It’s ironic that Tampa-based Ceviche (1216 1st St., 941/952-1036, 5 p.m.–midnight Mon.–Thurs., 5 p.m.–1 a.m. Fri.–Sat., 5–10 p.m. Sun., tapas from $7) established its reputation based on, among other things, the intimate scale of its original location. The Sarasota  outpost, like all the other recently opened Ceviches, is enormous; the four-story 1920s office building oozes history and character from every exposed-brick nook and cranny…but it’s also incredibly loud. Head for the rooftop bar, where the volume at least can dissipate out into the night air.
Still, as with the other restaurants the company operates, the tapas-only menu is delectable and extensive, with over 70 hot and cold small plates to choose from, ranging from braised oxtail and fried chicken livers to cheese plates, grilled asparagus, and hummus; Ceviche also has several enormous paellas that are worth exploring on nights when you know exactly what you want and want a lot of it. Sangria is ceremoniously muddled tableside by a waitstaff who, despite seeming constantly harried, manage to be friendly and helpful.
For a somewhat more low-key tapas experience, Javier’s (6621 Midnight Pass Rd., 941/349-1792, 5–9 p.m. Tues.–Sat., main courses from $17) on Siesta Key  is a bright colorful Peruvian restaurant located in the same strip mall as Miguel’s. With a dozen tapas on the menu, guests can sample Peruvian cuisine, which is a lot like Spanish cuisine but with French and even Chinese shadings. Full-plate entrées are also available.