Granada and Multiple course dinner
We took it easy this morning and left around noon since the drive to Granada was relatively short. However when we got to the city, we kept driving in circles on the narrow streets. Almost by chance, we discovered we had parked (in desperation) right at the hotel’s entrance. These hotels are not very well marked! We have a spacious room in The Gar Anat Boutique Hotel with unique decorations and a view of the street from a small balcony. After resting up and having a small snack, we were ready for our promised extraordinary dining experience at La Oliva.
We arrived at 7PM and were warmly welcomed by Francisco. He operates an olive oil retail establishment in the day and hosts a 17 course tasting dinner with wine matching in the evening. We had signed up in advance and were delighted to see the other 2 couples came in right on our heels. There were 3 tables for couples and a 4th set for 3 people. Out host/chef began right on time despite the fact that the threesome had not yet arrived. We were each poured a glass of water by one of his able assistants and the first course was bread dipped in olive oil. Francisco explained the difference between each of the three oils and we could easily taste the differences. The water was to clear our palates between the different olive oils.
Francisco then opened a bottle of sparkling wine and explained why it could not be called “Champagne” since that is a sparkling wine from a specific region of France. Pate was the matched food with the wine and it came in 3 varieties, ham, partridge, and cream - all made with olive oil! Asparagus which is an up and coming vegetable in Spain due to the multiple growing seasons was next. Then an olive oil-dressed romaine lettuce treat.
A new white wine was opened for almonds cooked in (of course!) olive oil. Two varieties of olives came next followed by cherry tomatoes and little sausages. Now a new white wine for the tuna and egg salad followed by potatoes and swordfish. The “main” came on a plate with a wonderful sauce surrounded by a tiny lamb chop, an apple slice, quiche, and a type of sausage that was very spicy. We were nearing the completion of the meal as the cheese and grapes with caramelized walnuts were served followed by fruit (an unusual variety of apple, as well as mango, and peach).
But this was not dessert! A sweet red wine was matched with strawberries and cream, followed by the most unusual dessert - sweet potatoes! Six varieties of candies finished off this outstanding dinner with liberal poutings of the dessert wine.
Our host came to each table and sat with us as we praised his culinary aplomb. When asked how he came to be such a chef, he modestly just said, “I made it all up myself.”
Tom went to the back of the store from which the food seemed to be emerging and found no kitchen at all! Just a small burner like you might use as a camp stove! You might think such a extravagant evening might cost a fortune. But no, for both Anne and Tom the bill was only 75 euros (about $84)!