Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Agroboutique restaurant highlights local produce

We woke up to a cloudy day with a forecast that wasn't promising. After making our way through all the hikers in the village, to have our morning coffee, we decided it was a day to visit some local nurseries to look for a couple of plant pots.

We had some success at the second nursery we visited, where we found some lovely,  unblemished clay pots. Even better, at one end of the giant nursery we spotted two very friendly donkeys and in the long run next to them a very social Vietnamese pot bellied pig that had a huge stuffed toy lamb to keep him company and a soccer ball to play with. He was quite beautiful with his funny tusks and wrinkled face. I haven't seen a pot bellied pig for many years, not since one of our Newfoundland dogs made friends with one that used to go for walks on a leash. The little menagerie would have been very happy if we had some food with us. Next time.

On the way home we stopped to pick up some local produce at the Agroboutique in Villajuiga. As well as having huge barrels of local wine that you can sample, they have a shop filled with products from the Emporda, which is always good when you have visitors coming soon. I bought some fresh garlic, foie gras, figs in juice to serve with fresh cheese, biscotti and a couple of home-made fig bars that are good to eat anytime.

Recently, they have opened a restaurant with a few tables, and offer a set menu featuring their products. Since we weren't sure what some of the things on the menu were, one of the ladies took us around the shop and showed us. Of course this motivated us to stay for lunch.

It was an interesting meal, which started with slices of little pepperoni type sausage on toast accompanied by olives. This was followed by grilled white asparagus stalks, red pepper and onions on toast and topped with anchovies. The main course was a white sausage made from the "best" bits of the pig, crumbled and mixed with a local white bean. The sausage tasted quite peppery. We chose the local rosé to accompany the meal and a bottle was put on the table. Unfortunately, it must have had a lot of sulfites as I had a glass and could have cooked an egg on my face afterwards.

A plate of local cookies was the dessert course, wafers, biscotti, and some other biscuits spicy and crunchy. Along with this there was a dessert wine in a bottle with a spout -- to drink you must tip the spout towards your mouth and pour. My first try wasn't too successful. You have to master not having the wine roll down your chin on to your clothes. My third try was the best. The trick is to put your head right back and pour. Next time I have to coordinate moving my head upright and removing the bottle at the same time. It was fun though.

I like that the Agroboutique is running this restaurant. I first noticed the menu one day, when they were serving wild boar. And on a sunnier day we could have dined outside.

No comments: