We missed Paella Day this year. Actually, I’ve missed Paella Day every year of my entire life! For the first time in my life, I had Paella today, March 30, 2012. After today, Paella Day will be a real celebration!
My friend and I went to a Catalan Bistro named B44 near where I work.
The restaurant was quite nice with indoor and outdoor seating. It was a cold day so we opted to sit inside. The dining room was large and not too full. A large vase of roses were near the entry and the arrangement of flowers was lovely. The colors of the room were warm and wonderful.
The host wanted to put us near the back, but for photos, natural light is the best. We asked if we could sit near a window and he commented that the table was meant for four. In fact he said it twice. But still, he motioned us to a table for four near the window and removed the extra plates and napkins.
A small bucket containing bread with a crispy, chewy crust and a soft, soft, soft interior was brought to the table. A nice quality olive oil, with what appeared to be finely chopped olives was served with the bread. We read the menu and ate bread. We ate more bread.
The menu was filled with all kinds of dishes neither Sandra nor I had ever tried.
We decided to order the Escalivada – a warm salad of yellow and red peppers, onions, eggplant, cabrales (a type of blue cheese), pine nuts and garlic oil.
The flavors were so delicious – I combined some of my vegetables and placed it on top of a piece of bread! Wow! My mouth just loved it! We quickly polished off the salad. And more bread.
Since we were there to celebrate Paella Day, we ordered – Paella B44.
The Paella arrived and what a beautiful presentation! Clams, mussels, squid, chorizo sausage, and chicken with rice and colorful vegetables were set in the paella pan. Two large shrimp had been placed carefully in the center. Sandra squeezed the lemon over the entire pan.
So what was Paella like to a novice Paella eater? There are not enough adjectives to describe Paella B44. The seafood was cooked to perfection. I ate my clam first, then the mussel. Oh! Then the shrimp. Wow! Then the rice with vegetables. The rice was tender and very flavorful. There were crispy bits of rice that stuck to the bottom of the pan that begged to be scraped off with a spoon. The seasoning was perfect. The serving size was perfect for 2 people to share. We ate all of it and were totally satisfied. Almost…my dessert compartment was still empty.
We ordered the Pastel de cava con frambuesas. Oh! My! Pistachio cake with cava mousse, raspberry filling, a delightful raspberry sauce and beautiful fresh raspberries.
My friend said she would be going back for the cake, it was so delicious.
Our experience at B44 was so good, with the exception of being told about the table for four, we will go back!