Our evening with Dos Hermons at Casa Brindisa was a lot of fun. We feasted on the best food and booze that Spain and Jose Pizarro has to offer. We took over the whole restaurant and lapped up the procession of speeches from the assorted Spanish gourmet experts that punctuated our banquet. It's a great model for an indulgent gastronomic night out.
We started with some Manzanilla Pasada sherry, bright green Gordal olives and salted almonds which were quickly followed by some soggy bread topped with tomatoes.
Smoked and salted anchovies were a revelation. The smoked version was particularly impressive. I would be tempted to serve them at the start of an informal dinner party, or with some crunchy bread and a glass of chilled sherry.
Jamon was sinfully good. We learnt how the curing process is designed to mimic the ebb and flow of the seasons and can last for many years. This jamon was sweet, savoury, salty and plated seductively. There are few things in life more pleasurable than scoffing this stuff. There was almost a fight on our table as we all tried to guzzle more than our fair share!
Croquetas were sensational. The crispy balls were stuffed with creamy, salty cod bechamel, whilst the sausage shaped one held little jewels of jamon. I wish I could eat these all day.
Fritatta was solid. Literally. And could have done with an extra whisker of seasoning. It was perfectly decent, but nowhere near as exciting as the other dishes.
Enormous prawns a la plancha promised to be heavenly. But despite their juiciness, they lacked the flavour I was expecting. A twist of salt and pepper fixed this pretty quickly.
Sea bass with morcilla de Burgos and piquillo peppers was a great combination of deep, porkiness and soft, flaky fish. The subtle spice from the crumbly sausage mixed with irridescent white flesh is one of my favourite combinations. If I was cooking it I'd be tempted to dial up the smoky paprika spice.
Pork tenderloin dusted with paprika was a shadow of what it could have been. It was a bit dry and for want of a more descriptive expression, dull.
Pulpo a la Gallega was excellent. A real star. The flesh was tender and the flavours vivid. It was a cracking dish. I am fast becoming a squid and octopus lover.
A tempura of artisan Monte Enebro goat's cheese dressed with orange blossom honey was awesome. It's a great way of bypassing the issue of whether to have pudding or cheese first. Just combine them! A crema Catalana was deliciously sweet and creamy. A fine end to a fun evening.
It was a real treat to scoff such high class Spanish food amongst friends who as keen on putting good stuff in their mouth as I am. Whilst I don't think I'll ever be a regular at Brindisa's restaurants (due to location), I am keen to buy their goodies to cook at home. I've got my eye on their pork loin marinated in paprika. Thank you Simon for organising such a fun event. And good luck with future Dine with Dos Hermanos events.
For other write ups see:
Silverbrow on Food