on July 22, 2009
The restaurant is situated on the first floor of Gaudi’s Casa Calvet (probably one of Gaudi’s more conservative works). The interior is beautiful – dimly lit with a grandiose, yet home-like ambiance. I selected Casa Calvet because it was my sister’s first time in Spain and I wanted her to experience something new and unusual. I was advised to book a reservation in advance, because on certain days it can be crowded. Although I did book a table, there were plenty of available tables as well. The wait staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. My party came in during siesta time, because we wanted to experience our larger meal of the day here. It was also going to be one of our treats along our tour of Spain because the plates are costly and can add up quickly. The food was prepared beautiful, it was tasty, but it fell short of my expectations. It gets major trend points, that’s for sure, but I just felt as though something about the food was lacking. Our group decided to share a few starters: croquetas de centollo (crab), jamon iberico, and pan con tomate. Each plate was delicious, although our table agreed that we had eaten better croquetas elsewhere on our trip. The wine we shared was good (a variant of a Rioja), but it was not completely noteworthy.I ordered the squid, prawn, and artichokes with black squid ink sauce. It was delicious and fresh, albeit a little on the oily side. Although I truly enjoyed the texture and taste of the squid especially, I felt that I had experienced fresher squid and seafood at a fraction of the price at other restaurants in Valencia and the Balearic Islands. I also felt as though the preparation lacked the love and gusto so many of the chefs in Spain have for their food; it felt a little pretentious.For dessert, I ordered the cheese plate. I was expecting something the size of the cheese plates at a typical taperia restaurant, where everyone at the table could sample my cheeses as well. The slices of cheese were miniscule, even by my standards (and I’m a small, light eater!). They were all amazing though, just the taste was very satisfying. Arranged in a circular, clock-pattern, as one progresses in a clock-wise direction, the tastes and aromas of the cheeses become stronger and more pronounced. I also had the opportunity to taste some of the yogurt foam with fresh fruit, which was by far the best dessert anyone at the table had ordered.The overall experience was great and my party had a very enjoyable meal. I would not come back here though, because from a culinary standpoint, I would want to experience other highly-esteemed restaurants and see if they possess the charm that Casa Calvet lacked.
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