Rias de Galicia specializes in seafood and the cooking of Galicia--that area of northwest Spain that I'd love to visit at some point. It's also a very highly regarded restaurant, possibly one of Ferran Adria's favorites, and run by a couple of his partners. To not indulge in the tasting menu seemed foolish. Yet when we were done with the meal, the missus advised that we should have just ordered the regular stuff. We'll probably never know who was right. For my part, I had an outrageously good meal, very good service, and wonderful wines.
When I saw the tweezers being placed on the table, I thought "uh boy, an overly precious meal is ahead of us." To some extent that was the case. But the food was all grounded in top-notch high-quality seafood, and not futzed with too much. Here is the run-down of this exceptional meal, with some brief thoughts.
Anchovies, smoked roasted peppers, and manchego. Who said you shouldn't mix cheese and seafood. Silly Italians. This fish was as pure as the driven snow. As we segued into France during the latter part of this trip, anchovies on our plates--well, my plate--became more and more prevalent. This was a wonderful thing.
Croquettes. Not cod. Not cheese. But rather shrimp and spider crab. Expertly fried. Were we drinking Cava during this course? I don't remember, but I sure hope so.
Since last year's trip to Paris, I have come to associate France with oysters. And now I'll associate Spain with oysters. With "Peruvian ceviche" in this case. While I lean toward a simple, basic preparations of oysters (you know, opened up and served), I can appreciate a dash of herbed oil here, and some micro greens there, and how about some caviar over there. I have no problem with that stuff at, all.
A salad of what up until now I thought was tuna. No, it was bonito. Little crunchy lettuce cups with fresh fish and other delicate flourishes.
Razor clams have never been my favorite clam, and clams aren't high on my list of tasty bivalves. This dish made me turn the corner on these long little freaks. Served with what I figured for a Thai curry sauce. Judging by the razor clam that made its way to the missus' napkin, she was not as much of a fan.
Once again, the paella was stellar, and didn't resemble anything that I've ever had in the states. We are missing something special.
Monkfish stew. Along with some other fish of course. In a light tomato-based sauce. My goodness. Double the portion and put it over pasta and wow, you'd have a meal that would make Italy jealous.
As good as the seafood was, the last savory course of suckling pig ribs blew us away. Crispy skin, buttery fat, tender meat. Would it kill them to serve two per person? Because I'd eat 'em all.
Desserts, of course, were no throw-aways. The selection included the work of Paco Roig, who from what I can tell is a very well-regarded dessert guy in Barcelona. Serious stuff, here.
I can hardly believe that we only had one meal ahead of us in Spain, before heading off to France. I'll likely get to that post in the next three months, if my past progress on this series is any indication. And until that day comes, keep your ear to the grindstone
Rias de Galicia : Carrer de Lleida, 7, 08004 : Barcelona, Spain : +34 934 24 81 52