Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Highlight #104: Bloggers! Together! - Restaurant: Cuerno

It's always more fun to eat with a group. This is especially true for a group of people who spend most of their spare time reading about food, taking photos of food, and writing about food. So it was with great pleasure that I shared a meal with a few delightful bloggers at Cuerno.

Both Molly from Disposable Income and Gene from Eat, Drink, Man were as wonderful in person as they are in print. I was beyond giddy when the group, which also included a friend and two SOs, decided in the collective that we were excited about the rabbit and snail paella enough to order it.

While the paella cooked, we nourished ourselves on conversation and some nibbles. Among the plates was a salt cod fritter, which JM and I fell in love with while in Barcelona. Were these as good as what we had in Spain? Perhaps not (a little too mushy). But that's almost an impossibly high standard to meet considering that memory has a way of coloring good experiences in heavenly hues. These were soft and a little creamy from having been washed (probably in milk). There was no excessive saltiness, just a pleasant savoriness.

My favorite from a previous visit made another appearance. These grilled scallops were quite sweet, but were just a bit more cooked than the last time, which I had always thought about fondly. Perhaps the slight thinness of the scallops had something to do with it. Regardless, they were seasoned well and benefited from the generous dose of green-tasting olive oil.

The paella was flavored well and boasted quite an abundance of rabbit pieces and plump snails. If there was anything to pick on, it would have been the lack of a crunchy bottom. In this rather strange sounding combination, the earthiness of the snails really complemented the slight gaminess (in a good way) of the rabbit to create balanced bites.

Besides the paella, we also ordered a few other mains including this steak. As you can see, the meat was cooked to just the right temperature and, as a result, was very tender. A little more salt may have made it even more fantastic.

More than the food, we laughed like old friends rather than new acquaintances. I like to think that it's because food people are just happier people in general. :) We'll be doing it again for sure.

905 Juniper St.

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