Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Daytrip to Bilbao
So yesterday was a hell of a great day. Took the bus to Bilbao with Jay, a dude from SoCal who works in the kitchen with me. We intended to see the Guggenheim, but discovered to our dismay that it is closed Mondays! Bad luck, but oh well. Instead we just spent the day cruising around the city, which was, at least, rife with enough interesting architecture and art to fill the day. Plus we found a dope spot for tapas and ate well: seared foie, croquettes (w lemon! so good!), chorizo, patatas bravas, glasses of chacoli. Very happy we were able to spot a quality tapas bar despite having just arrived in the city.
We caught the bus back around 730 and took a little nap en route, but when we arrived home, my stomach was not doing so well. I don't know if it was something in the tapas or what, but I walked in the door of my apartment, took off my coat, and promptly threw up. TMI?
I felt immediately better, and was further ameliorated by the glass of champagne served to me by one of my roommates. The bubbles took care of the last bit of stomach discomfort, and due to the aforementioned expulsion of all my stomach's contents, I was now hungry... and I was in LUCK! My roommates were in the process of preparing a 4 course meal for us...
We started with seared foie gras over toasted baguette with caramelized apple and a balsamic-pear reduction. So incredible, the foie cooked perfectly by Chef Vaughn. Next came ravioli, inspired by Igor's previous stage at a restaurant in Florence. They were double stuffed, so instead of one pocket, each ravioli had two! The fillings were a mushroom duxelle with mint and a Camembert-Brie blend with apricot. All this and when he was making the pasta from scratch he had to use a wine bottle to roll it out! After ravioli was ricotta gnocchi in a Roquefort cream sauce with some of the best blood sausage I have ever tasted in my life. Incredible, and garnished with green apples that helped cut the heaviness of the sauce. Perfection. Last was simple but sensational: mussels and frites with a bernaise sauce to dip, accompanied by a bottle of Cava. The combination of the mussels and the Cava couldn't have been better, and the bernaise went really nicely with the fries. All in all, a fantastic meal!
The party then proceeded to the bar for a couple games of pool and eventually back to the apartment into the wee hours of the morning for many bottles of wine and stupid games of stacking wine glasses and beer bottles into towers on the coffee table. And at some point in the night Vaughn won 40 Euro when he bet on me in an arm wrestling match against another roommate. Who knew?!
I managed to wake up around 2pm today for a run and then a haircut, and as the weekend winds down I have another skype date with a certain beautiful, blue-eyed babe in a couple hours. 3 weeks down, 7 to go. I am actually not dreading work tomorrow forb the most part, as long as I can get a good night's sleep tonite.
By the way, here's the link to photos for anyone not on facebook:
I think I'm going to be including a link like this any time I create a new facebook album, if for no other reason than that you guys can see pics of the FOOD! That's all for now, see you guys next post; same bat-time, same bat-channel.