October 26, 2012

Perfect Paella in Madrid

When we are not traveling, my husband Jonathan often cooks on Sunday afternoons. Those are some of my favorite days...

While in Madrid we had the opportunity to eat paella at La Barraca, a restaurant famous for this rice dish. (I was skeptical as to whether it would live up to it's hype.) We arrived early for our reservation and were seated in one of the simple, homey dining rooms. We ordered our meal, paella (of course), and settled in to enjoy the atmosphere.

For appetizers I ordered salad and Jonathan ordered tripe. My salad was simple and Jonathan enjoyed his tripe. We ordered the house red wine - a very good Rioja for €13 a bottle. (That was definitely the bargain of the meal!)

Finally our paella arrived! The version we ordered was seafood with clams, mussels, shrimp, prawns, and langoustine. I don't know quite how to describe it... To say it was delicious would be true, but also woefully inadequate. It was definitely the best paella I have ever eaten. The rice was fragrant, the seafood was wonderful, and the dish paired perfectly with the wine. Yes, it was perfect paella and therefore the perfect meal!

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