Friday, January 20, 2012

Restaurant Week, Meal 1: Taberna del Alabardero

So you know how much I LOVE restaurant week. It's a chance for me to completely destroy my budget for the month with just a few meals...and to have some great food. Sadly, my first meal was not near as tasty as it looked, nor was it worth the restaurant week price. 

My dining companion was gracious enough to let me try her food as you get two tastings in this review! The picture on the top was their salad with a fried-hard-boiled egg, and on the bottom was the mussels & shrimp. The salad was probably the best thing we ate all night. It was lightly dressed and the fried egg was an interesting component. Would I go back just for the salad? No. But was it an interesting dish? Definitely.

The broth in the mussels was amazing (I couldn't stop dipping my bread in it). However, out of my three mussels, one had grit that was audible as I chewed, one tasted old (like it should have been thrown out) and the third was just ok. The rest of the dish (aside from the sauce) was simply underwhelming.

For the second course, I had the sea bream (top) and my friend the chicken (bottom). The sea bream had a strong fishy taste, which I know a lot of people gawk at when I say that, but fish should not taste super "fishy". A "fishy" fish is an old fish.

The chicken was chopped into bit size pieces before it was sauteed, which led to a very dry bite of chicken. The whole time I ate it I longed for a little sauce to help moisten my mouth ("why did they take my mussel sauce away?!"), but sadly there was none. I think the chicken would have been ok if it had not been chopped before cooking, but still, the dish needed more flavor to be considered for a restaurant week menu.

Finally, desert was rice putting and a bread pudding. Both looked lovely, and were not terrible, but at the same time they were not anything to write home about. I think we both only ate about half of our desserts.

So meal number one was a let down. I probably will not go back to this restaurant as there are TONS of Spanish restaurants in the city. Luckily, however, meal 2 was awesome! 

Stay tuned...

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