My recent visit to Lilico’s for tapas and Prosecco proved to be a fun foodie night out – with possibly the best calamari I’ve ever had.
Why it’s on my list
Having enjoyed tapas very much in Spain, I’ve wanted to go to Lilico’s for some time. In Spain we shared everything and ate quickly, excited to taste the next dish, and then another, and another…and another! We were planning a work night and we decided to go to Lilico’s, ideal for a group.
Website: visit the Lilico’s Facebook page
Location: The Square, Barnstaple
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 9am-11pm, Friday to Saturday 9am-12.15am, closed Sundays.
To book: call 01271 372933
The menu looked amazing so I was really happy to share a few dishes with two other people. Undoubtedly one of the best things about tapas is the opportunity to taste lots of different things. Lilico’s had a relaxed and fun vibe about, the sun was shining and Prosecco flowing, completing the list of ingredients for a great evening.
What I had
Between three of us we had:
Fish – sweet chilli king prawns with peanuts and crispy calamari drizzled with a honey and sweet chilli sauce.
Cheese – breaded brie with a sweet chilli jam and fried halloumi with roquito peppers, grilled aubergine, salad and a balsamic glaze.
We also had a bowl of chicken and chorizo paella, sweet potato fries and a bread board with two dips – garlic aioli and balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
One of our group insisted we have the calamari and I’m very glad she did. It was crispy and had a wonderful crunch to it, not at all rubbery like some calamari can be. And the honey and sweet chilli drizzle was the perfect accompaniment, which surprised me as I’m normally all over an aioli dip for calamari. What an eye-opener – delicious!
Not the best
The bread was fine, loved the dips, but I think in my head I was expecting something a bit more exciting, like a focaccia with olives in it. Mmm!
The restaurant had a good feel to it – lots of natural light, wooden furniture and a few small nods to the Mediterranean in the decor. It was separate from the bar, which meant the noise levels were good and ideal for the sort of meal we wanted to have. We ate upstairs (ground level) but there was a downstairs area too.
They regularly have musicians play in the bar and there’s lots of outdoor seating too where you can watch the world go by through the square, which definitely makes it one of the best places to sit with a cool drink on a hot day.
You can order a dish or two to yourself of course, but if you’re tempted by lots of things on the menu it’s better to share, and the dishes are very much geared up for that. Go for it!