Well, we've been back for a few weeks and caught up at work so I thought I would update the post from our trip.
This was an escorted tour with a large number of group meals included and was very tightly scheduled with a lot of activities. When we did have down time for dining out jet lag and fatigue often meant dining around or in the hotel. Surprising lack of English spoken even in the larger city hotels.
Highlights were in:Seville
Seville Center Hotel has a lovely restaurant on the upper level of the hotel, Al Zagal Restaurant. Views were highly recommended by the tour guide, but they were actually shooing people away unless they had a reservation. We did, and it looked promising.
Very small restaurant, maybe 6 tables or so. No English spoken or comprehended whatsoever. Tried to order a bottle of red wine and got 2 glasses of white. Went to the tried and true point and hope system and settled in for an evening of whatever they decided to bring. We thoroughly enjoyed the wine, food, and magnificent views of the city and sunset. Ronda and Granada
Parador de Ronda was one of several Paradores, state run facilities that all had some historical significance or newer facilities in scenic areas, that we had meals at that were all very good. This one was at the top of a gorge and next to Spain's oldest bullring.Parador de Ronda
Found ourselves with some downtime for a meal and had a very simple dinner of Iberico ham, olives, Manchego cheese, some bread, and wine in the hotel lounge. We had this several times on the trip and it was always a very satisfying meal.Alhambra Palace Hotel LoungeCordoba
Arrived early afternoon in Cordoba, got into our room, and went a couple of blocks down to a recommended restaurant. Sorry, the name escapes me at the moment. A large number of our group showed up at the same place and we overwhelmed the staff that appeared to be winding down from lunch. No English, so we pointed and enjoyed lots of tapas including one with Baby Eel. Very good, once you get past the idea that what you thought was pasta or cheese from the menu picture is not what you're eating.Cordoba tapas with Baby EelMadrid:
Westin Palace Hotel dining room and bar:
Had a couple of Manhattans with Four Roses bourbon and tapas in the hotel bar. Beautiful bar, very good tapas, insanely expensive Manhattan.Westin Palace Hotel Bar
Might have been the highlight of the trip, dining wise.
Salvador Dali exhibition was in Madrid at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, a few blocks away from the hotel. In honor of the exhibit the hotel presented an homage to Dali by having three chefs put together a menu featuring local ingredients in a style reminescent of his artwork.
The dinner was titled: Reminiscing Dali: A Culinary Evolution from Impressionism to Surrealism. Wine pairings were a red, Castell de Peralada, and a white, Oliver Conti, both from the Empordá region, and a rosé cava, Castell de Peralada, which was drunk by Dalí himself. Unlike wine pairings that I have had in the US the glass was never empty. At the end of the meal the Maitre de brought a large leather bound book and asked us to record our thoughts on the experience.
Between the spectacular dining room, marvelous food, and the never ending wine this was one of the best, and most creative, meals I have ever had an opportunity to partake. Salvador Dali dinner at Westin Palace Hotel in MadridToledo
Had lunch at Parador de Toledo. Spectacular views from the dining room and food was very good.Parador de Toledo
Wonderful trip, hope the tips help anyone traveling to those areas.