Tapas, Part 1
Tapas are an original form of dining from the country of Spain, Andalusia’s executive chef, Matthew Hicks, explains. While they are becoming more popular in America as well as the midstate, it was a culinary style that took Americans some getting used to.
Hicks had the desire to bring the small-plated dining to Central Pa., but, as more customers visited the restaurant, it became clear that there was a need for some adjustments to the traditional way of eating tapas.
Andalusia offers a mix of traditional tapas from Spain and the culture of the country combined with American ways of dining. Small-plate options are served along with full meals as well. The restaurant’s interior has a Spanish presence with vibrant colors and décor. Then there are the Americanized touches with the bar stools and televisions. Hicks’ mission for the restaurant is to bridge the gap and merge the flavors and experiences of Spain while still pleasing the residents of Central Pa. who, he says, “love their meat and potatoes.”
“The experience of having small plates is a much more interesting dining experience,” says Hicks. “Here, we have nontraditional tapas in a sense. We are giving larger portions for four or five people to share. We want to be able to give a couple different things and be able to have guests take a risk at trying something new for only $5 or $10 instead of risking an entire meal and having the chance of not liking what you ordered. It gives you a real opportunity to pick at things, have a lot of options and take some chances.”