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Ole Tapas Lounge & Restaurant

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6 people voted
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1126 Capitol Trl
Newark, DE 19711 (Map & Directions)
Phone: (302) 224-9378

Cuisine: Tapas, Spanish
Neighborhood: Newark
Website: www.oletapaslounge.com/
67% say Yum
6 people voted
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Restaurant Description

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Hours: Mon-Thu: 11:30am-3pm-Lunch, 4:30pm-midnight-Dinner, Fri: 11:30am-3pm-Lunch, 4:30pm-1am, Sat: 4:30pm-1am, Sun: 3pm-9pm

Delivery
No

Payment
Credit Cards Accepted

Attire
Casual

Alcohol
Yes - full bar

Price Point
$$ $ - Cheap Eats (Under $10)
$$ - Moderate ($11-$25)
$$$ - Expensive ($25-$50)
$$$$ - Very Pricey (Over $50)

WiFi
No

Parking
Yes

Good for Kids

Reservations
Yes

Outdoor Seats

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Menu Highlights

Reviews of Ole Tapas Lounge & Restaurant

phinonwoodside posted on 08/24/2012

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OVERCHARGED debit card, bad food, worse service. <br /> I would love to recommend Ole Tapas to all my friends, but unfortunately can't any longer. When they first opened up, I truly enjoyed eating here. The atmosphere was always lively, without making the customers shout above each other, the food options were diverse and well prepared, as well as being well priced, and the staff was attentive, knowledgeable and great. <br /> Our last visit completely changed my opinion. I wasn't sure if we should dine here based on recent reviews from friends, and on various websites, but we decided to go ahead anyway. We ate there on 8/19/12 around 1:30 pm. Aside from two other people sitting at a nearby booth, we were the only customers. I ordered the coconut shrimp - the shrimp was overcooked and the coconut almost burned. I also ordered the duck sandwich - and there was very, very little duck to be found. My husband was equally as unimpressed with his food. <br /> The service was terrible. For there to only be 4 patrons in the entire establishment, one would guess that service would not be a problem. However, the hostess and our server seemed more interested in talking to each other than dealing with the patrons. <br /> In addition - and this is the part that has me the most fired up - our waitress OVERCHARGED my card. Our total came to approximately $35, and I left a $7 tip, feeling sorry for the waitress that had no customers. I figured that anyone could have a bad day. The tip charged to my card was $20. This is egregious. <br /> I have filed a dispute with my bank, but really don't intend to dine at Ole any longer after such a bad experience. <br /> Beware, and check your statements.

Chrys posted on 10/17/2011

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We took our family of 4 out for a nice early sunday dinner. Before arriving we read the reviews and many said "small portions" Not sure if they know what a tapas is. we ordered a couple of tapas and then ordered the large paella "since portions were small. well we were all stuffed, we had leftovers for lunch and guess what we are eating for dinner again tonight. The food was delicious and my 7yr old loved eating octopus. a pitcher of sangria is too much for 2. We will definitely be back but will order a smaller paella. great meal

Frequent customer posted on 09/05/2010

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I have been going to ole for over a year now. Excellent food for the most part. Went this weekend and the service was terrible. I did not recognize any of the servers ( which is odd bc of small staff). Go to the bar and you won't be disappointed.

Kristine Johnson posted on 08/19/2010

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Perfect first date restaurant! The lighting and decor produced a perfect ambiance.the food was exceptional. I started the meal with a bowl of gazpacho (delicious), baby lamb chops and potatoes with a spicy sauce on top were the finishers (i had no room for dessert). All the dishes were fun to share. we tried so many things. i highly recommend this place. oh and the pitcher of sangria never seems to end!

Lol@daniel posted on 08/16/2010

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@above review: lol amateur food critic fail (and not just because I'm a regular who loves Ole's food).<br /> <br /> I really started to question whether this review was a joke when he criticizes the glasses as "metrosexualy shaped" (btw, here's a picture of a tubo in spain: http://www.notesfromspain.com/category/tapas-of-the-week/), but I really lost in a fit of side-splitting laughter and uncontrollable tears and pants wetting when he recommends places like the Border Cafe and La Tonalteca for superior similar fare. Yes, I agree, if you want authentic Spanish tapas, the place to go is Don Pablos LOL. And since Daniel criticized Ole's slim variety on the menu, you should definitely go to La Tonalteca instead: there you can get burritos, tacos AND enchiladas! LOL<br /> <br /> If having to wait 15 minutes before having a server come up to him or if the lemonades really are $4 with no free refills, then those are very legitimate gripes, but the vast majority (oh, remember the part about the dim lighting? lol) is very tough to read with a straight face.

Daniel posted on 07/18/2010

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One of the worst restaurants I have ever been to. Before entering the restaurant I could not tell whether it was open or closed for business. The appeal from the road is non-existent and, at best, slightly noticeable. Upon entering the restaurant, I quickly noticed the lack of customers in the dining area for a Saturday night. The inside also hinted at trouble with an extremely dull atmosphere with no support from the drab decor or the sparse amount of light 'illuminating' the dining area (Trust me, eating in the dark was a new experience even to an adventurist such as myself). After my party was seated, it took the wait staff approx 15 minutes to take on our table, confused at the very sight of customers. The worst was yet to come.<br /> One should be willing to drop $60 on dinner for two if it is hunger you are looking to defeat (and definitely not worth it). To start, the menu is lacking not only from the slim array of items offered, but to the glue sticks used to construct the one sided menu (extremely tacky I would say). Though the most important aspect of a restaurant is its food. I should start off by mentioning that the Patatas Bravas was a good dish (fried potatoes w/ spicy mayo). However, I could not say the same for the fish & chip platter, in which smelts (a type of small fish) are fried and served whole (everything but the head). This is appetizing to some, but to me......well.....I don't like eating a 3 inch vertebrate with my fish, sorry (the best part was the nerve fibers, oh yeah! An anatomical study indeed.). And maybe it's me but $4 for what is practically a 'shot' of lemonade is outrageous (yes, definitely not a glass, though rather a small swanky meterosexualy shaped glass about 5 inches tall and an inch and a half in diameter. The best part = no refills. The staff must have personally milked the juiciest lemons of Madrid!).<br /> Overall the experience was cheesy. As I walked out the door, I was flagged down by a hostess with a 20% off coupon upon my next visit (in a sense practically bribing people to come back before they even leave the restaurant!). Now I understand why the sign outside the restaurant was recently changed from ‘Ole Tapas’ to ‘Ole Tapas & STEAKS’ because nothing else could draw the layman in, taking away from the 'elegance' of the establishment. Clearly the restaurant's desperate pleas are embarrasing. What was supposed to be a unique dining experience turned out to be a night to remember (for all the wrong reasons).<br /> If you are looking for a similar genre of food, allow me to recommend the Border Café, La Tolneteca, or Don Pablos. For fine dining, P.F. Chang’s is the way to go (in Glen Mills).<br /> As the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice..." .Well, they got my money once. But they will definitely not rob me again: <br /> <br /> A few synonyms I found for Ole Tapas;<br /> Dismal, awkward first date, burrito<br />

Kari posted on 03/03/2010

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Love the place, the food is delicious!! The owner,(the Ecuadorian dude) is kinda of a big-headed jerk but the executive chef Ivan is great, he's super friendly and he knows what he is doing, he should be running the place!!!

jc posted on 09/30/2009

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We attended the Trilogy Solon event. I was approached by a lovely woman who handed us a business-card and said sangrias and appetizers were half off.<br /> <br /> A friend and I went over to the tapas restaurant. The hostess informed us we could only sit at the bar, where we waited for 15 minutes without service. There were plenty of other tables open.<br /> <br /> When we left, and informed the hostess we were leaving, her response was "oh, okay."<br /> <br /> Not at all impressed by their service; I doubt we will ever go back. <br /> <br /> However, we did go over to Safritos and had a great time.<br />

Yara posted on 08/28/2009

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Best Darn Tapas Restaurant!! The most delicious food I've every had. I know some of the owners' background and i know for sure that they know what they are doing. No I don't work there, I don't even live in De. but i used to and I've been to the restaurant several times. Each time, its been great service, amazing food, perfect drinks, no complains at all. Its definitely pricey but definitely worth it, a great dining experience! Have an open mind and Don't be quick to misjudge what could be the best food/place you've experienced!

P J, New Castle posted on 07/27/2009

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I normally do not write reviews on sites like this, but the Dominican guy is crazy...plus I think he is probably a dishwasher, or wait staff at one of the restaurants that he recommended. I have had meals at a few of the ones he mentioned and they are not even close to being the quality of food as Ole Tapas....As far as Ole...I have eaten at least 7 times at the restaurant and I have also attended events there..The food is fantastic, the service is perfect, love the bartender, had great wine, and sangria is the best...Try the lamb chops...OH MY Goodness....Great....and no I do not work in the restaurant...I actually write food reviews on occasion.

Michael posted on 04/06/2009

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Best Tapas restaurant in town. I dined at Ole on Saturday ane everything was just perfect. The food is authentic and ver tasty. I like the daily specials that they have now, that way you can save some $$$. We will be back. One of the best restaurants in DE. Keep it up guys!!!

posted on 04/01/2009

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The food had alot of flavor and it was original however the price was not proportional to the serving. For a couple of apetizers and drinks our bill for 2was $90. We left starving. Service was great.

posted on 03/16/2009

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After having read mixed reviews, I was a little hesitant to try this place, but it was for a friend's birthday dinner and her choice. I have to say it was one of the best restaurants I have been to in a long time! Service was outstanding, very attentive and knowledgeable staff and the food was delicious. There were 5 of us so we each ordered 3 different tapas to try and share with everyone. The timing of the dishes arriving to our table was perfect and we had a hard time deciding which dish was our favorite as there wasn't a bad one in the bunch! We also tried 2 of the sangrias and liked both of them. When the waitress found out there was a birthday at the table, she even had the kitchen do a special dessert for our friend without us asking. I thought this restaurant was a terrific value for the money and quality and service; not sure why it is getting mixed reviews. Would definitely go back and/or recommend it without hesitation! 3/15/09

posted on 02/08/2009

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I thought I'd respond first to the idiot who wrote the previous review before I tell everyone how much I adore Ole Tapas Lounge. Are you serious, you didn't expect to see white people working the restaurant? What country do you live in anyway? You obviously don't have taste in good cuisine if you compare to Kildare's and Sante Fe. You call yourself cultured. I lived in Spain for many years and this food is on key if not better than any of the tapas bars I frequented. I love the value and quality of the food. You guys have grown so much since my first time there, I can't imagine it getting any better. Keep doing what you're doing! Many people appreciate it despite those that look down on "blue collar neighborhoods" I like something off the beaten track. I will probably be there this week. Thanks!

BlueSkyTiamat posted on 02/06/2009

review_stars
I left a review for this joke of a restaurant on Googlemaps. <br /> I went about two weeks or so after they opened upon my mother telling me she got a coupon to it. So we went and were expecting Spanish people (at least not white people) working the place. As soon as we walked in I got a bad feeling. <br /> <br /> The service was good and we had lots of questions, the owner (or manager) told us how it worked so we ordered a 3 tapas and an entree (paella) and was told the latter could feed the three of us. <br /> <br /> First, they were out of a lot of things we wanted to try for the 'tapas'.. esp. pulpo! We got some kind of veggie/seafood tempura appetizer and two other things. The tempura battered stuff was bland, and the vegetables were uncooked. If you want good tempura, I suggest Mayflower.<br /> <br /> The paella, all I could taste was lemon juice. It was soaking wet. My mother cooks paella and I've had it enough times to know its not supposed to be wet mush (we are Dominican). <br /> There were like 3 of each 'seafood' item in the pot. Ridiculous. We left there $60 poorer and still hungry.<br /> Don't expect good portions or to be full unless you spend maybe $50+ a person. <br /> <br /> While the other good reviews (possibly employees or people with low expectations/poor taste) say "you get what you pay for" and "oh it's not supposed to be cheap"... I agree. However, the food here is just not good enough to justify the prices. And the location is a joke, it's no where near Homegrown/Cafe Gelato and in a predominantly blue-collar area. I don't imagine them being in business for long. Perhaps they can subsist because of Sofrito next door or due to the business lunch crowd. <br /> <br /> If you want good food, go to main st in Newark. I recommend Homegrown, Cafe Gelato, Ali Baba, Santa Fe Grill and Kildaire's. I'd recommend more, but i like my secret spots. <br /> <br />

Michelle posted on 01/07/2009

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Overall food was excellent and i will definitely be going back, next time though definitely going to go on one of the 3 nights they have 1/2 price tapas at the bar to try to save a little money. :)<br /> My fiance and i got several tapas: seared duck wrapped around an orange segment on a thin slice of baguette - amazing! and i am not a huge duck fan but this is only the 2nd time i have truly enjoyed a duck dish; lamb chops - so good! tender and moist and very flavorful and not gamey at all!; mediterranean salad - awesome!; fried shrimp - good - def would try something different next time though; calamari - very good but they aren't just the rings like you usually see, there are the full deal with tenicles and all (i could not eat that part personally but my fiance loved them); on monday's paella was 1/2 price - it was OK but not worth the money in my opinion, lacked some flavor and spice, would definitely stick with just the tapas next time. For desert we had the sampler; rice pudding - ok, i've had better; another pudding (i forget the name) was phenomenal; sponge cakes were pretty bland, biscotti was good and had great flavor (orange cranberry) but so hard you do need to be careful you don't chip a tooth! :) the churros were good and they served a hot chocolate sauce that accompanied them well. I just moved to DE (from AZ) so i love good authentic flavors and have a background as a chef and would feel very confident recommending this restauarant to friends and family! This place is a keeper!

posted on 12/27/2008

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Love Ole Tapas! Don't know why they are getting mixed reviews...don't people know all restaurants in the USA are "americanized" food versions of the real thing???? we think they have done a great job with the tapas selections for 1: not being in Spain and 2: especially being in DE! Location may put you off at first, but step inside! Loved the world music that was playing and service was attentive and helpful on both of our visits. Delaware needs more eclectic dining experiences....need to support this restaurant!

Frequent Diner posted on 12/15/2008

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The restaurant is a warm mix of colors with sounds of a busy restaurant. The combination made it alot of fun for my group. All of the tapas were very typical of Spain. With fun renditions from the chef that complimented the menu very well. Whoever is cooking knows what they are doing. I've been to other so called Spanish Tapas restaurants in the area i.e. Philadelphia and Wilmington, those places have nothing on this restaurant. I'm not sure what the bad reviews were referring to, all the staff was very knowledgable and professional. I would recommend this place to anyone who is looking for great food. The people that say it is pricey don't seem to understand that they are getting dishes that are pure protein with no filler. Sure if you want a pile of potatoes or pasta to hide the fact that you are getting 4 shrimp go somewhere else. However if you would rather eat healthier, this is the place.... I'LL BE BACK!!!!

posted on 12/12/2008

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service is horrible. not experienced workers. overpriced for the quality of food. don't order seafood from this place it smelled fishy (old) and my dish had hair in it. Not only that they did not offer another dish on the house. very rude, disappointing, and low class workers.

Friend of Spanish Cuisine posted on 11/16/2008

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Overall, very good - with one major exception. The paella really was a risotto: texture, flavor. Having traveled to Spain, my experience with paella was a drier, more flavorful dish. There was a paucity of meats, especially sausage. No saffron flavor or appearance. That said, it was a very good risotto if you are in the mood for risotto.<br /> <br /> The tapas themselves were interesting interpretations of the traditional ones found in most Spanish restaurants. Not bad at all.<br /> <br /> The bartender did a masterful job with his art.<br /> <br /> An excellent value. Dinner for 4 including drinks, tapas, paella, dessert and coffee was only a bit over $100.<br /> <br /> I plan on going again - but not for paella.

Paul Mathews (Newark, DE) posted on 10/15/2008

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Although easy to miss from the road, if you happen to stumble across Ole, you will be rewarded by great atmosphere, knowledgeable and courteous staff and most importantly, great food.<br /> <br /> I will absolutely return to Ole and recommend it to anyone who will listen.

cda posted on 10/12/2008

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I am so excited to finally have a great restaurant nearby! Authentic SPANISH (from SPAIN) cuisine. We went to a very popular "Spanish" restaurant in Philadelphia...total disappointment and was expecting the same from this restaurant. It wasn't the case. Ole Tapas Lounge is absolutely wonderful. We go at least 3-4 times a week. I have family in Spain, so I know what the food is supposed to taste like, and Ole does a fantastic job. Definitely try the PAELLA, but make sure you bring your appetite or at least 3-4 people. If you aren't sure about the food, they have a happy hour from 4:30-6:30 M-F, 1/2 price tapas at the bar. The tapas aren't expensive to begin with, so you'll eat excellent food for almost nothing. They have a fantastic wine list. Spain is known for their wines, just not in this area. The service is great and so is the management! If you want terrific food in a warm environment, visit Ole. You won't be disappointed!

posted on 10/10/2008

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I have been to Ole many times. I have even commented once before. I love everything about the restaurant. It definitely shows how much work and passion was put into the design and concept for Ole. I am actually responding to the post by "Lex" I don't know where in Spain you have tapas, but theirs at Ole are pretty darn close. Who wants the same anyway? They're not trying to copy anyone's food, only put their own interpretation into it. The restaurant will be extremely successful. And thank goodness someone like you doesn't appreciate what the 3 owners are trying to do. They are very talented people and very gracious with their guests. Sorry about your misfortune. I on the other hand can't wait to return!

Lex posted on 10/09/2008

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The only people who can like this food and those prices are the one who have NEVER tried REAL tapas. This restaurant will not stay in business long. The food is not bad, but it it far from being actual Spanish tapas, and the cost is too high for the quality. <br /> Shrimp tapas for example was not at all what I expected, and the Chipirones were just a couple of saute squid rings, not what you can get in Spain. Anyway, nice tray, but they will not last.

posted on 10/02/2008

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I thought it was absolutley fabulous. It was something different than your usual restaurant. I left the hustle & bustle of rush hour of Kirkwood hwy & walked into a soothing relaxing atomosphere. The service was friendly & awesome. From the hostess, to the bartender, to our service to the owner. They were gracious & a dining experience that one wants. The food was great. Many flavors & much fun!!!! <br />

Josh posted on 09/13/2008

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No, I didn't mindlessly rate them 10 in each quality. This place deserved it. I've been waiting for a tapas place, they're a tapas place, so we got tapas. Lots of them. I think we ordered almost every tapa on the menu. The only food I ordered that wasn't a tapa was the gazpacho which tasted just like how I had it in Barcelona without the garnishing. The prices are reasonable averaging about $6 per tapa. It's a nice restaurant and our waitress was extremely personable and made the visit much more enjoyable. I'll definitely be back. <br /> <br /> The suggestions I would have would be to give more bread, perhaps include a complimentary plain baked loaf along with the tapas. I wish the bar was set up differently. It looked nice, but seemed out of place and awkward like it was there more for decoration than a place to sit and have a few drinks and tapas.<br /> <br /> They have a website so be sure to check out their menu before you go. Not sure URL's are allowed here, so but their domain name is oletapaslounge

posted on 08/20/2008

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Never had Tapas, food was great, good descriptions on the menu, my only regret was I should have ordered more. Will be back

posted on 08/18/2008

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I had never tried tapas before, let alone Spanish food... but so far so good. Me and a few friends gave it a shot and the food is delicious! Everything we tried was cooked and seasoned to perfection. So many great flavors! The only thing is it's a bit pricey -- for me at least. The service was ok, not perfect but I'm sure they'll get better after they've been open a while. Overall -- I'll definitely be back, but not probably not as often as I would like due to the $$ situation.

Blair posted on 08/09/2008

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Very good food. Quite good service. The food was authentic and very tasty. It rivals the type of quality you would expect from a Spanish restaurant in northern Jersey. We will be back,<br /> <br /> <br />

posted on 08/06/2008

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This place is so full of attitude you can feel it at the front door. Whereas I appreciate what they are trying to offer to the local restaurant scene in Newark, they need cut the stylish chic and offer a comfortable place to be. Which is what Tapas is supposed to be! Unfortunately I do not recommend going here at all.

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