Photo by John Sconzo (from his post on eGullet)
I saw something on my favorite foodie web forum, eGullet, that I have to share with you all!
John "Doc" Sconzo, aka "docsconz," just posted the eye-poppingly gorgeous photos of his meal at Can Rafa, a humble restaurant-and-bar in Roses, a town just across the French border in Catalonia, about 3 hours north of Barcelona. I highly recommend that you follow this link to view the photos of the rest of his meal. The grilled calamari pictured above are just an appeteaser, an amuse bouche for the eyes, of what you'll see there.
Can Rafa is a restaurant that I had hoped to visit on my trip to Spain in July, but in the end opted not to traverse the treacherously winding roads of the Costa Brava in a rental car by myself (you're welcome, N).
While most saner diners scramble to snag one of the highly coveted reservations at the other restaurant in town, I dream of going to Can Rafa (and other restaurants like it) that serve the pristine ingredients of Spain intact and unadorned. From what I read, the chef/proprietor, who bears the name of the restaurant, simply cooks the seafood with a little olive oil and salt, usually a la plancha, and serves it naked of any embellishment or sauce. Not even a sprig of parsley or a wedge of lemon.
To me, as I've previously mentioned in the description of my amazing meal at Valencia's Ca Sento* and elsewhere, the beauty of Spanish cuisine is how the best cooks there respect the purity of their ingredients. And I find that, especially when it comes to seafood and ham, no country in Europe can rival the quality of ingredients found in Spain. Only Japan is Spain's equal when it comes to respecting the pristine nature of raw products.
So, until you can make it to Rafa's yourself, head on over to eGullet and enjoy the vicarious feast for the eyes of Doc Sconzo's pictures. And if you're still not convinced about how great the seafood of Spain is, read two other mouthwatering descriptions of meals there.
* My meal at Ca Sento stands as the best meal of my life up to now. My friends and I are, however, going to Manresa next weekend....