The whole tapas\small plates trend has been sweeping our nation for a while now. With most people opting for smaller portions with more variety, the number of restaurants serving up small plates these days is continuously increasing. There’s always a new tapas restaurants popping up somewhere, and were not talking just typical Spanish Tapas (See: Bar Lola, Tasca, Tapeo, Toro, Dali…) we’re talking Mexican, Italian, Japanese and beyond. Pretty soon there’s going to be some ridiculous statistic that says something like “Every 10 minutes a tapas bar is born.” Seriously.
With this common trend happening everywhere, I am excited to report back on something new, and a first for me: Thai Tapas! Thanks to Groupon, my boyfriend and I decided to check out Ronnarong in Somerville the other night. I was particularly excited because…
- I love Somerville and never seem to make it out there as much as I’d like
- I love tapas
- I love Date Night
- They have a patio (which I actually didn’t know before I got there, but as soon as I saw it, I got more excited)
- I love Chang beer and am obsessed with all things Thai!
…I went there for a month last summer and they literally have the best food, the nicest people, the warmest weather, and the most beautiful beaches. They own elephants as pets (sometimes), and where else can you live like a king by selling mango’s? LOVE it!
Running a little late, and on the verge of starving, we decided to take a cab to Somerville. About $15 into the cab ride (which started in Brigham Circle) I realized why I probably don’t get to see as much of Someville as I’d like to given it’s a little far from my abode. However, three sips into my Thai Sangria I was glad we’d made the trip.
For starters, the restaurant itself is quite small and charming, which I loved. It was pretty busy so we decided to grab two seats at the bar. I immediately ordered a Thai Sangria, something I’d never heard of before. To be honest, it reminded me of a Spanish Sangria (if it were made with sake) mixed with a hint of pineapple and basil. The combination of flavors were quite tasty, and I will definitely be back for a pitcher on the patio later this summer.
For tapas, we decided to start with the Crispy Chicken Thai Rolls and the Paradise Beef. When it comes to Spring Rolls, I don’t think I’ve ever met a Spring Roll I didn’t like. I’m a sucker for anything wrapped in crunchy-ness, and the beef was just as good. It was a little dryer than I would like (think beef jerky texture) but it’s the marinade that makes it so delicious.
And because I can’t go out for Thai without some noodles, we decided on the Beef Pad-See-Ew. Now for those of you who don’t know, Pad-See-U is a wide, flat rice noodle (think Pappardelle for you Italian lovahs). The word Pad-See-Ew literally means “Soy Sauce Stir-Fry” and that’s pretty much what it is. It’s usually served with Kale but Ronnarong makes there’s with Broccoli. We also tried the Tamarind Duck, which was perfect. It came sautéed with onion, mushroom, peppers and pineapple. MmmMmm pineapple.
Aside from the food, I also must mention I really liked the bathroom. All four walls were covered with a collage of vibrant colors and all things Thailand.
Not only was the food great, but the service was even better. Maybe we lucked out because we sat at the bar, and I am a firm believer that service is always better at the bar. I don’t know why, I just am. You could tell everything was fresh-off-the-wok, and we had more than enough left overs to bring home when we were done. Another HUGE key takeaway, the prices were beyond reasonable. With tapas ranging from $4-$7 dollars each and most entrees priced between $10-$13 I was astonished by how inexpensive the bill was. I guess no where can beat Thai prices, which will run you about 50¢-$1 for the best Pad Thai you’ve ever tasted, but for now I’ll go with Somerville’s Ronnarong for my fill of South-Pacific Asian.
- Won’t break the bank
- Serves small plates for the less-hungry and figure-conscious
- Casual, comfortable, cozy atmosphere
- Great for lunch, dinner, date nights and drinks
- They have a patio
- Interesting cocktail and beer list (in a good way)