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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A NIGHT IN MADRID

Well, my night in Madrid was at HASR Bistro in Chinatown, Honolulu, as just another marvelous event of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.  Out of nowhere, even with the end of El Bulli and fire gutting Mugaritz, Spain has still become the epicurean capital of the world.  Tickets, an El Bulli clone in Barcelona was recommended as a must the next time I'm there.  While there should be many kudos, I must express my special thanks to Katalina (that's her Spanish equivalent) Nicholson for her sterling effort.

We started with a 2008 Granona "Gran Cuvee RSV" Cava from Penedes, given a 91 point rating by Wine Spectator.  That's the bottle to the right.

There was a shrimp garlic tapas, which I avoided for fear of my allergy to crustaceans.  The first course was a satisfying salad with a 2010 Rafael Palaciaos, "Sabrego" Godello from Valdeorras, a dryish white which I found uneventful.  But look at this salad:


The next course was a Paella de Mariscos with a Bodegas Martin Codax Burgans Albarino, Risa Balxas from Salnes Valley, a white, which was better:


My problem was more crustaceans, but I took a chance on a large scallop, a piece of fish and some tasty rice,  Excellent.  My talking companion was Christel Yount, here with a Spanish staff member:


And flamenco dancers:


A Pollo (chicken) Peppernada followed with a 2010 Bodega Jimenez-Landi, "Sotorrondero"Mentrida from Toledo, a red which I thought was the best wine of the meal, then a Clasico Catalan Eastofado de Carne (beef) with a 2008 Celler Mas Doix, "Salanques" from Priorat, which Christel felt was her favorite.


Ah, my distinguished table, with, from the left, Rich Turbin and Rai Saint Chu, Christel Yount, Qi and John White:


The dessert was Churros Pastre with an excellent Equipo Navazos La Rota de Fino Amontillado #24 Sherry from Montilla.

Any top restaurant can be remembered for its special restroom:


The Japanese bonzai-type living plant arrangement was exceptional.  On my way out I said goodbye to Chaine member Donato Loberfido, who is one of the top three wine masters in Hawaii, who selected the wines tonight, and Executive Chef Rodney Uyehara:


A very enjoyable night in Madrid with fine entertainment, great company and wonderful weather, for the meal was under the half moon and I think Planet Jupiter.


Beautiful people with inquisitive minds.  Oh, the food and wind were also fabulous.  The best part of it all was that I missed my bus into town, but neighbor Dan Bent dropped me off and Christel Yount drove me home.  I could have caught a cab, but probably would have tried to walk back to my apartment, and there are a couple dark and uncertain sections up Nuuanu Avenue after 10PM.

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