Shit got real once we stumbled up La Azotea in Sevilla. While we we enjoyed the croquettes and cured tuna and anchovies and Andalusian cuisine, getting a chance to eat a place serving new Spanish cooking was a real treat. We liked La Azotea so much that we returned for a second meal on the tail-end of the trip.
La Azotea is a beautiful, casual place, focusing on local, seasonal ingredients. The menu is concise, and everything reads incredibly well. It was very hard indeed to come up with just a few dishes. But we managed.
This dish was rice paper triangles stuffed with cheese, prawns, and leeks. Right? When it hit the table we immediately knew we were in the hands of a kitchen that understands cooking, plating, and pleasing.
One of the specials of the day was Iberico pork ribs with a garlic/parsley sauce. Absolutely one of the best dishes I've had in a very long time. This will no doubt be on the Top Ten list of 2016.
The pork that we have to suffer through here in the US pales in comparison to the pork you'll find in Spain. Or Italy. Or Portugal. Or most places on the planet I'd think. While our pork is bland and insipid, their pork actually tastes like the flesh came from an animal. A beast of an animal. These ribs had more pork flavor than you'd think was possible. And it was a real pleasure getting some vegetables on a plate. Spain loves their potatoes, but doesn't seem too concerned with vegetables. La Azotea gets it right.
And the pickled peppers. Man this was good.
Through some communication issue, a dish of sea anemone with egg was brought to the table. When I noted that we didn't order it, the server said no problem, just eat it. Which I did. Gleefully. The service, I should note, was fantastic. Energetic, knowledgeable, entertaining. I think this was my first time trying sea anemone. She sure do taste of the sea. This was a great dish. A classic Andalusian dish, done very well.
A salad of tomato, burrata, and basil "gummies" was topped with a lemon sorbet. Just friggin' awesome all the way around. A great way to end a meal.
On our second visit was just as pleasant. This time we sat at the bar. La Azotea is one of the few restaurants with seating at the bar--bars are typically standing affairs.
First up was beef carpaccio. It's the little touches like the fried corn kernels that separate the men from the boys.
I figured there was a good chance that the "roast beef burger" wouldn't be an actual burger. And it wasn't. It was, well, roast beef. Beautiful, roast beef, with manchego, served with a small salad and great fried potatoes. Here again, it's the touches. The bun, which too many chefs don't think about, was excellent. Soft but just firm enough for the sandwich. Not the buttery brioche that you too often see with burgers. Just a regular, outstanding, bun. This dish, by the way, was something like 5 euro. An absurd value. We're still thinking about this sandwich weeks later. I can taste it.
Last up was cod with stuff I don't recall. Was it almond bechamel? Possibly. Was it excellent, subtle, delicious, moist, and a pleasure, not to mention an incredible value? Absolutely.
I have to imagine La Azotea is one of the best restaurants in Sevilla. It simply has to be.
La Azotea : Calle Mateos Gago, 8 : Sevilla, Spain (with several locations for your pleasure and convenience)