by Truly Malin
New York, New York
June 28, 2001
Recommended by a few friends and natives, this hip beachfront restaurant was mere minutes from our hotel. The boardwalk was undergoing some unsightly construction work, though, which lessened the effect of what must be a lovely view in summer. The tables were crowded with young, trendy-looking couples and groups, including one pink-haired local whose gender was a topic of idle speculation at our table for quite some time (until his male date showed up). Being on the beach and all, W and J decided to sample the seafood. I, being a vegetarian, prudently decided to stick to the usual vegetables and starches.
The menu was 100% Spanish - a relief from the incomprehensible Catalan, but still a challenge for our meager vocabularies. J went so far as to call her Spanish-speaking sister-in-law on her mobile for assistance with the menu. W chose a local fish that my Palm Pilot's Spanish dictionary described as 'hake' and Jeanne chose "cigalito", a word that was missing from the Palm. 'Cigalo', however, meant lobster, which was close enough. I ordered a risotto with 'various cheeses' and hoped none were too odoriferous.
When dinner arrived we were still snacking on some delightful salads and tapas. J looked down in horror at a quartet of crayfish, each one staring back up at her with beady little eyes. She refused to send it back -- determined, I suppose, to give it a fair chance. She stopped eating altogether when crayfish #2 was discovered to contain a black lumpy substance we believed to be its entrails. My risotto was quite good, although I must confess that I lost my appetite after an inadvertent viewing of crayfish #2's innards.
From journal Barcelona: Where Old Meets New