Thursday, 21 February 2013

Ronda for foodies

The oldest and probably the most beautiful part of Ronda can be found across the bridge, away from the town centre.

Most of the tourists don't seem to have discovered this part of the town, which is a shame. Although there are nice places for lunch in the town side of the bridge as well, the best restaurants are located right here.

We decided to treat ourselves (read: The Gentleman decided to treat us) to a lunch at perhaps the best one of them all: Restaurant Albacara in the charming hotel of Montelirio. The restaurant is recommended by the Tripadvisor, Michelin guide and its Spanish equivalent, Repsol. Our expectations were therefore high. But so were the views...

Everything on the menu seemed tempting and we were spoiled for choice. To start with we shared a partridge and quail salad. The toastiness of the local honey balanced beautifully the acidity of the vinagrette. The size of the salad was huge...

...but then again, so was the size of my main: grilled lamb. The crisp skin hid lamb so succulent The Gentleman declared it one of the best he's ever had.

The Gentleman's venison fillet was cooked to perfection and arrived on a bed of truffle risotto that packed a punch so earthy and pungent that there was absolutely no question of the authenticity of these truffles.

We definitely would not have had room for a dessert... but let's face it, it would have been shame to say no. Yours truly, ever the cheese challenged, actually found herself pondering over goatcheesecake, but in the end I had come to terms with the limited capacity of my stomach.

The local dessert wines (on the house, claro que si...), Muscat and Pedro Ximenez, complimented the liquor and fig ice cream and orange truffles with apricotey orange sauce perfectly.

Dios mios, what a lunch! Who knew culture could be this delicious!

Our lunch also intruduced us to our new best friend: local rosé wine by a genius of a man called Friedrich Schatz. This Merlot- and Pinot Noir had wonderful summery lightness, yet it possessed body that held its head high during the entire lunch. 

The production of the eco wine has been limited to 900 bottles, so before we headed home, we snatched a couple to take back home with us. Now there are only 897 left  so you'd better hurry...!

Ronda (too) is great for sampling and stocking up on local specialities. There are wonderful little shops selling honey, meats, cakes pressed from dried fruits and different preserves - such as divine chestnut mousse.

And even if your sweet tooth gets the better of you, you're in good hands in Ronda: they also have a small bakery ran by the local nuns. They might be committed to chastity, poverty and that sorts of things but my God- they sure have no shortage of sugar in that place!

Sugar, almonds, sugar, olive oil, sugar, local cider, sugar...

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