Chef Townsend Wentz, Gordana Kostovski, and their crew have opened Oloroso, a muy guapo Spanish tapas specialist, at 1121 Walnut St., where it shares a bustling Washington Square West block with the Irish Pub, Moriarty's, Caribou Cafe, Bareburger, Destination Dogs, Spicy Memory, and Matt & Marie's.
Wentz — whose stock is high with Townsend, the East Passyunk French gem, and A Mano, the Italian BYOB at 23rd Street and Fairmount Avenue — revamped the narrow storefront previously occupied by Petruce et al.
As part of the work, which they did themselves, they exposed a wall along the small staircase connecting the barroom up to the dining room/kitchen. It's been converted into a room-size wine cellar. Bill Strobel contributed a wall mural depicting the Conquest of Mallorca, based on works at the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
Vibe is buzzy, and the place to be is the mahogany bar, beneath the barrel-shaped light fixtures.
Bar list is heavy on sherry and vermouth — as 20 varieties of sherry and one on tap, along with a cider and four beers. (Makes sense, given that Oloroso, Spanish for "scent," refers to a style of premium Spanish sherry found in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles.)
Wentz is refining the menu at the moment — as it opened only a few days ago — but count on 20 tapas including bacalao croquettes, tortilla de patata, fabada asturiana, squid ink rice (with calamari and shrimp), and La Medula (wood-roasted bone marrow, baby turnips, roasted mushrooms, and Madeira); three paellas; and share plates, including a porterhouse and half-pig's head. Figure on tapas priced at $4 to $15 per, and entrees in the high $20s.
» READ MORE: More photos of Oloroso
Hours are 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, with the kitchen open till midnight.