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Photo by Tara Stevens
Cochinillo in Cañete -
Is it just me or has it been a particularly long, hot summer? Personally I’m always a bit relieved when September rolls around. It is my favourite time of year for lots of reasons. Evenings that are still warm enough to sit outside, but are comfortably cool. Weekend walks in the Penedès to watch the vineyards turn from green, to yellow, to red, just like traffic lights. The vendimia (grape harvest), wine festivals, and those first cool weather bottles of red. Wild mushrooms in the woodlands. I had my first batch at a friend’s house for lunch yesterday, just lightly pan fried with a knob of butter stirred through at the end. Delicious. And openings.
September is like back-to-school time for restaurants. This week alone I’ve come across Federal Café (C/ Parlament 39, federalcafe.es), the hip Sydney-style café in Sant Antoni that serves a mean breakfast (baked eggs with spinach and grilled mushrooms and a round of sour dough toast is not to be missed). Cañete (C/ de la Unió 17, Raval) for traditional Catalan tapas and the most delectable cochinillo in sleek, elegant surrounds. And La Vietnamita (C/Torrent de l’Olla 78, Gracià) – could Vietnamese be the new Japanese this season (?) - where I’ve not managed to get to yet, but will report back when I do.
The legendary Inopia shut its doors for the last time on 31st July to reopen as Lolitas serving tapas and vamped up bocadillos, and well, you probably all know this by now, but Albert and Ferran Adrià will put the wheels in motion for their new venture on Paral.lel sometime this autumn.
Welcome back from summer folks. Happy eating.