We are always advised to make an effort and work hard. In the past few months I realized that some times, too much effort can ruin things!
I was traveling part of October, went to France and crossed the border to Spain for dinner. Yes, I crossed the border just to have dinner at recommended restaurant. I was super excited to try this place. Read very nice reviews about it and my friends who recommended it, gave it two thumbs up! It is a family owned restaurant, small and cozy. They serve ingredients sourced locally. All the things that would make me sleep walk towards the place.
I drove my car through the mountainous border between France and Spain; (That is another adventure that I am still recovering from and might talk about it later!). After a forty five minute drive I arrive to this sleepy town with its medieval houses and a river that runs in the middle. The enchanting village, raised my expectations. I mean what could you do wrong when you are living in the middle of nature, surrounded with everything simple and clean.
I get to the restaurant, and took my seat. To many, I am very weird to go to a restaurant alone. But I actually enjoy it. I can’t say the same about my traveling alone.. my inner voice gets too loud it’s annoying. The restaurant started to fill up, a few groups here and there, a few dates. This too raised my expectations.
I ordered my dinner aguachilles of corn with oysters as a starter (that is a soup), and corvina (a local fish) with juice and roasted tomato tartar and to top everything I had Coconut with peanut ice cream that is oil based instead of milk.
I was offered a sample of amuse bouche made from typical Spanish tapas: duck confit and cheese sandwich, tortilla, a pickle olive (don’t ask me how because technically an olive is pickled) and a flan made from red peppers. The ingredients were so fresh, the recipes were so simple, the taste so fresh, smooth and uncomplicated that I was transported to a different level of food…. And this too raised my expectations.
And then my food started coming.
I was warned that the soup was chilli… I replied I am fine with it. But one spoonful and I realized that the problem wasn’t in the level of spiciness but actually that the amount used overpowered all other tastes .. I was clear that the ingredients were so fresh you would imagine that they were picked this morning, which I assume they were! … and BAM! That was my first disappointment!
Next came my fish, the fish cooked to perfection in a gravy like juice which was full of flavor, but then I couldn’t get the roasted tomato tartar on the side with juniper oil… It was an add on that didn’t really fit within the taste palette. I wouldn’t have minded if it were offered as a starter on the menu. And there goes my second disappointment!
The ice cream was a nice end to my meal.. and I was amazing how good an olive oil based ice cream could taste!!
In the end, the whole experience of driving an hour and a half on a dark mountainous road and sitting for a two hour meal was super exciting; however, I can see that the restaurant had his heart in the right place but the execution was a bit over the top that lead to a disappointment…
Disappointment in Food is a bit traumatic for me!