We love our tapas, and probably and remain a bit disappointed that the term is becoming a diluted with the use for anything small. Small plates does not equal tapas. Tapas are these marvelous plated dishes from Spain, and are basically snacks and small meals. Since dinner can be served as late as midnight in Spain, you might find yourself bar hopping and sampling a few items from an array of tapas the bar has on hand that evening.
Most likely you will be served several styles of olives, breads, a bit of slow cooked beef, battered squid, sausages or a tortilla de patatas. The more you drink the better the tapas become.