The Big Siesta

The afternoon break when workers take off two or more usually three hours off during the hottest part of the day, and then return to work for another three hour period from around five o'clock, is not as universally observed as it once was, but it is still basically the norm. For those of us who no longer work, the two months of July and August are passed as, in effect, a mega-siesta. Most days, most of the daylight hours are just too hot to do anything except the stricty necessary. I've mentioned this more than once before, possibly even every year, but it helps to explain why a particular problem arises with regard to this blog. What can I write about, when I don't do anything to write about?
Well, I don't actually do nothing at all, of course; one thing my wife and I do is go out in the evening to eat. last Saturday we were at The Garden Restaurant in the village, and last night we ate at El Mirador, also in the village. Next Saturday we still haven't decided. It could Oshun or it could be El Adarve, both also in the village.
It's a constant source of amazement to me that, even with the number of visitors to the village, with a population of less than three and a half thousand, Frigiliana manages to support four top-end restaurants. One would be pretty impressive, but four!
El Mirador, where we ate last night has evolved over recent years from a venue specialising in distinctive but authentically Spanish dishes, to a truly international cuisine that would hold its own anywhere in Spain, and probably in Europe. I started with a carpaccio of venison dressed with a cheese that perfectly complemented it, 'miel de caña', the local version of molasses which is still produced here in the village; like molasses, but much lighter, and topped by crisp raw vegetables. I followed with fillets of sea bass gently fried, served on a bed of Thai style stir fried vegetables and accompanied by a spicy mango salsa. My wife chose a salad of warm goats' cheese with caramelised onion and a leafy salad with miel de caña and the mango salsa at the side. Her salmon steak was cooked perfectly and served with the stir fried vegetables and pureed potato. A lovely surprise was the wine. Rafa, the co-owner refused to bring the wine list, but said that he wished to surprise me with a special bottle of red wine, on the house. Rafa is from Uruguay and I've had a dig at him in the past that he has no wines from his own country on his extensive and very carefully chosen list. Last night he presented us with a bottle of Urugayan red wine from the Tannat grape, a grape native to the French Basque region which has very successfully made the transition to Uruguay, where it produces wines with fine, balanced tannins and a lovely blackberry flavour. It now has a place on his updated wine list!
Make a note of the links below if ever you are coming to stay - or better still, live - in Frigiliana.

El Mirador: Info@mirador-frigiliana.com
The GardenRestaurant: www.garden-restaurant-frigiliana.com
Oshun: oshungastronomy@gmail.com
El Adarve: www.restauranteeladarve.com

You won't be disappointed by any of them.

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