The last time Sara & Steve were in Sevilla was five years ago, though I have met up with them in London twice since then. Much has changed since their last visit, including lots of new tapas bars for them to try out. Here they are after our fab lunch at Palo Santo… I’m really looking forward to spending time with them over the next week or so, possibly even taking a day trip to Jerez.
One of the most delightful & delicious “discoveries” in a very long time. When I was out having lunch with Francisco & Friends the other day, talk turned to “typical” bars that we all love, and Miguel mentioned Bar Casa Eme. Which I had never heard of. WELL… it was made very clear by everyone that I absolutely HAD to go there.
So after a long and very hot 10,000 step walk yesterday, Peter and I finally stumbled upon it, and then stumbled inside. It was love at first sight.
This bar has been run for over 25 years by Emeterio (Eme) Serrano, who does absolutely everything. He runs the bar and cooks (the kitchen consists of two small gas burners) and also sings. He is a wonder. I was actually thinking this would be one of those places where it was more about character and ambiance than the food, but in fact the food (albeit a limited menu) was fabulous. Mostly montaditos (toasted sandwiches), but he also does a mean gambas al ajillo and apparently his garlicky coquinas and langoustines (in season) are also a hit. I swear his whisky sauce, which we tried both on the tortilla and solomillo, is the best I’ve ever had.
I just loved everything about this place, from the cosy bar (there are also some tall tables outside) to the wonderfully tiled walls, to Eme himself. We started chatting after the lunch crowd had dispersed and he told me about starting the bar and also how he hoped to retire next year. At first I thought – Nooooo… I just found you, you can’t leave now!!!… but then realized that after all this time single-handedly managing quite a busy and popular bar, Eme was due a rest. But I hope to get back as much as possible before he hangs up his apron. Review coming soon on Sevilla Tapas!
Another meeting with a Twitter pal. This one was a bit unusual as I have known Francisco (the guy with the beard) online for over five years. We have almost met up a couple of times, but somehow it never worked out. This time he invited me to a new restaurant/bar run by his friend & chef Marcos (left) called La Grulla, and we finally got to meet in person. The unusual thing about this is that Francisco lives in Sevilla, so meeting up shouldn’t have taken so long. Anyhow, I also got to meet two other foodie friends of his, Eduardo and Miguel, and we spent a pleasant afternoon “talking shop” and comparing notes about various bars and restaurants in town, while chef Marcos kept bringing us wonderful dishes to try and keeping our glasses full. Good times!
Good times with Ross & Annie from Australia. They first went on a Sevilla Tapas Tour with me in November 2011, and are now back in Sevilla for an extended visit. Two weeks ago they did a We Love Tapas Tour with Delia (as a #tapas “refresher course”) and on Sunday we had lunch at La Sal. Really great catching up over tintos de verano and tuna Almadraba.
This morning the IKEA guys came with all the new stuff and put everything together within three hours. Me? It would have probably taken three days – or more! BUT it meant that at 12.15 Peter and I were not only ready for “Beer O’clock”, but also that we were more than ready for the breakfast we hadn’t had time for.
Great solution? El Patio San Eloy. This place has been going strong since 1992 and the original location (my favourite) happens to be in the new street where I live. It’s a simple and basic “cheap & cheerful” place which sometimes is just what you are looking for. Like us today. After a frosty beer and a couple of montaditos we were ready to face our next moving challenge… Movistar! 😉
With the new place now pretty much set up for the movers to arrive on Monday, we now have to focus on getting rid of stuff here. Luckily I have until the end of the month to sort all that out, which gives me a week after I move. I know I will still end up taking more than I should over to the new Casa Azahar, but I’m also pleased at how ruthless I have been (except for sometimes) about just saying “out it goes!”.
Meanwhile… woke up this morning to find I had no internet and that it turned out Movistar had disconnected my present contract without advising me, and also without telling me when they’d be reconnecting me at the new place. Using iphones as modems until it gets sorted – not ideal.
So anyhow, hope you’re having a better weekend than me! xx
So excited that my long-time Flamenco & Tapas Tour partners – the fabulous Museo del Baile Flamenco – have updated and upgraded their Momentos Flamencos show to include an extra dancer and singer. It adds not only more dancing, but more colour and passion. I mean, it was always wonderful, but now…? You really need to see this.
I’ve been doing sherry tastings at various venues over the past few years, but recently I found a great place – and a great “biz partner” – that allows me to start offering them on a regular basis. But why stop there? To wit, I am now offering late afternoon sherry tastings and also regional wine tastings, perfectly paired with tasty tapas. Check em out…
El Loco Sibarita is, in effect, the “nom de chef” of Miguel de Pablos, and I met up with him at his “pop-up” dining experience via my friend Fourat, to sample some of his traditional, yet unique, cooking.
For Miguel (formerly of the El Loco Sibarta restaurant near the Alameda) it’s all about the quality of the ingredients, and he’s actually a bit crazy about that – hence his name.
The four courses we enjoyed (there would have been five, but in the end we didn’t make it to dessert – too stuffed!) were certainly a tribute to his choices. So too were the accompaniments – Miguel’s own signature sourdough bread with quality olive oil, an excellent palo cortado sherry from González Byass, and a pair of red wines (Botas de Barro) with perfect earthy taste and smooth textures.
The space on this occasion was at Cobertura Photo gallery in El Arenal, which was both spacious and cosy, with lots of light and high ceilings. A very pleasant ambiance.
And so to our meal, taken at a leisurely pace through the course of the afternoon as Miguel prepared and cooked our food in the small open kitchen area next to us. First up was a simple salad of tomate rosa wedges garnished with sweet onion, marinated in olive oil and herbs that was a perfect start and exemplar of the importance of quality products. It was followed by a tortilla in the Galician style – softer and less dense than the traditional Andalucian version. Next a fish dish – fresh grilled cod with spring onions and a pimentón sauce, which was as good as any I’ve ever had. Finale was a pan-roasted 45-day aged beef that was succulent and full of flavour.
Miguel’s sourdough bread, made fresh daily, and served with quality olive oils.
- Beautiful tomates rosas, simply dressed with olive oil and salt.
- Tortilla al whisky with lots of lovely garlic.
- Grilled hake with pimentón, spring onions and garlic.
- Fresh lettuce leaves (lightly dressed) to accompany the meat course.
Loved these reds by “Dirty Boots”. My favourite was the Jumilla grape. We also tried old vine Garnacha.Main course: 45 day aged beef from Lyon France. OMG. Exquisite.
chef Miguel de Pablos
Miguel and I are quite excited about working together in the future. It really is a top quality private dining experience with many options. If you live in Sevilla you will soon be able to see his upcoming events on Facebook, which include the full-on seasonal menu experience we had, as well as “tapas nights” and Miguel’s “in search of the perfect hamburger” quest, which includes a starter, a FULL-ON burger with up to 5 extra ingredients, 3 drinks and homemade dessert. I am so doing the burger one next time…
I first met fellow sherry educator (and professional venenciadora) Fabiola Bonke @spanjetotaal a couple of years ago at a casual sherry tasting held at Bodegas Faustino Gonzalez @cruzviejajerez in Jerez, which had been organized by my friend Tomoko @tomokotours. Fabiola is Dutch, but her parents are both Spanish, and she has become the most important sherry expert in Holland. Awhile back she got in touch saying she was going to be in Jerez for the Copa Jerez finals and would be staying overnight in Sevilla on the way.
So I recommended a couple of nice reasonably priced hotels and she chose one that is literally a stone’s throw from my house. And so just after she arrived and got settled in I picked Fabiola up for a sherry-based Tapeo Extremo. Our first stop was Las Teresas, my favourite place for both ambiance and jamón Ibérico de Bellota. They also have some excellent sherries.
After that we carried on to two more bars – Bodeguita Romero and La Cata Ciega, sampling amazing sherries and tasting delicious tapas. And all the while talking talking talking… what a lovely evening. And the good news is that we will be meeting up again in Jerez because I am also going to be at Copa Jerez. Yay!