When I heard that one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus was opening a second location I got excited. When I heard that location would be open for dinner AND have a full bar, I was over the moon. El Arepazo has long been a lunchtime favorite for me, and lots of other Columbusites. Tucked in a small space on Pearl Alley downtown, people line up out the door for delicious Latin food with a Venezuelan kick.
Arepazo Tapas and Wine opened last week at 93 N. High Street in Gahanna, just a block east of the popular Creekside development. This version is much roomier, and the decor is cozy, with soft lighting (pardon the dim photos), lots of natural wood and glass tile. On the menu are a lot of the same great items that keep me coming back to the downtown location: the patacon, empanadas, arepas and more. Arepazo is known far and wide for its addictive spicy cilantro sauce - even cilantro-haters love this stuff - and it makes an appearance with almost every order.
New to the menu are a nice assortment of tapas, including chorizo in red wine, mini-empanadas and fried yuca. The fish burrito entree is generous portion of high-quality tilapia, rice, beans and veggies, served with fries.
The wine selection is a nicely edited list of Latin American and Iberian wines. I found a very reasonably priced Vinho Verde from Portugal that was the perfect foil for that amazing cilantro sauce. Beers also have a Latin American focus, with bottles from Argentina, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
Check out Arepazo Tapas and Wine soon before the line goes around the block!