Friday, December 14, 2012

Casa Anita, a little gem in Cadaques

It was warm but very windy, which always limits what you can do in a day. Today we decided to take the trip over the mountain to Cadaques and visit Casa Anita, a restaurant that had been recommended to us by an Irishman working in a cutlery shop in Barcelona. We had located the restaurant on an earlier trip, up a narrow back street just behind the beachfront, but it had been closed for November holidays.

Casa Anita has been serving customers for over forty years. The son of the original owners, along with his wife and sister now run the restaurant. If I understood correctly as I listened in to the owner speaking with some French customers, the mum and dad thought that restaurants were getting too commercial, and so opened their own restaurant, serving a limited menu of fresh and homemade food. The tables sit 10 or more people and years ago the place could be filled with hippies.

The restaurant resembles an Italian cantina. It is in the bottom part of a house with arches leading into the two rooms. The ceiling and walls look like the original stones but now plastered over. Once seated at one of the long tables the owner sat down to tell us what the fresh food of the day was from a limited selection, but we knew that would be the case before coming. In fact I thought that they would just bring you food and you wouldn't get a choice.

First, lovely tasting olives. These were followed by bread and oil, the oil harvested only a week ago. I have never tasted oil like it. Delicious. I don't normally eat much bread but I must admit I couldn't stop. Our starter was hot grilled eggplant, red pepper and onions with white beans. This was mixed at the table with more oil added. Again delicious. We had opted for grilled sea-bass for the main course, accompanied by home made frites. Sometimes you can just look at frites and know they are going to be tasty. The main course...perfection. Then the wife came to tell us about the desserts. We tried to be strong but finally shared homemade mascarpone ice cream topped with figs in syrup with a splash of cointreau. What a heavenly dessert! This was topped off with a cafe solo. We had another chat with the owner, who then brought us a digestivo of grappa but mixed with a little cream. It was like Bailey's but grappa. I highly recommend this as a way to drink grappa.

Now we braved the wind for a walk along the front. The waves were literally swirling in every direction and splashing up over the promenade in places. We watched a couple of sailboats, moored in the middle of the bay, being really tossed and turned. There were very few people around, very different from our usual trips here. Nevertheless, it was a special day. Casa Anita we will be back.

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