Monday, March 21, 2016

Arlington's SER serves up superb Spanish (3-20-16)

Last night, six of us headed back to SER in Arlington where we had a superb meal last summer and promised to come back.
The place was busy at 6pm and justifiably so as everyone scurried around to get the full house served.
We had a super time and great food, and again my only complaint is the truly hard wooden chairs (I forgot the cushion!).
Both the sparkling and still water is Spanish Sant Aniol which we liked and our friends raved about. Even the delicious olive oil on the table is top notch Spanish:Los Aljibes.
We ordered a bottle of tasty Epifano Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero and it was really yummy with some nice spice. The vintage was 2013. When we asked where the bottle was apparently they had thought we only wanted two glasses, so they just brought us another whole bottle (and did not charge for the first two glasses), but this was a 2014 which was smoother and finer indeed.
My starter was a superb and large plate of Octopus a la Gallega which was sautéed with paprika and a couple of tiny potatoes; some of the tastiest I have had in ages and different since it was not grilled.
Will and Samuel had the excellent STEAK TARTARE which is made with Santona anchovies(although Sam asked for his without), an organic quail egg and piparra (mild Basque chili peppers). There is a gorgeous salad on the side with beautiful colorful flowers, tasty fresh-as-can-be greens and top quality shaved radishes.
Samuel also had the Pan Catalana which is a glorified garlic bread with EVOO and tomato sauce as well.
Croquetas are crisp and yummy outside with ham, chicken and molten cheese inside.
I thought of trying the Salmorejo which we loved so much in Spain, but a cold tomato soup(akin to gazpacho, but better) was not possible on such a wet and chilly night.
The hot Red Bean Soup Special was a hit for sure though in this weather.
For main courses, Will thought his Bacalao a la Vizcana needed a bit more seasoning on the salted cod with choricero peppers, and scallion tempura.
The Sirloin Bavette was a successful tender steak and the burger was amazing with a side of patatas Bravas(chunky fried potatoes with a side of tomato sauce) not to mention the small pickled peppers and a beautiful mini-salad of various lettuces, tomato and onion on the bun.
I almost went for the Rabbit, Duck & Chicken paella (next time) but moved to the lighter and superb Cordonices con Endrinas or Roated Organic Quail wuth Patxaran Sauce(made from a Spnish liqueur) which our helpful server Gabruiel explained as a sweet & sour sauce, but it was really more of a light glaze that was simply divine on the tasty little birds.
The salad special was composed of more of the amazing colorful flowers and varied greens but with salmon, avocado and spinach as well. Salads are indeed a treat here and it's only March!
Dessert here should not be missed as we recalled the amazing GOXUA from last time served in a layered mason jar with strawberries, cream, sponge, custard and a brulee on top that makes this such a tasty treat.
The Dark Chocolate Souffle was a hit as well and is akin to molten lava cake, so was a big hit with Samuel.
We went home very very full and happy with a truly wonderful evening of food and friends to remember.