Sunday, January 13, 2013
We are still in recovery mode from all the holiday hoopla, so our activity yesterday was limited to seeking out a new place for lunch. Ricard Camarena has opened three restaurants in Valencia in the past months. We have already sampled the fare at The Market Bar, which is located in the Mercado Central. There are no tables, but there is a bar with counter service. After 1:00 it is almost impossible to find a seat at the bar and the space closes down at 3:00 when the market itself closes its doors. We decided that we would give his Canalla Bistro a try.
It is located close by the Russafá Market in the neighborhood that has become the spot for innovative cuisine. It took us about twenty minutes to walk there and only a few tables were occupied, but soon after we were seated every table was occupied. The space is long and narrow. There are tables on each side of a rather narrow aisle with enough space for the wait staff to easily serve at every table. Even though it was Saturday there was a menu of the day, as well as a sharing menu. After studying both options, we opted for the sharing menu.
The sharing menu consists of ten dishes and is, in essence, a tasting menu. The portions are small, but we can attest to the fact that one is hard pressed to finish every dish without achieving that too full feeling. In no particular order we sampled the following: pastisset de aguardiente con boniato y foie – a creamed mixture of foie and sweet potato sandwiched between two layers of a cookie-like pastry -, croquetas de pollo, buñuelos de bacalao, ensalada de cintas de calabacín, fideos de arroz, parmesano y sesame – a salad with rice noodles, strips of zucchini, topped with parmesan and sesame seeds -, vitello tomato, bocatas de langostino, alitas de pollo, mozzarella de bufala con berenjena asada y granada, hamburguesa de pollo and torrija caramelizada con helado de mantecao.
We enjoyed the variety of tastes that these dishes offered. The newer restaurants seem to be focused on fusion cuisine and many traditional Spanish dishes a receiving an infusion of Asian tastes. The hamburguesa de pollo was supposed to be a beef hamburger, but I assume they made the substitution because they had run out of them. I did not care for the “chicken hamburger” which appeared to be a round chicken sausage because it was too salty for my taste. Everything else was very enjoyable,
After our meal-ending coffee we stopped by Taste of America and picked up some bagels, some tea and some oatmeal. We then made our way back home where we spent the rest of our afternoon and evening. For the most part we either read or played on the computer. We did watch an episode of Antique Roadshow thanks to the PBS app on the iPad. We were in bed before midnight.