Potatoes ($5). These came with a chorizo sauce, but it was fairly light, not heavy and meaty as the name would suggest. Very simple and very good.
Our Meat of choice was the Pan-Seared Tenderloin ($11). We ordered ours medium rare, as all red meat should be cooked in our humble opinion, and the pieces came to the table rosy pink and juicy. The meat was topped with crumbles of Maytag blue cheese, quite possibly the perfect complementary flavor. We also were very fond of the mound of sauteed pine nut spinach that came on the side.
We finished off our One 19 experience with a dish of the house-made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ($4), with berries and a drizzle of red wine. It was an ideal way to beat the early summer heat.
Along with the eclectic variety of plates available, we really liked the fact that the menu included suggestions for wine pairings for each dish. And of course, the beauty of smaller portions is that there’s more opportunity to explore more tastes! LN