Madrid, 12/29/11

This was the day that Matt arrived! He wasn’t arriving until around 5:00 though, so my mom and I made lunch reservations at a restaurant she used to go to called La Trucha.

We ordered a small pitcher of their house red wine, which came in this cute little ceramic jug. The wine wasn’t great, but the cute jug made up for it.

Our server brought over some yummy olives right away.

He also felt bad that our appetizer was taking so long to cook (even though it hadn’t bothered us), so he brought some delicious lomo to snack on.

We split the grilled artichoke for appetizer. I’m not sure how they did this, but the leaves were tender and actually entirely edible. It was simply dressed in olive oil and lemon juice, and topped with course salt. We were starting to feel a little vegetable deprived, so we were really happy to have tried this.

We split a couple of entrees, the first being the garlic shrimp. This is something we make fairly often at home, but La Trucha’s version was definitely better than ours. It had much more olive oil and garlic than our version, and the shrimp were fresher and perfectly cooked. It came out sizzling in a clay dish and was topped with allioli with a dash of celery salt. I never would have thought of putting celery salt on this dish, but it totally worked!

We also got the garlic chicken, another thing we make at home. This version was much different – more fried and less saucy. I liked the shrimp more, but the chicken was fall off the bone tender and really flavorful. The potatoes on the side were amazing.

Matt was a trouper when he arrived and agreed to go for tapas downtown, so we took him back to Cava Baja.

We went back to a lot of the same places we went to a few nights earlier, but we got the majority of our food at a place we loved called El Tempranillo. As you can probably tell from the name, they specialize in Spanish wine.

We ordered a couple of tostas. The first had a fried egg and asparagus with a little bit of sherry vinegar underneath. The second had some very meaty grilled mushrooms (maybe oyster?) and allioli. They were simple but great combinations.

Next, we had some grilled piquillo peppers. They were beautifully charred.

Then, we called it a night so Matt could finally get some sleep.

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