32 Charlotte Road
Tel: 020 7613 4411
Date of Last Visit: Thursday, March 23
The Victims: Too many to mention
The Damage: Not so bad! "Just" 30 quid a head.
Cantaloupe was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a tapas restaurant. Small little tables, dim lighting, maybe some spanish guitar playing in the background.
Cantaloupe is a bar. I must not be the only other person puzzled by this because at the front of the bar is a relatively large sign pointing you to the restaurant.
The bar is fun though. On a Thursday night, relatively early (7:30 ish) it was packed in a good way.
Being me, I told my guests the booking was at 7. It was really at 7:30. This is good because no one showed up until 8 p.m. anyhow, despite Feathers best efforts. (Thank you Feathers.)
It always makes me nervous to take people from a specific country to a restaurant in a different country that matches their origins. So I was a little nervous about sitting across from Javier; Javier is from Spain. I wanted Javier to like Cantaloupe!
The good news is he did! He loved the platter for two, which was really more like a platter para tres, there was so much jamon and queso. And he loved the Rioja, which he was originally suspicious about because it was organic. But heck, organic doesn’t necessarily mean "tastes bad," right?
Now let me just take a moment to share some of my recently acquired knowledge about Rioja. Did you know that there are three main types? These are clearly labeled on the bottle, and should be such on the restaurant wine list as well. If not, then you might be drinking a Rioja-wannabe; that is, the Spanish Wine Authorities have not certified it as a Rioja. Here’s the breakdown…
* Vino de Crianza: Wine in its third year, matured for at least one year in oak cask.
* Reserva: Carefully selected wines, aged for at least three years, of which at least one is in oak cask.
* Gran Reserva: Belongs to great vintage´s wines which have been aged at least two years in oak cask and three years in bottle.
What else can I tell you? Javier gave Cantaloupe two thumbs up and told me it was a great place. He also told me I am a dangerous person. Aren’t I, though?
Javier gave Cantaloupe two thumbs up because he liked his main, which escapes me at the moment. Me, on the other hand, thought my main had been confused with Fido’s dinner. (And that’s not Fido as in Fidelity Investments, dorks.) It was totally gross. Uggh. I don’t even want to think about it, that’s how gross it was. Uggh. Uggh. Uggh. I think it was the Argentinian Beef thingie. Not the steak, but the casserole. YUCK. Gross. Double-yuck.
The Verdict: You know, I’d actually go back. I just wouldn’t eat. Or I’d stick with the platter of nibbley things.