Sunday, February 12, 2012
It’s another brisk morning here in Valencia, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue. We have just finished breakfast thanks to a trip I made to El Parisien. I also picked up a newspaper along the way, so we will just kick back and relax on this Sunday. My cold is about 90% gone and another easy day will probably serve to make sure that Monday will be a day when I can go back to all my normal activities.
Yesterday morning was filled with the usual activities and we decided that we would go out for lunch and have Sunday be a day when we had lunch at home. We hit the streets a little after 2:00 with no fixed destination in mind. We walked by a couple of places that we tend to frequent, but we kept on going. After exploring a couple of narrow winding streets we found ourselves close to La Plaza del Árbol and we knew that there was a restaurant close by that was on our list of places to try. In less than two minutes we found ourselves seated at a window table at La Comisaría.
La Comisaría is another boutique restaurant that has recently opened in Valencia. The owners are friends of Mike and Santi and that is how we found out about this spot. The space is small with room for a dozen people on the ground floor and enough space for some thirty people on the floor above. Our table was directly opposite the cooking area and we had a perfect view of every dish that was prepared while we were there.
The menu features a variety of vegetarian dishes, fish dishes and meat dishes. Everything is served tapas style and that means that whatever dish is ordered goes into the center of the table as it is meant for sharing. We began with an eggplant dish that consisted of thin slices of eggplant that had been cooked off on the grill and then covered with a pesto sauce. Next came a plate of langoustines that had been coated with crumbs from crushed shrimp chips and then pan-fried. Our last dish was a plate of migas made with morcilla and black truffles that was sitting on a bed of pureed leeks and mashed potatoes. If you are not sure what migas are here is a link that will clarify the matter for you http://spanishfood.about.com/od/spanishfoodfaqs/f/what-are-migas.htm. Everything that we tried was superb. We also had the opportunity to watch Carlos, the chef, prepare a number of other dishes for a party of four that came in when we were about halfway through our meal.
Carlos is originally from Barcelona and began his kitchen apprenticeship when he was fifteen. He has cooked in a number of different restaurants and watching him prepare a variety of dishes it is clear that he is both skilled and inventive. I jokingly said to him that in addition to cooking skills, it helps to be a surgeon and an architect so that one can construct what, in the end, are tasty and eye appealing dishes.
There was only one server in the room and that was Ana. Ana is originally from Rumania and has spent time in Pasadena, California. She has been in Valencia for a number of years now and really likes it, as do her sisters when they come to visit. As each dish came to our table Ana would give us a detailed description of what we were looking at. She also recommended a lovely Valencian red wine that went perfectly with the three dishes we had ordered. She asked if we wanted dessert and we were unable to resist a brownie topped with a praline cream. Coffee was in order and so was a chupito or two. It was close to 4:30 when we pushed back from the table, said our goodbyes and made our way home.
We were in for the evening. I worked on my translation of the Dean Dill article and was able to finish it and send it off to Dean. I also worked on another effect from Woody Aragón’s book. We decided to watch a movie last night and we chose a French film entitled “The Names of Love.” Here is a link to the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn9MqF8R9S0. It was a funny, yet thought provoking film. When the movie was over, we watched the latest episode of Glee. When we shut off the TV it was close to midnight and we decided that our best decision would be to go to bed and so we did.