A Travellerspoint blog

Sa Rascassa

The title is where we had dinner tonight. Troy coming at you tonight for the first time this blog. I have to say Dawn has really done an awesome effort here. This has been a magnificent trip to date. What is most compelling so far, as demonstrated again tonight, is the gastronomic movement, organically focused, mimimalistic approach these chefs are bringing to the table. Second observation is the amazing wines at unbelievable prices that we never see in the states. The latter experience was similar in Italy. I can't recall drinking awesome Priotat and Riberia del Duero, with tapas, all night, and spending what little we did for the duration we exhausted.

Tonight we commented, as we emerged ourselves in a 2004 Reserva from Rioja (18 euro, 95% Tempranillo, 100% amazing), that our wine experience has been nothing short of fantastic. Even the dinner last night at an organic restaurant had but one tinto on the menu for like 10 euro and it opened up with really nice flavors to our delight. The wineries have been nothing short of surprising, pulling something out that was unexpected.

In reflection of tonights menu we were taken back to the minimilistic wonders of our tapas experience at La Tapas Madre two days ago. The attatched picture is of Dawn's main course, Beans with Baby Squid. This was both an amazing combination but also minimalistic with nothing more than onions, beans, calamari and maybe some tarragon - outstanding. Dawn commented and I agree, the cooking here so far is like our cooking at home only substituting garlic with more onion reductions.

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We also decided to go all out on dessert tonight, something we have not given much attention to- WoW!!!
Dawn orders this simple goat cheese with honey. The goat cheese is like a cross between ricotta and goat with the creamiest of textures and the honey was out of this world. I go with chocolate stones- I am thinking this could be anything rocky, hard and chocolatey- NO, this is the greatest genache, formed in the shape of rocks and dusted with cocoa.

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Blogging is exhausting- ttyl.

Posted by dtbradley 13:51 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Tonights Tapas

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Below is a picture of tonights tapas at the place we are staying. We found out that the restaurant at our place is closed so no snacks or tapas tonight at the restaurant. After getting the car we left Barcelona and headed to Figurers where the Dali museum is located. After touring the museum (that man was a freak! Not sure how much Charlotte would have liked his museum.), we headed for our hotel. Because we knew the restaurant was closed and there wasn't really any good place to eat in Figurers, we thought we would try and find a store to get some pan (bread) & olive oil. We searched Figurers and didn't find anything so we thought we would just get on the road. As we got closer we got more lost, the Garmin Randy & Charlotte loaded us works well until the small towns then the streets are so close together the Garmin and we get confused. It worked in the end and we would have been really lost without it!

So we checked into our room and the woman who checked us in booked us a reservation for 8:30 tonight. It was 4:00 pm and we were starving and tired of driving. But we jumped back in the car to go to Begur (we are calling the town bugger) and get some tapas. When we got there we saw a small shop and thought this was a way better idea so we stumbled through the language, got some great olive oil, bread, manchego, chorizo, and Serrano jamon that we are eating with a wine we purchased yesterday.

Tomorrow is our driving day to Basque country.

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Posted by dtbradley 08:56 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Costa Brava

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Below is a picture from the Vintage Hotel which is where we are staying for the night.

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Posted by dtbradley 08:51 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Sorry Randy

I title this blog "sorry Randy" as I am sorry that Randy missed this opportunity for the wine tours.

What I have forgotten to mention along the way is that a few times now as we have been touring people will respond to us in French. We can't figure out why thy think we are French and we know that no one in France would mistake us for French :). So it was funny that our guide for the wine tour was raised in Burgundy.

It was about a 2 hour drive to the Priorat region. The first stop was a winery called Buil & Gine'. Troy tells me that we can get this wine at home. We had a wine tour where they showed us the grounds and the wine making facility. We then tasted three wines. I started with the Rose while Troy started with the young red. We then had two older wines. They call them young or old based on how long the wine takes to be sold. The main grapes used in Priorat are Grenache and Carignan and then they tend to add in some cab or merlot and/or syrah in their blends. After we bought a couple wines we headed to the first small town called Gratallops, and visited a small winery named Devinssi. When we got there the wine maker had his friend Uri who was from St. Petersburg there to translate. He did an ok job at translating, but we found we knew what he was getting at most of the time. The winery was contained in two very small 13 century buildings. When we went to the second building where they stored the casks we saw a very old cask marked rancio 1963. We asked what it was and the wine maker said it was wine. Yes we have found wine older than us. He then found a bottle and poured some into it for tasting. (Here is a link that describes rancio http://www.proz.com/kudoz/spanish_to_english/wine_oenology_viticulture/437420-vino_rancio.html)

We then tasted their two wines and the rancio which looked and smelled like a port, but had chestnut overtones. We ended up buying three wines plus we got a gift wine. Next we went to lunch one of the items we had was black rice which is a local dish made using the ink of the squid. Yum.

Lastly we were off to Dominic en Porrera which was in the small town of Porrera. We drive into town and meet up with the owner / wine maker who has us get into his car. He then proceeds to drive us on very narrow roads to his vineyard which is on a very steep hill and he proceeds to drive up to the top on a small rocky road! Beautiful views of the vineyard. We then went back down to his tasting room and tasted three different wines which were very tasty. We bought 3 bottles and again got a gift bottle. We then headed back to Barcelona.

On the first night we met a couple from LA. So we hooked up with them for dinner, but didn't stay out nearly as late.

Today we are headed up to the Costa Brava. We may try and stop at the Park Guell on our way out and then of to the Salvador Dali museum in Figures.

Posted by dtbradley 23:14 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

The band

This is the band at the park

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Posted by dtbradley 22:56 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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