AS soon as you go down the steps into Las Ramblas you are instantly spirited away.

Tucked inside the Treasury Building in Palmyra Square the tapas restaurant has the feel of a busy, atmospheric and yet relaxing nightspot.

It could be in a trendy street in Manchester city centre or London or in its namesake of Barcelona.

The dimmed lights, bustle of activity, smell of the gorgeous food and the chatter of diners drinking Rioja in ridiculously large wine glasses all creates an ambiance that is pretty much unrivalled in Warrington.

We were invited to review the restaurant, that was opened by Charles Dobosz just two years ago, on a Friday night and it was telling that every table was taken.

But although it was busy the whole experience felt laid back – the staff have a way of making you feel at ease.

What makes tapas great is the sharing aspect which makes it ideal for a date – or in our case a couple of hours' escape from the responsibilities of being a parent.

And the menu is a lot of fun presented in a sort of classic versus contemporary style so we had a bit from each part.

Among my favourites were 'contemporary' ibérico pork ribs in honey, which were sweet and so tender that the meat slipped off the bone, and the 'classic' harissa chilli chicken with serrano pepper that was satisfyingly spicy without blowing my head off.

My wife is a vegetarian so my only slight niggle ahead of ordering was thinking that most of my meal would be meat-free.

But I should not have worried because some of Las Ramblas' veggie options are among the best.

Whether you're a card carrying Vegetarian Society member or Warrington's biggest carnivore you need to try the Valencian deep fried brie – crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside – it is just amazing.

So too was the goat's cheese and spinach empanada where the flavours balanced each other out perfectly.

Always take a peek at the specials too because here you can find some of Las Ramblas' more experimental dishes inspired by food trends, new techniques and travel experiences.

I loved the mini steak fajita tacos which brought a taste of Mexico to the proceedings. The specials change every month.

The only criticism was that we were waiting quite a long time for one of our dishes. The restaurant's policy is to bring out the food when it's ready so you get it at its freshest.

This is understandable and on the whole it works well as it means you're always being brought something new to try. But occasionally, like on this occasion, one of your choices takes a little too long and arrives just as your appetite is starting to wane.

That brings me to a word of warning – your eyes will no doubt be bigger than your stomach so try to resist the urge to order too much.

Probably three dishes each with a side (the gordal olives in orange and oregano are fantastic) will suffice. We went a little overboard and I found myself admitting defeat before dessert.

Another tip would be to let the team recommend a wine for you from the extensive menu. My knowledge is pretty limited but I fell in love with the full bodied, oaky Rioja Sierra Cantabria that we washed all the glorious food down with.

For Spanish food, for atmosphere, for a good night out you can't beat Las Ramblas.