December 10, 2008

Olé, olé...Olé, olé...

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Tonight I caught up with a friend and unwound over a bottle of wine and some simple food. We were struggling with the choice of venue, when I suddenly thought of Olé. The idea of tapas and wine seemed exactly what my friend had in mind.

I brought a bottle of 2001 BOND Matriarch, a wine that is big enough to go with heavy food. As expected the wine was massively concentrated, with nose of vanilla and caramel on top of red fruits. The wine is still very young, and the tannins are still very much in-your-face. This would need another couple of years before reaching maturity.

We started with 4 tapas, beginning with - what else - jamón de bellota "JJJJJ". Both of us absolutely love jamón, and this was a perfect way to start the evening. The Jabugo jamón was pretty decent - not as juicy and fatty as I would have liked, but I was thankful that it wasn't dry.

Pimientos rellenos de bacalao was pretty good. Our waitress served each of us with one pepper, then scooped lots of the garlic and pepper sauce onto our plates so that we can soak it up with bread. The bits of bacalao in the pepper were yummy.

Croquetas de bacalao were delicious - done exactly the way I wanted them. Soft and creamy potato and bacalao filling enclosed inside a thin layer of crispy batter. I could have had 5 of these myself...

Finally, one of my favorites which unfortunately was not to my friend's liking: morcilla de Burgos y sobrasada Mallorquina. I have always loved morcilla, the Spanish blood sausage with lots of spices. Here it is served on top of a slice of bread, as one would see in a tapas bar. Very yummy.

The two of us shared a plate of costillas de cerdo al Mojopicón. The roasted pork ribs were pretty yummy, and the garlic sauce was absolutely delish! To top it all off, the string fries on the side - about the size of spaghetti - were heavenly. Yes, I could have eaten a whole plate of these fries...

We shared an order of cheese, and finally I took in the crema Catalan by myself... The waitress came and poured Cointreau on top of the custard, then proceeded to light it. After the blue flames died down, I started digging in. The hard sugar coating on top now tastes of oranges thanks to the Cointreau. What a way to end the evening!

We were satisfied without being stuffed, and look forward to our next meal together in the new year.

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