With a case full of all the non-Spanish foods of my dreams, Sab came to town last weekend and then we both went to town on our appetites as we feasted non-stop in the name of celebration. A belated 21st birthday and the first reunion of us after New York.
It's been a while since I wrote an updated restaurant list. I really need to, for the sake of my own memory, if not for any recommendations people keep asking me for. Some day soon I'll write it out but today is not that day. Instead, I'll just tell you about the 2 places we went to this weekend because every time someone asks me how we spent the weekend, the answer is simply, eating. And dealing with the subsequent food coma. And then eating some more.
Artabria is #3 on Tripadvisor's restaurant list (yes, this is my trusted resource) so I booked their 5-course tasting menu for Saturday lunchtime. Since that time Mumma came last and we struggled through the tasting menu at Árbore de Veira, I learned my lesson to not ever plan proposed feasts for the evening. At least we could spend the rest of the day partially burning off the weight in our stomachs after lunch. It was hard not to compare it to the last menu I had (and slightly unfair to since this was only half the number of plates) but it was really lovely. The service was fast and friendly and again, each dish was explained to us in a mix of English and Spanish so there were a couple of things that I was unsure of until I ate most of it. Between the second, third and fourth plate (vegetable, fish and meat) there was a big crossover with flavours which kind of made it seem a little repetitive and heavier by the time we finished. It wasn't bad but I think it was a shame with so few plates, there wasn't as much flavour variety as you might expect. The portion sizes were pretty perfect, although at the halfway point, we might have questioned if we'd be completely full at the end. Obviously a whole bread basket and the finished menu later, we were sleepy from so much food. The dessert was the perfect end; fruity and light and probably the only kind of dessert we would have been able to manage. A coffee to finish and it was 33€ well spent (eaten) for baby's first celebratory weekend meal.
We walked towards the beach in the direction of home and got caught in the rain while we stood watching the waves. Dinner obviously wasn't necessary that night but we made a persimmon upside-down cake to have for the next day because cake for breakfast is always a good idea.
Sunday lunch was spent at El De Alberto (Tripadvisor's #1) and all I can say is that it was.. and impressive (?!) experience. Our waiter told us that he lived in London for 9 years during his youth so explained, what we thought were, the "specials" from the menu to us and we ordered lobster croquettas and two different plates from the list he'd explained as main dishes to share. The croquettas were insane. I think the best I've ever had and filled with actual pieces of lobster instead of just creamed inside. We got served four each. And then as I was looking around at the other tables, most people had ordered the croquettas too. Except that they were only being served two each. I thought perhaps it was because there was a table of four but then there was a couple behind who only had a portion of two each and another couple with the same size portion. And then, our first "main" came out and it was two individual plates of the same dish and for sure they weren't main dish portion sizes! We panicked momentarily, that we had accidentally ordered double of everything but there was no way since I remembered specifically asking for one of this and one of that and most probably complimented the order with a hand gesture to indicate the number too. And on top of this, the "specials" were clearly not the "specials" except that to this day I still don't quite know why our waiter wanted to specifically explain those dishes. I remember seeing them in the list of "starters" when I looked through the menu but I thought that maybe I was getting confused because it was only in Spanish. I guess I shouldn't underestimate how much I can understand these days, ha. If we weren't in Spain I would have said something to double check our order but I was hungry and self conscious and I didn't want to cause any drama.
We enjoyed what we were given and pretended that I could afford the bill fine if it turned out that we were charged for double portions of everything. Meanwhile, our second "main" was stuffed tomatoes with lamb, and I could see again, that a few tables had ordered the same. So I knew already it was small - literally a single tomato, goddamit. Sab and I made a back-up plan for dessert at home. Then it came out and I swear to god, almost every head of the person eating the very same dish turned to look at what we were being served. We got double the portion.. EACH. As in, we got two tomatoes on a much bigger plate for each of us?! Having already accepted that I'd be paying a bomb for double plates, we ate, skipped the dessert and went straight for the coffee. The waiter gave us the bill with the biggest smile on his face. And holy moly, we did only order one of everything!! Except that that meant nothing made any sense to why we were served two times the food we were meant to! And in fear of ruining our luck, I obviously didn't ask about it. So there was pretty nothing to fault with this place. No wonder it's ranked at the top on Tripadvisor. The waiter was super friendly (no doubt that he had something to do with this whole thing, although I can't even fathom why) and the food was fast and fresh and so so good. Oh and by the way, the bread was served as a sizeable individual roll per person and hot which is clearly the best thing about this restaurant. Eat here. It will be good for you.
At home we finished with more cake and then baked cookies. We ended the weekend with The Lego Movie because ohmygod it is the cutest thing I have ever seen and everything is awesome. When I came home after a long day at work the next day, Sab had cooked us dinner because she is simply the best. A few days of bliss and then she was gone by Tuesday evening.
Come back soon, babyface. You make Monday's better.