Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tapas: The word itself is like that song you love until the radio plays it so much you want to drive a sharpened pencil into your ear every time you hear it. It's a word that's been indiscriminately exploited and bastardized in North America for over a decade. It's tough to put our finger on exactly when the bandwagon began, but once the popular spanish concept was discovered by the sort of opportunistic restauranteur who's constantly reliant on "the next big thing" rather than the next great chef, they beat the tapas drum until a perfectly harmless word became polarizing. Suddenly, restaurants serving small portions designed to share became more popular than the captain of the high school football team. But as the portions got smaller, the prices frequently remained relatively high and the convivial, communal heart of what tapas are really about got lost somewhere in the profit margins. The word still lingers in our vernacular, but after the reprisal of customers scorned with bills as long as your arm and unsatisfied appetites, waiters catching you use the term these days are frequently quick to correct you with whatever buzz word management has carefully coached them to use in it's place.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
So your favorite brunch spots have been overrun by clowns who can't take a hint and keep it moving when they're done eating, oblivious it seems to the crowd of people standing on each others toes in the doorway, even less so that the restaurant would probably really like to turn that table. They've paid for their brunch and they appear to be under the impression that such a transaction also entitles them to an unlimited lingering allocation. So these days when you arrive, there's an employee standing in the entrance with pen and paper handy and a complacent look on their face. They tell you it's a half hour wait for a table but they'd be happy to take your cell phone number down and call you back when a few seats open up. Next thing you know, it's nearly noon and you're approaching malnutrition nursing a hateful hangover. At the palpable risk of turning the latest brunch spot we loved into the same tragic scenario, it is after all, the purpose of this website to fill you in.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Recipient of two Michelin stars and rated number 4 on the 2013 World's 50 Best Restaurants list (amongst the top 10 every year since 2006), Mugaritz is a worldwide culinary destination. Located in the hills of Errenteria, a 20 minute drive from San Sebastián in the northeastern-most part of Spain's Basque region, chef Andoni Luis Anduriz has solidified his own culinary legacy at Mugaritz after cutting his teeth in the legendary kitchens of Ferran Adrià's El Bulli and Martìn Berasategui's namesake restaurant.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Nothing if not versatile, paella is a dish that embodies Spanish culture. Frequently considered to be Spain's national dish though unofficially so, Paella Valenciana is a rice dish named after the paellera; the wide-bottomed, shallow pan it's prepared in. Like smoked meat in Montreal we found it advertised on every second street corner and in nearly every menu throughout the country, but we remained skeptical of the opportunists looking to swindle tourists. Paella's origins can be traced to Valencia, a city on the east coast of Spain bordering the Mediterranean Sea and that's where we focused our attention on this regional specialty. Founded in 1888, La Marcelina has been serving several variations of paella in their picturesque location on the boardwalk by the beach for 125 years.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
On a nondescript corner in the Chueca district of Madrid, somewhere between the gay village and the bright lights of the Gran Via lies Casa Salvador, a bastion of unpretentious home-style cooking amidst a rapidly evolving landscape. Immortalized by the bullfighters, Madrileño high-society and '50s era writers and Hollywood stars like Orson Wells, Ernest Hemingway, and Ava Gardner that frequented it's dining room, Salvador is truly a restaurant of legendary proportion.