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“A little too noisy for a 'quiet dinner' with friends”

Espana Restaurant & Tapas
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Portuguese, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Centre Street
Description: The traditional flavors of Spain and Portugal are highlighted in all our dishes here in the heart of historic Fernandina Beach. Sip on homemade Sangria or enjoy a glass of wine from a list of hand picked selections (International and Californian). Choose from a menu of hot and cold tapas, "just caught" fish or meat entrees including the national dish of Spain, Paella. You can choose to dine in our cozy main dining room, bright enclosed patio dining room or lush garden dining area which is open generally Thursday - Sunday and weather permitting :) Chef Roberto is a second generation restaurateur, with over 28 years experience. He endeavors to make your evening a memorable one by bringing both his own family recipes, and inspiration from trips to Spain and Portugal for you to savor and enjoy. Family owned and operated since 2004. The Original on Amelia Island!
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We chose Espana for a nice dinner with out-of-town friends based on good reviews from our friends as well as on-line. I was pleased I could make a reservation, as none of us enjoys standing waiting for a table on a Saturday night. The restaurant was very accommodating when we had to change our arrival time last minute. We started with salads and the Mediterranean antipasti for appetizers, along with a bottle of red wine. Warm bread with a nice dip arrived almost immediately. My husband and I had the fish soup for two--excellent. The broth was just spicy enough (almost tasted Thai rather than Spanish), with a smoothness from coconut milk. One of our guests had striped bass and said her meal was excellent. Her husband didn't fare as well with his paella. It was totally missing the crust that makes this dish so special. He asked if he could have chorizo added to the fish components. The waiter seemed to feel this was a big deal. He cleared it with the chef, then returned to tell our guest that there would be a $3 charge, which was not a problem for us. We tried three desserts--flan, tres leches cake, and tiramisu. All were excellent.

Other than mediocre paella (which should not be mediocre at a Spanish restaurant), our enjoyment was lessened by a very noisy atmosphere. We couldn't hear each other or the waiter. All surfaces in the restaurant are hard, so that sound bounces around. This negatively impacted our experience; we went out to catch up on old times and couldn't really comfortably converse. This is not a place for a 'quiet dinner' or for whispering 'sweet nothings.'

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Thank Eileen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,312 - 1,316 of 1,609 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

Celebrated a birthday at Espana and it was wonderful. My husband and I had a few tapas; shrimp in coconut milk, pork tenderloin and ceviche and each a salad with fried goat cheese. The salad was a special, but they have it all the time and it is so good! I drank the red sangria that was perfect and not too sweet. and he had a Spanish beer. My brother had mussels that were cooked to perfection. We all had a bite of a tiramisu and it was great, you could taste the liquor and was light and creamy. We had 3 separate checks and our server handled this easily. We had our 4 yr old daughter with us and she liked her chicken and the bread. Nice place , but definitely child friendly especially before 8. I think it's prefect for parties, it has a fun vibe. It's a little loud and could use a little updating inside but the outside garden is really pretty.

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Thank Beth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Very good restaurant that will have you coming back again and again! The "specials" have been the way to go for me. Usually a nice fish topped with a scallop and prawn, and will keep a smile on your face.

Thank vipermgun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Marina and Roberto have put their own love into their restaurant. The service is impeccable, the food so delectable and the atmosphere is high spirited. Marina is a remarkable hostess and Roberto is a gifted chef. We have always had yummy meals at Espana. I highly recommend this restaurant.

Thank mld1707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Visited Espana to celebrate our birthdays (husband's and mine). Be sure and make a reservation because even on a Tuesday this place was filled by 7pm. The interior is very cozy and comfortable with two dining rooms, one overlooking the outdoor garden area and the other with a nice street view.The only complaint we had was that it was very hot in the restaurant, especially once the dining room was filled. Our waiter, although he failed to give us his name, was very attentive as was the busboy/waterboy who kept our water glasses filled without being annoying. We chose to have one Tapas as an appetizer and decided on the Almejas Borrachas (Drunken Clams) which were wonderful! 12 meaty clams in a garlic/wine sauce with onion, cilantro, and other spices. For our main dish we had to try the Paella Marinera. It was wonderful and a very generous amount for the two of us. Filled with fresh fish and shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels and calimari it was addictive. Being locals we are lucky enough to be able to return to this wonderful place again and again and we will! Highly recommended.

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Thank BnG85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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