Wordpress Themes

JEFF KOEHLER

  • writer
  • photographer
  • cook
  • traveler
August 15th, 2007

savor: Spain/ Valencia

CASA MONTAÑA
José Benlliure, 69
Valencia
34/963.67.23.14
www.emilianobodega.com

For delicious, straightforward local tapas and a book-length wine list that is perhaps the city’s largest, neighbors, politicians, artists, and the city’s best-known chefs gather in the rather salty fisherman’s quarter of El Cabanyal at the 170-year-old bodega Casa Montaña. High ceilings, marble bar, few stools, massive dark barrels (one side of vermouth, the other of brandy), and heaps of character.
Go for: conversation with the owner, Emiliano García.
Order: salt cod croquettes with pine nuts.
And: ajo arriero, a pureed garlic and potato dip eaten cold.
For dessert: a custard called tocino de cielo (“pork from heaven”) topped with tomato marmalade.
Try: a glass of Alicante wine from Enrique Mendoza.
Know: that the English menu isn’t as complete as the Spanish one.
At night: take a taxi.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Spain  |  Comment now »

August 15th, 2007

savor: Spain/ Valencia

TORRIJOS
Doctor Sumsi, 4
Valencia
34/963.73.29.49
www.restaurantetorrijos.com

Still in his early thirties, Josep Quintana is another local prodigy sublimely reinventing traditional dishes, mixing flavors daring proficiency, and offering a handful of truly spectacular rices. Perhaps the best rice I have eaten in my life was here, a moist one with partridge, foie gras, and the smoke of burnt acorn twigs.
Worth a trip to Spain: moist rice with partridge, foie gras, and the smoke of burnt acorn twigs.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Spain  |  Comment now »

August 15th, 2007

savor: Spain/ Valencia

CA’ SENTO
Méndez Núñez, 17
Valencia
34/963.30.17.75

Undisputedly the city’s premier restaurant, Ca’ Sento offers the best of Valencia’s creative, contemporary cuisine. Working with simply the finest (often local) ingredients available, Raúl Aleixandre is inventive while remaining true to his Valencian roots. (The restaurant belonged to his mother; she is sometimes still in the kitchen.) He offers splendid rices – carried out in traditional cast-iron pots – among such breathtaking dishes as oyster with apple-flavored ice shavings and grilled turbot with tapioca.
Number of tables: less than ten. Call early for a reservation.
Worth the splurge: yes.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Spain  |  Comment now »

August 15th, 2007

savor: Spain/ Valencia

CASA ROBERTO
Maestro Gozalbo, 19
Valencia
93/963.95.13.61

Perhaps the best choice in the city of Valencia itself for authentic, tradition rices. You can eat it from a pan here and, if you ask, a traditional wooden spoon.
Which paella: paella Valenciana.
If not paella: soupy rice with lobster. Exquisite.
Weekday lunch crowd: local business people.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Spain  |  Comment now »

August 15th, 2007

savor: Spain/ Valencia

CASA CARMINA
Embarcadero, 4
El Saler
34/961.83.02.45

The “dry” paellas at Casa Carmina are among the best in the region, yet it’s the soupy rices – of lobster, of monkfish and mushrooms, of chicken and artichokes, and, especially, of fesols i naps (white beans and turnips, flavored by various parts of pork) – that are spoken of by even the most demanding local rice aficionados in hushed tones of sheer reverence.
Mythical: arròs caldoso amb fesols i naps / soupy rice with white beans and turnips.
Start with: all i pebre / eels in a tomato sauce rich with garlic and pepper.
End with: arandí de calabaza / sweet baked pumpkin with toasted almonds.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Spain  |  Comment now »

August 15th, 2007

savor: Spain/ Valencia

CASA SALVADOR
L’Estany de Cullera
Cullera
34/961.72.01.36
www.casasalvador.com

Good paella is not a given, even around Valencia. Start the hunt in the rice fields that ring the Albufera, the small lake just south of the city. Casa Salvador has two separate rice kitchens, one dedicated solely to classic wide-pan “dry” paellas. Large selection of options; all are fab.
Worth a trip to Spain: paella with boneless duck and tender garlic.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Spain  |  Comment now »

August 15th, 2007

savor: Spain/ Fornells, Menorca

ES PLA
Passeig des Pla
Fornells
34/97.137.66.55

The island’s most indulgent (and celebrated) dish is caldereta de llagosta, a spiny lobster stew, and the most famous place to eat it is at Es Pla in Fornells, a tiny, isolated fishing village on the north coast. Even the Spanish king comes here for the caldereta. Grand and breezy.
Justifiable splurge: caldereta.
Walk off lunch: around the well-protected port huddled at the mouth of a deep reaching bay.
Then: in a car follow the windy road to Cap de Cavalleria, the northernmost tip of the island, to the magnificent lighthouse that sits atop a sheer 300 foot drop to the rolling sea.

Posted by jeffkoehler in  savor: Spain  |  Comment now »

All text and images are ©Jeff Koehler 2007-2009 and cannot be used without his written permission.