Sunday, June 21, 2009

la asador de aranda

The reservation for dinner at la Asador de Aranda was for nine thirty. We were late as the taxi went up the hill of the fashionable Avenida Tibidado.

The taxi ride was long and for a moment we despaired, thinking that the driver had gotten the address wrong, or that the helpful hotel clerk, Veronica, had sent us off on a quest for something not as fine as we had anticipated. Then, the taxi pulled off into a side street and there rising above us was a vision of a Moorish inspired building brightly lit in the dark night.

We climbed the colorfully tilled floors of the restaurant and eyed the arched windows and timbered ceilings.

The hostess greeted us with a smile, and offered us the choice of sitting inside in the beautiful dining room or outside on the patio in the coolness of the night air. Each choice being equally as fine, we chose the patio where we were seated under an old bouganvilla vine.

For a first timer at the restaurant, the only meal to get is the house recommended dinner which consists of an appetizer plate of Spanish meats, a main course of baby lamb on the bone, and a desert of sweet Spanish liquor and a pastry.

Dining in Spain is a leisurely activity. One is seated and you talk. The waiter only comes after you have had a chance to gather yourself and admire the surroundings.

Patience is a virtue and should be practiced. Drinks come with the meal and not before as is the American custom. The servings are generous by anyone's standards and come only when the first course is completed and not one on top of the other, as so often happens in America.

Our lamb was cooked to perfection. The meat fell from the bone. The salty and sweet juice of the lamb dripped from each forkful. The desert liquor had the taste of licorice. The pastry reminded me of a Napolean.

Is it possible that each restaurant can be better than the one before.

La Asador de Aranda.

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