Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Eating in Asturias: Koldo Miranda

Considering that to my mind, Koldo Miranda sits just off the road to the Hipercor, you wouldn't describe it as a beautifully located restaurant. But once inside, you feel like you're out in the country, in an old casona, far from Spanish-versions of Walmarts that sell tires not far from the canned tuna. It's a lovely place, with stone walls done up with glass insets and dark wood.

After many postponements, we finally ate there a couple of weeks ago. And it turns out it was too bad we hadn't made it earlier. Two amuse-bouche: one of squash soup with chorizo mousse, the other bread cut and fried to look like french fries, served with sauces that looked, but didn't taste, like ketchup, mayonnaise, and melted cheese. Then fat clams in green sauce, the best roast vegetables I've ever tasted, and a roast monkfish in saffron saboyan. Then a lot of delicious desserts, most of which we hadn't asked for (the best kind).

And if you had any doubts about the restaurant's ambitions, check out the wine list. Somewhere toward the middle is a Pingus 2001, priced at 1,125. Euros. Pretty good for a joint up the road from Walmart.

Friday, February 02, 2007

More News from Deep Spain

About three weeks ago, the mayor of the tiny mountain village of Fago was murdered. He was driving home at night when his car was apparently ambushed at a turn on the dark road from Jaca. His body was found not far from the site.

The media immediately descended on Fago, and it soon became clear that the mayor was despised by roughly half he population for his refusals to empadronar (or municipally register) people who didn't live in Fago year round and his decisions to restrict construction in the town. It was also suggested that the casa rural he and his wife had spent some 400,000 euros to renovate wasn't doing so well. His decisions, in fact, had divided the town into factions so bitter that if you were on one side, you didn't want to get caught talking to someone on the other. There are only 37 people empadronado in Fago, with maybe 200 more living there, but they sure didn't like each other.

Yesterday, the Guardia Civil finally arrested someone in the case. Turns out he is the former candidate who ran--and lost--to the now-dead mayor, and that the two had long-time disputes over boundaries and livestock. What's more, the arrested ran the only other casa rural in town. Viva la España negra.