Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fantastic food in Seville, Spain! Abantal - Michelin 1 Star restaurant - delivers the goods!

Abantal - Course 5: Tuna tartar with aubergine [eggplant] black olive crumble and cucumber mayonnaise - a favourite!
Fantastic food in Seville Spain! That's what we enjoyed at Abantal, a 1-star Michelin restaurant we visited in September.
My wife Shirley Ross and I went all-in for the Grand Chef's Daily Tasting Menu - 13 courses for 90 Euros each.
Abantal Chef and co-owner Julio Fernández Quintero takes great pride in being recognized as Best Andulusian Chef in 2005 and winning a Michelin Star in 2008, continuing to hold that honour ever since.  Abantal is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the city - and we were fortunate to get a reservation on fairly short notice.
Abantal is in an unassuming building and nondescript part of Seville just outside the main tourist section of the old town. But what's inside is anything but ordinary! 
Dinner started with 4 amuse bouches: dry onion with black garlic sauce; cookies with leeks and potato jelly; mushroom meringues and sea anemone! All delicious.
Course 1: Clam with cauliflower emulsion and microseaweed;

Course 2: Tomato sponge, codfish drop, black garlic aioli, pepper and potato crisp;

Course 3: Oyster with citrus foam sweet potato puree, fried rice grains and a spiced infusion;

Course 4: Spinach puree with anise, broccoli and white asparagus & artichoke heart, dried peas;
Course 5: Tuna tartar with aubergine [eggplant] black olive crumble and cucumber mayonnaise - a favourite - see above 

Course 6: Red Prawn - very large - steamed with wild rice [from Spain] foam and prawn oil aioli [yes!];
Course 7: Meagre - a fish like sea bass - with tomato, pepper jelly and basil jelly - garlic-aioli like but lighter!;

Course 8: Lamb sweetbreads with chickpea puree and beet puree; [sorry - no photo]

Course 9: Suckling pig, roasted endive slice, black garlic aioli and tomato puree;

Course 10: Foie Gras cream, coffee gelee, sweet and sour quince - another favourite - super light and sweet!;

Course 11: Fennel frappe, apple sorbet and coriander sponge cake with lemon;
Course 12: Passion fruit cream, frappe mint and chocolate;
Course 13: Orange wine zabaglione, anise cookie and cinnamon with orange blossom jelly and orange!
We enjoyed all this with a beautiful Spanish red wine from Ribera del Duero - Pagos de Matanegra Vendimia Seleccionada 2012, rated 93 points by Robert Parker, for 53 Euros. It was dense and rich, with concentrated red cherry flavours - and as lovely as you would expect from over 80 year-old-wines!
I also enjoyed a Malaga sweet dessert wine - Molino Real from Telmo Rodriguez. 
I should add that every serving plate was different - shapes, textures, colours - all fascinating. And service was impeccable, as one would expect.
This was an astonishingly good meal at any price but for 90 Euros - $135 Cdn - it was truly remarkable! I highly recommend a visit - and an earlier reservation than we made - if you are visiting Seville.
This was the first time either of us had been to a Michelin-starred restaurant - most are in Europe - and we hope to be so lucky as to do so again. One of our most memorable meals ever - thank you to Chef Fernández!
Abantal website at: http://www.abantalrestaurante.es/about-us/trajectory