Pigging by Kim Davis: February 19, 2018]
A tale of two waits, really, posting this dinner from late last year alongside my recent meal at Chez Ma Tante. It's several years since I was last at Paco Meralgo in Barcelona's Eixample. Then I had a reservation, and a long wait. This time I was a walk in; and had a long wait.
Worth it. How very much worth it. What a treasure this place continues to be, crowded and rambunctious though it is.
Those little fellers in the first picture which look like junior scallops. Well, they're very similar, but in Catalan they're zamburinyas, they're not always available ("sea permitting"), and I started off with them, grilled.
Then some cuttlefish tapas: the croquetas de sepia, black with ink, and the large albondiga de sepia in a creamy shellfish sauce. I moved on from cava to a terrific GR Rioja to accompany the dish I'd really come for.
This was the fricandeau -- slices of velvety veal in a rich gravy, with the wild mushrooms known as serendeulas: in English, scotch bonnets, and nothing to do with the pepper.
The last time I ordered this dish, my daughter descended on it with appetite, and I scarcely got more than a taste. Now it was mine, all mine. And with some Manchego to finish, Paco Merlago was all mine for a derisory sixty bucks. The Rioja alone would have cost $25 or more in New York.