Rice is definitely on the menu in this new Tarragona gastronomic initiative aimed at promoting the rice grown in the delta region of the Ebro, an area which has just been declared a biosphere reserve due to its sustainable development.
Called “Jornades Gastronomiques de l’ Arròs” the promotion sees 16 of the best local restaurants in town serving their own weekly signature rice dish from the 29th of May till the 16th of June. The rice dish is 12 € and extras are not included.
We took a pick and choose Restaurant Degvsta; on offer was a deep, rich,velvety black rice served with sweet octopus and topped with a dollop of perfect aioli.
But let’s start at the beginning.
There is always a bit of room for starters which, although not part of the Arròs menu, are a mandatory addition to any restaurant experience. We had roasted chicken croquettes served with cream of marrows topped with roasted and salted almonds.
This was followed by a timbale made from juicy thin sliced potatoes and butifarra ragout served with a a fried egg.
Simple earthy flavors which go a long way and we mopped up what ever was left with Degvsta own home made walnut bread.
Next came the generous, dark glistening Arròs, almost pungent, bursting with tender octopus cooked to perfection.
It left us so full that we almost regretted the starters. But when it comes to dessert, there is always a little room left and we completed the meal with a lemon sorbet, bathed in chartreuse, garnished with a crisp sliver of caramel and marinated strawberries.
The meal came with a fine bottle of Somdinou SOM 19 form the Tarragona’s Terra Alta region made of white garnaxa grapes, a perfectly matching the earthy seafood flavors of the dish
But as wine goes this was just a whiff as last weekend saw the Rambla of Tarragona filled with wine affectionados sampling DO Tarragona finest. On sale were also additional platters of local cured ham and cheeses and it was just the best excuse do dip your nose in to a locally made wine sampling feast.