Thursday, May 17, 2012

We show off for visitors

The tramontana is blowing again today bringing beautiful blue skies but the wind has a bit of a bite to it. We started off showing our friends around El Port de la Selva in the daylight, exploring the deli, the butcher and the fish shop. Finally, we ended up at the nautica, where our friends received a very warm greeting from the staff.

We drove through the yellow gorse-clad mountain to our first stop, Celler Martin Faixo at Perafita in the Cap de Creus. Mas Perafita is a fourteenth-century stone house, restored in 2004, as part of the program to recover the vineyards of the Alt Emporda. We were greeted by one large short-haired dog, who was quickly moved out of reach of our pats by a lovely,very demanding golden retriever.

We were given a tour through the ancient slate stone building; large windows at one end provided beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards. The lovely wine smell coming from the French oak casks was very stimulating to the palate. Then the wine tasting. First we tried the rose made from merlot and granache then two reds and finally the white wine. We liked them all. Perhaps the biggest surprise was how much we liked the white wine. Our friends stocked up on several  bottles in anticipation of some lively evenings ahead.

By now we were getting quite hungry. Could we find the new restaurant newly opened by three  chefs from El Bulli, Compartir? We headed downhill into Cadeques, and without too much difficulty we found. The entrance was through a beautiful courtyard with orange trees in the old wooden wine buckets that people used for carrying grapes.The rustic restaurant is in a renovated old house with lots of stone and tiles. Compartir means to share food and that is exactly what happens in the relaxed atmosphere. Dishes are ordered to be placed in the centre of the share.

We started off with small bellinis with peach foam on top served with a huge, thin, crispy cracker. This was followed by a lovely, smooth French red wine accompanied by the traditional bread with tomato rubbed into it. Then the endive with melt-in-your-mouth gorgonzola and walnuts was placed in the centre of the table followed by cod fritters with honey foam. Large shrimp as well as crunchy asparagus in tempura batter were so light and the  fried rabbit legs were really flavourful. I really liked the the Iberian rice with trumpet chanterrelles and local botiffarra sausage. Finally, we had grilled sea bass cut into five pieces. Every flavour in the  meal was exceptional.

I was the only one to order dessert which was a warm hazelnut coulis with the lightest strawberry gelato. Mmmmm. So tasty that everyone had to have a mouthful. This was a very special meal to remember in a lovely restaurant, which has only been open for three weeks.

Finally, we drove up the rocky, windswept road to the Cap de Creus. We had a lovely walk around the very end of the cape admiring the strange rock formations and the lovely, blue clear sea. We left the Cap very envious of the couple swimming in the inlet far below us.

No comments: