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Seville Part 2: Sevilla, Sabor y Siente

My final post about the city of Seville is entitled "Sevilla, Sabor y Siente" which means, "Seville, Taste and Feel." The "sabor" refers to several tremendous meals I had while visiting the city and the "siente," to a performance that was so filled with emotion, it nearly made me cry. Let's get started with the first focus of this Sevilla post -


Sabor (Taste):


El Disparate

El Disparate is a restaurant located in Seville that serves Andalusian and fusion cuisine. "Disparate" means "folly, nonsense, or madness" in Spanish, but my experience at El Disparate was anything but foolish. In fact, every dish I ate was meticulously and thoughtfully prepared, the hospitality was top-notch and the ambiance was warm and pleasing.


Aperol Spritz

At the suggestion of the server, I started my meal on what was a very warm day, with a refreshing, Aperol Spritz and some house made bread served with Spanish, olive oil. From there, the server led me on a journey to experience the menu highlights.


Oyster

My first dish was a raw oyster served with ajo blanco and black garlic. Ajo blanco, or white gazpacho, is an elegant, chilled, almond soup. It, and the black garlic, paired beautifully with the briny oyster.


Cod Fritter and Anchovy

The cod fritter was crispy and served warm, with an accompanying, cool, quince aioli. The anchovy, from the Cantabrian Sea, was served on a piece of toasted bread with a sauce made of flame-roasted eggplant.


Foie Terrine

The terrine was made with foie gras and served with crisp, apple pieces, an apple spread and a goat cheese emulsion. All of these elements, spread on the crostini, created a gorgeous, flavor medley.


Chickpeas

These garbanzo beans were mixed with cod tripe and served in a slightly spicy, Thai, red curry. Because every dish at El Disparate is so good, and there are so many to try, I suggest coming with several people and a large appetite, so you can enjoy as many of their innovative offerings as possible.


Tradevo Centro

I was told that Tradevo is the restaurant to visit in Seville's historic center and clearly, this is true because the place was packed. The restaurant is known for traditional cuisine with a contemporary touch.


Marinated Olives

While I looked over the menu, the server gave me these Spanish olives to munch on. They didn't even loosely resemble the olives that pass as "Spanish" in the U.S. The texture, aroma and taste were all so much richer.


Three Cone Fry-Up Triptych

Not sure what to order, I solicited a recommendation from the server who suggested the Three Cone Triptych. One cone held fresh anchovies marinated in lemon, another held aubergine served with salmarejo sauce and cumin salt, and the last was home to chicken wings marinated with herbs and spices. All three items were deep-fried deliciousness.


Brothy Beef Cheek Rice

My next course was a play on a traditional paella. Using the same arborio rice, the chef added house-made beef broth, braised veal cheeks, sautéed kale, artichokes, roasted cauliflower and mushroom slices.


Chocolate Molten Cake with Black and White Ice Cream

Travedo is a great restaurant. I will be returning, when I am next in Sevilla, to try more of chef Gonzalo Jurado's creations.


La Cantina By SedeMéxico

La Cantina is located in the heart of Seville's barrio Santa Cruz. The restaurant serves authentic, Mexican dishes, some of which I was previously familiar with, and others that were an exciting, new experience for me.


Tikin Xic Taco, Pastor Taco and Octopus and Castacan Taco (left to right)


I was told that the Tikin Xic taco was made using a traditional, Yucatán recipe that incorporates shrimp, beans, achiote and sour orange. All of these ingredients were bathed in a xnipec sauce made with habaneros, tomatoes and red onion. The word "xnipec" is Mayan in origin and means "dog's nose." This is a reference to the sauce being so spicy that your nose will be wet after eating it.

The pastor taco was made with marinated pork and served with onions, cilantro and pineapple, a preparation I was quite familiar with and enjoy.

The octopus taco, like the tikin xic, was another new addition to my taco repertoire. It was made with tender morsels of octopus that were mixed with crispy and juicy pork chunks. The meat was then topped with a tomato broth and tender sprouts.


Trio of Salbutes

Salbutes are puffed, fried, corn tortillas. They are a little bit crispy and a little bit spongy and they can be topped with any number of ingredients. Sadly, I rarely see them on the menu in U.S. restaurants. As such, prior to this dinner, the last time I had enjoyed salbutes was during my trip to Belize.

Of the three salbutes I had at La Cantina, one was topped with "oriental escabeche" (turkey cooked in broth with onions, garlic, and then topped with more garlic, pickled onions, and sour orange juice), another with conchinita pibil (pork baked in banana leaves with spices and then shredded) and the last, with pollo chilimole (chicken cooked with annatto, peppers, garlic, oregano, cumin and other spices).

La Cantina is a lively, restaurant that, as they put it, serves, "alta cocina Mexicana en estado puro," which translates to "haute Mexican cuisine in its purest form." Get a table outside for some great food and people watching, and delight in a little bit of Mexico under the orange trees of Seville.


Piola Café

For my first meal on my last day in Seville, and in Spain, I decided to eat one of the most famous, breakfast dishes in the city and country - tostadas.


Pan con Tomate and Pan con Jamón Ibérico

Spanish tostadas are not to be confused with Mexican tostadas, which are made with deep-fried, corn tortillas. Spanish tostadas (toasts) on the other hand, are toasted, rustic, white, bread rolls that are topped with different ingredients.

The most popular of these ingredients in Spain by far, is crushed tomato, olive oil and salt (with the addition of garlic and/or oregano at times). This combination is called pan con tomate, and it seems appropriate that I ate this dish on both my first day in Spain as well as on my last. In addition to the pan con tomate, I had one piece of pan con jamón ibérico, Spain's famous ham. Both were fantastic and a wonderful way to begin my last day in Spain. With that, let's move on to the second focus of this Sevilla post -


Siente (Feel):


Museo del Baile Flamenco


The Museo del Baile Flamenco, or the Museum of Flamenco Dance, located in Seville's Santa Cruz quarter, offers some of the best flamenco performances in Spain. After all, this art form originated in southern Spain, so the Andalusia region, which includes Sevilla, is the place to see it, if you can.


Attending a flamenco performance is a totally captivating and immersive experience. Flamenco is a combination of singing (cante), guitar playing (toque), dancing (baile), clapping (palmas) and snapping (pitos), that tells a story, full of feelings.


Generally, the story is one of personal struggle with prevalent themes of injustice, death, deprivation, and lost love. The dancers convey the story through their movement and their expressions and draw the audience in, to invest them in the narrative.


In a word, flamenco is passionate. Attending this flamenco performance reminded me of fado, which I experienced in the neighboring country of Portugal. Both art forms are emotionally evocative, and to experience a live performance of both in their place of origin, was a truly moving experience.


With that, I walked to a nearby, outdoor, rooftop restaurant, for a slice of blueberry cheesecake, to celebrate my last night in Sevilla and in Spain.


After dessert, I enjoyed a glass of wine, while gazing at the illuminated, Giralda bell tower, surrounded by the scent of azahar, and filled with overwhelming gratitude.

¡Salud, España! Hasta la próxima.

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