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Zipe Zape

1/2 Egg_1 I don't eat tapas as much as I'd like to, but I finally got the chance to try Zipe Zape since I was in Williamsburg for New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, I had no way of knowing that a mere four hours later my precious tapas (along with Jameson, Frangelico, cheap champagne, Rioja and Sauvignon Blanc) would end up splattered all over a stranger's stairwell. Oh well, way to ring in 2006.

ZgambasBut I started the evening with good intentions and a nice Spanish spread. I had heard the servings were small and overpriced, and that was probably true of the $5 potato and chorizo nibble topped with a quail egg, but in general everything was a fair value. We also ordered baby chorizo in brandy, which are like Catalan lit'l smokeys (I love them), a cured meat platter, whose contents I can't fully recall, gambas al ajillo, which were super, and a touch spicier than I would've expected. They include the heads with whiskery antennae, which only meant more for me. ZcheeseWe were so impressed we recreated the simple dish for dinner the following night. Dipping crusty bread into the garlicky oil is almost as good as eating the shrimp, themselves.

We also ordered a cheese plate, which we were getting antsy waiting for because there's nothing like a parade of meat, cheese and bread, but as it turned out we were being American and didn't realize they were holding it as an after-dinner treat. The cheese portions were really large in comparison to the rest of the dishes and way too heavy for two who'd already Zmeat eaten a meal, but we plowed through. The selection included tetilla, manchego, a goat cheese, and membrillo. The food was better than average, the service gracious (it seemed like a mother and teenage daughter running the room) and all was well (until after midnight, at least). That's why I was surprised to read this negative Chowhound account from the same evening. I was glad to be on the good side of things for a change, it often seems that I have poor experiences with places that others love.

Zipe Zape * 152 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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