Bulla Gastrobar Brings Authentic Spanish Tapas to Plano

While Texans are known to be lovers of Mexican food, there are a variety of dishes from other Hispanic countries just waiting to be discovered. Legacy West’s newest addition, Bulla Gastrobar, offers a variety of Spain-inspired dishes, drinks, and tapas.

Last weekend, I had the chance to preview Bulla’s dinner menu ahead of the restaurant’s opening this coming Tuesday.

To kick things off, my guest and I ordered a plate of embutidos (cured meats) and cheeses. We were allowed to pick one type of meat and one type of cheese. For the meat, we chose the finocchio, which is a handcrafted Italian salami. For the cheese, we chose the mahón, which is a firm cow’s milk with lemony, salty, tangy flavor. The plate came garnished with nuts and candied pecans in the center. It also included three crispy crackers with drops of cajeta dolloped onto them. The sweet and savory portions of the plate paired very well together and set the bar high for the upcoming dishes.

A tapa from Bulla Gastrobar, with finocchio and mahón cheese (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

After my guest and I finished off the plate, we received our drinks. Although it is customary to receive drinks before appetizers, the restaurant was packed, and therefore orders had been getting mixed up throughout the night. This was understandable, considering the restaurant is still gearing up for opening and working the kinks out.

We were each allowed two drinks from the cocktail menu, the first of mine being the Bullfighter. The Bullfighter consists of Bulleit bourbon, Aperol, Dow’s Port, lemon juice and cranberry. It had a taste similar to that of a good fruit juice, like acai berry. The alcohol taste was just slightly noticeable, which allowed for me to take in the delightful combination of fruit flavors.

The Bullfighter (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

For the second drink, I ordered the Moscow Mule. Bulla’s Moscow Mule consists of Russian Standard Vodka, Fever Tree ginger beer, fresh lime, cardamom, currant infused syrup and candied ginger. While most bars’ Moscow Mules are rather gritty and bitter, Bulla’s was a delightful exception. The currant syrup gave the drink a sweet, fruity flavor, allowing it to taste similar to Sprite mixed with a candy-like infusion.

Moscow Mule (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

As for the post-drink effect, I felt that the impact was just right. I didn’t feel drunk, but I did feel relaxed enough to just unwind and enjoy a stress-free night.

For the next plate, we ordered the Montaditos de Castillo, which were an arrangement of four slices of toasted bread topped with braised short ribs, tomato marmalade, guindilla, and tetilla cheese. Although this sounds like a lot to take in, I highly recommend just taking a big bite and consuming every aspect of the piece all at once. The combination of the ingredients makes for a hearty, flavorful appetizer with a sweet and spicy kick.

Mostaditos de Castillo (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

When it came time to order the main entree, my guest and I ordered the paella, however, there was a bit of a mixup in the kitchen, which resulted in our order being pushed back an extra 20 minutes. To make up for this, one of the servers offered us the albondigas.

The albondigas were an arrangement of three veal and pork meatballs immersed in a tomate frito sauce and topped with manchego cheese. The meatballs were thick, warm, meaty and cut very easily. Eating the albondigas was like eating miniscule meatloafs and they were enough to tide us over until the paella arrived.

Albondigas (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Bulla’s paella is a soupy, creamy rice dish, with calamari, prawns, clams, red sofrito, shrimp and saffron arranged to make a beautiful display. It tasted just as amazing as it looked. The consistency of the rice was just right, the insides of the clams pulled out easily, and the shrimp were cooked to a pink perfection.

Paella (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

We ended the night with the flan de coco, which is a coconut flan served with a side of passion fruit sorbet. The sorbet was unlike anything else I had ever tasted; sweet, icy, and packed with fruit flavor. The flan itself was also a unique dish, given its utilization of coconut.

Flan de coco with fruit and a side of passion fruit sorbet (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

From beginning to end, I was highly satisfied with the food and drinks served to us. Despite a few minor kinks in terms of customer service, I appreciated the fact that the staff acknowledged the mistakes, made it up to us by offering us extra food, and by allowing us to fill out feedback cards. With their diligence and customer orientation, everything should be running smoothly by opening day.

Bulla Gastrobar officially opens on February 13 in Legacy West.

How Pazzo Encompasses Everything Dallasites Love About Uptown

When Dallasites head out for a night in Uptown, they are seeking delicious food, good drinks, and/or fun music. Cedar Springs’s newest opening, Pazzo, has managed to combine these three elements to create an Italian dining and lounging experience. Pazzo is the brainchild of Luke Zeutzius, whose mission is to bring an evolving menu designed for the American Italian fusion enthusiast.

Upon arriving at Pazzo’s media and influencer event, I am greeted with smiles from two casually dressed young ladies, who quickly seat me in the proper section. I am first offered water, and once the server returns with a cold glass, I am then asked for my drink order.

To kick things off, I order the Walk of Shame, which consists of Zephyr gin, lemon, and Angostura bitters. It is a tangy, fruity, sour drink, which tastes like lemonade with a hard kick.

The Walk of Shame (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

I follow the Walk of Shame up with the Straight Skinny, which consists of Código, agave, and lime. It is Pazzo’s version of the margarita and it has a light taste. The agave makes it sweet, but not to the point where it overpowers the tequila and lime. Most house margaritas taste like Slurpees, however, Pazzo’s tastes like a delicious, healthy juice that one could pick up at a Pilates studio; theirs just happens to be kicked up a hard notch.

The Straight Skinny (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)

After drinks, the servers bring out a variety of appetizers, including the White Truffle Garlic Bread, Crispy Polenta Cakes, and Crispy Eggplant. Although all of the appetizers are phenomenal, my personal favorite would have to be the Crispy Polenta Cakes. As a Texan, I love my pork, and Pazzo’s polenta cakes come topped with a sweet, shredded, savory pork shoulder. It is the perfect merging of Italian and Texan culture.

Crispy Polenta Cakes (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Before the main entree, the servers bring out what’s called The Vinegary One, which is Pazzo’s house salad. The signature dressing nicely complements the greens and vegetables, giving it a salty, lemony taste.

Pazzo’s house salad: “The Vinegary One” (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

For my main course, I order The Cripsy Piece of the Lasagna, which is a lasagna dish layered with spinach noodles, bolognese sauce, and a combination of fresh and aged cheeses. As its name suggests, the noodles are rather crisp. The bolognese sauce is hot, hearty, and packed with spice and flavor.

The Crispy Piece of the Lasagna (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

To wrap things up, I pick the Chocolate Chip Cookie Panwaffle “Smore” as my dessert. A fun fact about this is that Pazzo’s owner Luke Zeutzius invented and patented the Panwaffle pan, as a result of him and his younger brother arguing about what to eat for breakfast. The Panwaffle Smore is topped with strawberries, chocolate, graham crackers, ice cream, and burnt marshmallow fluff. It is a dessert experience unlike any other, and a must-try for first-time visitors.

The Panwaffle S’more (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

After dinner, we are taken to a lounge, in which the walls are lined up with couches. We toast with champagne to celebrate Pazzo’s prosperous future.

I leave Pazzo highly impressed with what I’ve experienced. Pazzo manages to encompass everything Dallasites love about Uptown, from fun, upbeat music, good drinks, and delicious (not to mention, relatively inexpensive) food.

Pazzo will begin serving items from their brunch, lunch, and dinner menus beginning February 2. They will also host a grand opening celebration on February 23.