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“Another Wonderful Meal & Evening”

Espana Restaurant & Tapas
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Portuguese, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, 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!
Valdosta, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
444 reviews
227 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Another Wonderful Meal & Evening”
Reviewed August 15, 2014 via mobile

We did tapas for the second straight visit....just as good as the time time a couple of months ago. Ate early and the service was outstanding.....actually better than our last visit.

We shared five tapas and it was all quite good. My wife started with one of the specials for the night which was a fried goat cheese and tomatoes....outstanding! I grazed again on the Spanish Antipasto (Entremes) which I really enjoyed. We then shared three other dishes: a fantastic special of breaded and friend scallops (Yum!), pork tenderloin
(Picadinho) which was a repeat from our last visit and just as good this time around, and shrimp Ceviche (diced shrimp cured in lime juice seasoned with red onion, peppers and cilantro) which was a spicy treat.

With one glass of wine and an iced tea, the bill came to $60 before the tip. Another perfect evening!!!!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Ken S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,536 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
2,986 reviews
1,980 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 964 helpful votes
“Really great tapas, and other Spanish food as well”
Reviewed August 14, 2014

We had a great time and a great meal at Espana, and can't understand the folks who didn't enjoy the paella, which I've eaten all over the world. It was fantastic, and I cleaned my plate down to the last bit of rice and seafood.

Because this place advertises itself as a tapas bar, we had to try a variety of the tapas. So we ordered three different plates; a calamari steak, a nicoise potato dish, and an olive dish. I must say that they were all outstanding! I had never eaten calamari in any form other than the rings that are normally fried up in most bars, but this was much different; layers of moist calamari served in a "steak," which was superb.

One word of caution about this restaurant; because of its popularity, you WILL NEED RESERVATIONS to get in. We were shut out on our first attempt, and then got one of the last reservations available for the next evening. But this restaurant is worth it, and I highly recommend checking it out.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Larry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
61 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Very poor paella !”
Reviewed August 13, 2014

Went there for a birthday celebration and will NEVER go back. The paella was burned and very disappointing for a restaurant that "pretends" to know what they are doing. Would have sent the food back but this was supposed to be a celebration, so I didn't want to make a scene. There was another couple who happened to be there at the same time as our group and they told us that the food at La Mancha was MUCH better. No real reason to ever go back.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank RVTraveler4321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espana F, Owner at Espana Restaurant & Tapas, responded to this review, August 15, 2014
Dear Sir/Madame:

Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to rate and express your experience with España. My wife (Marina) and I (Roberto) are extremely distressed to hear that we fell far short of a pleasant evening.

I'd like to first express that in case you think that we are not concerned, my wife and I have been talking and even arguing over the matter. Sometimes when restaurants are busy, it may become customary to put issues behind you and move on. Trust me this is most certainly not the case. Marina and I have been restaurateurs for almost 30 years, and that is in only 2 restaurants. The nature of our business is to first provide a restaurant-quality meal, coupled with equally great service, in a family friendly atmosphere. When time allows us, we try our hardest to build a relationship with our customers, and in doing so, spoil them with attention and accommodate them with any special desires or needs they may have when choosing to visit with us.

That being said, I must admit that although we've had many years of practice in cultivating our craft, we still occasionally fall short of what we ultimately are trying to accomplish. Whether this happened because we were overwhelmed with work, or we just simply fell asleep at the wheel, neither is excusable and we feel a great amount of guilt and embarrasment.

I will say that in making paella, Spaniards cherish the bottom crust where the pan first meets the rice; and in fact give it a name.......socarrat.***** But it sounds like we accidentally passed the point and perhaps rendered it inedible for your taste.

Be that as it may, there is nothing we could do about the past except to learn from our mistakes. Once in a while we need a swift kick in the buttocks to awaken some internal spirit and inspire a more conscientious effort in customer satisfaction.

It would be crazy of me to expect another chance...............you made this quite clear in your comments. If, however, you feel gracious to give us another opportunity, please feel free to call us on our personal phone numbers, and we'll make every effort to gain your patronage. It may still turn out you prefer other restauarants, but I promise that once you meet and know Marina, myself and the España staff at the very least you will have met decent, hardworking, charitable and caring people deserving of a second chance!

**** Google definition: After cooking paella, there is usually a layer of toasted rice at the bottom of the pan, called socarrat in Spain. This is considered a delicacy among Spaniards and is essential to a good paella. The toasted rice develops on its own if the paella is cooked over a burner or open fire

Sincerely,

Roberto Pestana
España Restaurant & Tapas
10th Year Anniversary
2004 ~ 2014
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands, England
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Very good little restaurant”
Reviewed August 13, 2014

This was a handy restaurant if you are staying at the Hampton Inn - it's about 5 minutes' walk away. The food was delicious and the servers were attentive and polite.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Brianwiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Beat Paella Ever!”
Reviewed August 13, 2014

My husband and I had the pleasure of dining at Espana Restaurant on a recent trip to Florida. We are both big Paella fans and asked our server for a recommendation. She recommended the Paella Valencia, and we both felt it was the best paella we've ever had! We will be going back on our next trip to Fernandina Beach!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jean D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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