Welcome to Discount Date Destinations, where we’ll bring you the best places in the city to take your date and stay on budget. The restaurants we’ll be highlighting all have that date-night-worthy atmosphere with food and drink specials that won’t break the bank. In today’s installment, we’re heading to El Lugar.
El Lugar is a tapas and pinchos bar in German Village, inspired by the flavors and culture of Barcelona. Inside feels like stepping into a little slice of Spain. Although we love the interior, it was just too gorgeous outside this past Sunday, so my husband and I opted to sit on El Lugar’s brick patio and soak up some of that elusive Ohio sun.
El Lugar’s rotating menu offers $3 pinchos, $5 tapas, $10 shareable plates, and a selection of charcuterie and cheese boards. One of the perks of going on a Sunday is that happy hour is offered all day and you get a free tapa or pincho with your cocktail. My husband and I each ordered a specialty cocktail; mine was mezcal with prickly pear and his was a blood orange mule. We got the serrano manchego and apple and manchego pinchos to go with them. Both were delicious, but our favorite was the serrano manchego which combines El Lugar’s thinly sliced serrano ham, cured for at least 12 months, with manchego cheese on top of perfectly baked bread.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
Next, we ordered the white bean dip which comes topped with crispy brussels sprouts. The dip was lemony and wonderful and is served with warm bread for scooping up all the crispy sprouts on top. Just thinking about it has me drooling as I type this. We finished with the lightly breaded and impeccably seasoned salt and pepper squid. Although we didn’t try it, the stuffed banana pepper came highly recommended by our server for anyone looking for a little more spice.
At this point, our bill was $39. We chose to have two more cocktails and two more pinchos which brought us over $50. We didn’t need more to be satisfied, but the sun was beautiful, and, despite being full, I can always make room for more cheese, especially when it’s a nutty, tangy manchego. It was worth it to linger a bit longer on the patio.
I love the vibe of El Lugar. It’s slow-paced and indulgent in the best way. It’s a place I always find myself wanting to stay longer and wishing I had more room to try course after course of small plates. Going on a sunny Sunday afternoon was wonderful, but if you can’t make it in on a Sunday, happy hour is also served 3pm-6pm Monday through Friday, and on Tuesdays, they offer half off all bottles of wine.
El Lugar is located at 525 S 4th St. For more information, visit ellugar614.com.