For those out there not familiar with tapas, dictionary.com defines them as “a snack or appetizer, typically served with wine or beer.” That’s a valid definition, but fortunately for us and the other diners who were enjoying lunch at Café Azafrán in Rehoboth Beach during our interview with co-owner and head chef Richard Steele the “little plates” are much more.
Café Azafrán was the perfect spot for us to highlight our month long look at foreign food options on Delmarva. Steele has done a tremendous job of taking the traditional Spanish tapa and melding them into a mélange of tastes that can be found all over the Mediterranean regions of Europe and the Middle East. These smaller (but still very ample) dishes each had their own unique flavor and food personality that perfectly reflected the region of their inspiration.
Steele has been in the restaurant business for most of his life and his experience shows in the preparation and presentation of savory and beautiful tapas. Even the interior of Café Azafrán itself reflects the colorful beauty of Spain. During our visit, the works of the prolific artist Aina Nergaard-Nammack were displayed on the walls of the inviting café.
What’s so great about tapas is that they are very easy to share and sample. Steele said that often groups of three or more will come by and order several tapas off the menu just to experience the flavors and share the joy of the dishes.
Café Azafrán has other larger plate offerings as well, and it’s a popular spot during the evening. One night of the week there’s even a cabaret night which is very popular with diners. Our advice, if you’re in the mood to sample a wide variety of international tastes that won’t overwhelm you or your wallet – check out Café Azafrán.