Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Great Discovery

A great discovery we've made in Monforte de Lemos is the Centro do Vino da Riberira Sacra. It goes by the shorter name of Centro do Vino (with a tilde over the n), which is Gallegan for Centro de Vino (with no tilde).

Friends just call it "Centro". Centro has a unique concept: It offers a cafe-tapa bar (which is also a restaurant with a fixed menu that allows you to sample several of the tapas and desserts at a fixed price). Through a doorway, you enter a wine shop that offers a selection of wines from the many wineries of the Rebeira Sacra region (the region in these parts, and the name means "Sacred River" in Gallegan.) And the third offering is a museum upstairs with several guided tours during the day. The museum takes you through the history of wines in this region and their distinct characteristics. Several friends have recommended the tour, and we plan to take it either tomorrow or Thursday.

But today I want to mention the taperia's offerings: They are wonderful. My husband and I are vegetarians, with the exception that we do eat fish and seafood. In the course of this trip, we have sampled their smoked salmon on toast, their langostini (jumbo prawns) croquettes; their bacallao (cod) in tempura, and their pemientos (sweet peppers) with bonita tuna, and they are all indescribably delicious, as is the cafe con leche and their wines. We come in often, and today they threw in a remarkable cheesecake as a "gift". Galicians are gracious that way, and the spirit of giving is prevalent in cafes as well as among our neighbors, (who stop by with eggs, vegetables or wine from their cellars.)

It's hard to know how many people reading this will be coming to Galicia, Spain, but for those who do, and who come specifically to Monforte de Lemos, you can't have a richer tapa experience than to stop at Centro do Vino. After that, go next door to the wine shop, after taking the tour (which includes an English guide and is offered 6 times a day), and make your selection of wine. You will meet with graciousness at every turn.

Their Website: http://www.centrovino-ribeirasacra.com/
e-mail: info@centrovino-ribeirasacra.com
For those who make it to Monforte: Their address and telephone number:
Rua do Comercio 6, Monforte de Lemos 27400, Lugo, Espania
Telefono: 982 105 303

For those perplexed by the word "do" in this context: "do" in Gallegan is the same as "del" in Spanish. And Rua (with an accent over the "u") is the Gallegan word for "street".

Hasta la vista, and more tomorrow about the Medieval Fair last Saturday.


Clementine said...

My Spanish professor would be all over this. We had a lesson on cafe-tapas. She said that many times people would hit two or three tapa bars before dinner. The real reason for the tapas is sort of gross. They use them so that bugs won't fly into the drinks - eewww!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hey Mitty, you brought Spain to life with your lovely descriptions of the Spainish Country side. I am sure it will figure in one of your future books.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Amy, I don't know when the bugs were the reason for tapas, but that sure isn't the reason now. They are served on a separate dish. And they are good, good, good!

Rachna, I think you are right. Sooner or later, Galicia is going to show up in a book. Every time we come I fill a notebook. I feel saturated with Galicia, it's so beautiful!