Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Barcelona's tops in tapas: CERVESERIA CATALANA / fishing for food in Palma de Mallorca at LA DORADA

As we have been at sea almost 3 weeks now, I am virtually losing track of the dates unless I look at today's on my digital watch. Last week we spent two days in Spain, the first of which was in Barcelona. We specifically told our guide we wanted tapas and he steered us to the excellent CERVERSERIA CATALANA at Carrer Mallorca just off the Rambla de Catalunya, a block from the fashionable shopping street of Passeig de Gracia.

It was an excellent choice, and while we ate many items that we had no idea of what they were, everything was superb. Highlights were the BOQUERONES ANDALUZA, fresh marinated anchovies, the amazing sauteed cod in garlic sauce and the salad of cod (bacalao) almost like a ceviche. I wish I could relate more, but we moving so fast touring all day, that I really could not take proper notes.

The next day we found ourselves at the small seaside town of Port d'Andratx in Mallorca (the Balaeric Isalnds) dining at LA DORADA (Avenida Mateo Bosch 31B) overlooking the port and sea. We thought we were in for a touristic nightmare, but the food was excellent. I started with a brilliant PASTEL DE CAP ROIG or pate of scorpionfish which was tasty with a yummy garlicky aioli and a large fresh salad on the side. I forgot to mention the bread comes with this super aioli and some of the tastiest green olives around(they apparently come from some of the oldest olive trees), and the tomatoes on the salad were almost like the heirlooms we get back home--of the best quality. Other folks liked the Gazpacho and, PRAWNS with GARLIC SAUCE as we downed two tasty dry white local wines: JAUME MESQUIDA Blanc and a slightly fruity MACIA BATLE Blanc de blancs.

The entrees were also excellent from a wonderful moist BACALAO GRATINADA with a huge piece of fresh fish in a creamy sauce not too heavy on the cheese and my PARILLADA de PESCADO y MARISCOS a huge platter which could easily feed two (I shared lots) of grilled frsh fish and shellfish. There were clams, mussles, pranws, crab claws, tasty halved langoustines and huge pieces of SILVIOLA, a superb local whitefish and MEGLUSA, more like a flaky swordfish full of amazing
flavor from the superb local olive oil. While this place is only 20-30 minutes from the capital of Palma de Mallorca, it was easily worth the drive,

Today we are finally back in Italy on our cruise which nears an end in two days.