Last night we celebrated our 42d anniversary in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida at “Espana.” We got the table we asked for (we’d been here once before). The food and wine were excellent as was the service. Janet even got to try out her new camera.
Vinos: Evodia Garnacha and Codax Albariño. The first, a red is from 100 year old vines in southern Aragon. The second is a white is from grapes brought to Iberia in the 12th century from what became Germany (much later). It means “the white from the Rhine.”
Tapas: Calamari Fritos and Picadinho The fried calamari was very light and tender and the breading was not overpowering. The Picadinho, a Portuguese dish of marinated and braised pork in a brown sauce with onions, pimentos and traditional spices was both generous and delicious enough, alone, to make the 70 minute drive back. Our waitress brought us extra bread for dipping up the sauce. This is a kitchen dish; by that we mean each kitchen will have their own version.
Entradas: Mero a Costa Brava and Paella Rustica. The Mero (Grouper) was perfectly cooked and crusted. It was served with a poblano+chipotle sauce Janet was glad she had served on the side. It bordered between a kick and a sting! The vegetables were asparagus, snow peas, and onion, zucchini and squash strips sauteed in lemon butter caper sauce. Saffron rice rounded off the plate. The Paella was chicken, pork tenderloin, chorizo, and white beans in a traditional yellow rice and sofrito and stock base served in a traditional pan. We had to bring some home.
Postre: We finished with a flourless dark chocolate cake slice that felt and tasted like an endless supply of chilled chocolate truffle centers.
We were given a split of Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava in honor of the event and left an hour and a half after arriving. We could have moved to the patio for Sherry had we been a walk away from the boat, but a high speed drive in the last glim of the twilight didn’t allow for it.