Thursday, October 17, 2013

Paella, out

Eastside Road, October 16, 2013—
THE PHOTO is grainy, excuse an unintended pun, but you get the idea: a Spanish paella, quite hot from the oven, the bottom properly burnt to the pan, the rice nicely flavored with tomatoes and saffron, the top fairly thick with mussels. I was in luck: no crustacea were involved: I could happily join the other three at the table.

First, though, some tapas. We had delicious sweet white Spanish anchovies drizzled with herb-infused olive oil, and stewed garbanzos with Morcilla sausage and greens, and bacalao fritters with alioli and parsley, and a curious salad involving watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and basil. No bread! Why not?

The paella could have been better, I think. The rice seemed flabby; perhaps the chicken broth was too watery. "Pedestrian" was the adjective that came to mind: curious, since it's precisely shellfish with feet that I do not eat…
Fino, Alvear Fino en Rama, 2006; Verdejo, Arindo (Rueda), 2012; Nectar Pedro Ximénez, Gonzalez Byass, 1847
• Bravas Bar de Tapas, 420 Center Street, Healdsburg; 707-433-7700

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