While in Barcelona we hit up Pez Vela, a relatively new paella restaurant at the base of the W Hotel, right on the beach. Ever since, I can’t stop thinking about paella. Has anyone ever had one that was good in Atlanta?
Doing it at home is probably the best option. I have a paella pan I’ve never used, and some recently acquired bomba rice, so a paella party is in my near future.
The fixed paella menu began with the ubiquitous tomato bread, lightly toasted, with flake salt and fruity olive oil that should put Italians to shame.
It’s tough to beat a big, crunchy salad. The olives are so good in Spain. There were many white asparagus appearances too.
We also sampled a potato tapa, I believe they called it patatas calientes. The more common patatas bravas is often served with aioli and/or romesco sauce, but this was paired with something more like a spicy onion soubise, basically a chopped up/melted caramelized onion sauce with some chili oil. This was UNREAL.
The pièce de résistance – squid, shrimp, and clam paella.
The seafood was of course fresh and salty and perfect. But the rice! Oh, the rice! Short, firm, toothsome (did I really just say that?), each grain was a slick explosion of salty ocean flavor. And the thin layer meant almost every bite had a dose of the lustful socarrat, the fought over caramelized and crunchy flavor bits that form on the bottom and edge of the pan. Recalling it now…I think it just moved.
Katie likes dessert. :)
What a view, huh? These old Spanish gentlemen cracked me up. Taking a jog down the beach one morning, I saw a lot of scantily clad men close-talking and helping each other out with sunblock, also many tables of shirtless seniors playing dominos and drinking Dewar’s at about 9:30 AM. The Mediterranean diet, indeed.