Sunday, 7 August 2016

El Faro de El Puerto - a restaurant find in El Puerto de Santa María


El Faro de El Puerto, recommended by the Michelin guide is a true find and offers incredible value for money.


* * * 

I happened to be exploring El Puerto de Santa María on my birthday, which these days is much like another Yom Kippur - a day for reflection and review of yet another year gone by. Like with Will Ferrell flms, the reviews just keep getting worse.


- I'm another year older (and yes, none the wiser...)

- And also a couple of pounds heavier (yet not as far as my bank account is concerned...)
- Yet my career has not progressed one inch
- I still haven't managed to find a sport that would take me into their Olympic team
- The number of my Nobel nominations is still a rather depressing zero
- I'm still not married to George Clooney

I'm starting to think I might have to start getting used to the fact that some of those life goals will never come true. Especially the last one. 


So, I decided to start the process over a lunch at El Faro de El Puerto






El Faro-group has another very decent restaurant in Cádiz, too, but this offers a fresher, more modern take on things. The location, though, is not very convenient and walk from the city centre takes easily 30 minutes. 

So, I arrived not only depressingly George Clooney-free, but also drenched in sweat with one of my sandals strapped to my foot with a hair band as it had melted in the scorching sun. 


A taxi is not a bad choice, then. 






The restaurant consists of the main dining room and La Barra, which serves a selection of smaller dishes. 

Named after lighthouse, the walls are decorated with paintings of famous lighthouses from around the world.








The restaurant has accumulated fame with its extensive and interesting wine list

Prices, though, are very reasonable - as tends to be the case in Spain. 





I settled for a 9-course tasting menu (those pounds don't pile on themselves - it takes some work, too!) which, with wines included, was €58.

Did I already mention the wines were included? And that it meant two bottles - one white and another red?







White happened to come from a local producer Osborne, in whose cellars I'd just spent rather a delightful morning.





Firts some oyster and seaweed. Afrodisiacs are always so much appreciated when the company you'll be spending rest of the days is no other than you yourself...





Then I was on to my daily dose of octopus - today it was ceviche. Excellent vinaigrette brough some edge to the dish.

(Oysters and octopus? Ooh, what a day.)






The fruity and acidic cod  was a tad too similar to the previous dish, but a lovely, fresh dish in any case. 






Next course combined two Andalusian classics: deep-fried aubergines berenjenas fritas and Córdoba's take on gazpacho, salmorejo.

For blog's recipe of this cold and refreshing soup, just click here.





First of the platos was smoked duck breast carpaccio with truffle oil. One of my favourites.

(Oysters and octopus and duck? This was a goooood day.)






Next stop was tuna with papaya, avocado puré and saffron-infused sitruc chutney.  Tuna was done just right.

(Oysters and octopus and duck and tuna? A really good day!)







The lamb, stuffed with vegetables looked so depressingly traditional I didn't expect much fro it, but it was in fact really good. Rather surprisingly though the true star of the dish was the couscous, which was hands down the best I've ever had. 

(Oysters and octopus and duck and tuna and lamb? More of these days, please!)






Then some chocholate...





... and off to the desert. Helado de queson translates as cheese ice cream, so you can imagine I wasn't exactly clapping my hands with excitement. Luckily, it was not made of, say, manchego and the cream cheese lent it a lovely tartness. 

(Want to hear a little secret? This is one of the recipes I've been working on for my up and coming book!)






And in case I was still hungry (I wasn't) there was coffee and some sweets to go with that, too. So, not only was everything good, there was plenty of it. Bang for buck? Hell, yes.






Ahh - quite simply the most enjoyable 165 minutes of my whole trip.

And with our stomachs full it's time to head over to the last corner of the Sherry country: Sanlúcar de Barrameda! Any of you familiar with it yet?



___________________


ANYONE FOR SECONDS?



      vesimelonigazpacho




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