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THE TIP

A tapas hangout for cool cats

Jack and Mary Markov of Philadelphia at Tres Gatos in Jamaica Plain. Jack and Mary Markov of Philadelphia at Tres Gatos in Jamaica Plain. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
By Devra First
Globe Staff / March 18, 2011

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TRES GATOS 470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain

617-477-4851

How much grooviness can you fit in one small space? Quite a lot, as Tres Gatos proves. Formerly book and music store Rhythm & Muse, it expanded its mission and got a new name. Now it’s a tapas bar. In addition to an eclectic selection of vinyl and volumes, you can get your hands on the likes of jamón ibérico and tortilla espanola, plus glasses of cava, Rioja, and sherry.

The shop and the tapas bar are connected. If someone plunked a bar down in the middle of a living room, it would feel like this cozy spot, with dark brown walls and wood floors. There’s also a communal table. And the kitchen has a strong culinary pedigree. Chef Marcos Sanchez comes from Dante, sous chef Lydia Reichert from Craigie on Main.

They’ve put together a tempting menu of charcuterie, cheese, and other small plates. You’ll find olives and marinated white anchovies, country pate and chorizo, Manchego and Idiazabal. Other offerings include salt cod brandade, grass-fed beef empanadas, Moroccan lamb meatballs, and confit chicken leg with escarole and raisins. For dessert, there’s pear tart or the mandatory churros and chocolate.

The wine list takes you on a trip through Spain, through regions such as Rias Baixas, Ribera del Duero, and Priorat. Jerez is represented as well, with several sherries on offer. When it comes to beer, though, Spain gets left behind in favor of Ommegang’s Hennepin Farmhouse Saison, Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout, and more.

What could be better than sipping sherry and nibbling tapas after a bit of record shopping? Tres Gatos has everything a cool cat needs.

DEVRA FIRST

Devra First can be reached at dfirst@globe.com.