Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 9 - Costa Brava to Mollo

I couldn't resist one last picture of our fabulous eating spot. Breakfast was fresh squeezed juice, cafe con leche made to order, bread with jam & butter, little pastries, assorted meats, cheeses & fruit.

The previous day, we had decided to wait for the weather - if it was sunny, we'd stay in Costa Brava & swim, then drive to the mountains later in the day. If it was too cold we'd hit the Dali Museum and head to the mountains. It was cold. Off to the Dali museum. Kyle and I both thought this would be our favorite museum of the trip. The books made it sound so interesting, but with no background on Dali at was our least favorite. The art felt like jibberish, it was crowded and the crowds for some reason were particularly annoying and rude. Maybe if I took a class on Dali and had some clue as to what things symbolized.....

Pink building with bread on the walls and an egg on top. Sounds fun, but gets old quickly. After the museum, it was lunch time. We had no idea where to eat. Everything looked horrible touristy - the town the museum is in is basically a backwater where Dali was born with nothing going for it but the museum. So there were tons of "tourist" restaurants everywhere.

We finally found a pinxto bar that looked edible. There was a room temperature case with bread topped with stuff that you could just help yourself from. For some reason it gave me a bad vibe - it was not tasty really, so I hardly ate much. Kyle was starving and ate one extra thing I didn't eat.
We headed out towards the pyrenees and stopped in Besalu, a cute medival town. The area was littered with them.

Finally, maybe 3 hours from Figueres/Dali Museum, we arrived at our hotel in the tiny mountain town of Mollo. It was pouring rain with a capital P.

A few minutes later, it let up and we went inside. The hotel was reminiscent of a swiss chalet and people were speaking french everywhere since we were so close to the french border. Except for the group of american motorcylce tourists. They were speaking texan.

The front desk asked if we wanted to eat at the hotel restaurant that night. I had read it was quite tasty, and planned to eat there one night and at this "semi-secret gastronomic gem" (Can Po) I'd found in Fodors that was 15 minutes away the other night. We looked at the night's menu, and the helpful desk guy who spoke english, we'll call him Juan, translated for us. When he got to the third entree choice, I freaked. It said "poltre" which I assumed was some sort of chicken. Thank goodness we never order chicken, because actually the entree was "pony cheek". In fact, the area was having a big "eat ponies" festival. I picked up the brochure just to prove it.

Kyle thought we should do the gastronomic gem, so I agreed. Actually he really wanted to eat the ponies, but sensing a fierce argument, I quickly suggested Can Po instead. An aside - when travelling with Kyle, he always wants to eat the weirdest thing on the menu. I tend to want to eat the best sounding thing, or whatever the waiter reccomends. Granted, he got me to try the veal carpaccio and baby eels, which I loved. But I resisted snails the whole trip and was wary of rabbit....and certainly refuse to eat ponies.

Within an hour it had quit raining so we went for a walk before our 9pm dinner reservation. The village was exquisite in the late evening sunlight.

When we got to the end of the village, we realized there were numerous walking routes heading out into the hills. We followed the lovely sound of cow bells and headed up a trail through pastures.
This is what I love about Europe. I love the mountain villages with cute homes and lodging, that have been there forever. I love trails going through private property, from town to town. I love amazing gourmet restaurants out in the middle of nowhere. Yes, I am glad we have our pristine wilderness areas, but sometimes, I just wish there were a cute mountain villages perched on hills and cow bells, all along Hwy 20. Or anywhere in our mountains.

Our walk was sublime and we couldn't wait to do more the next day. But first we had a date with Can Po, one I'd been looking forward to for quite a while. When we arrived, it was dead empty. It was 9pm, much too early for a spanish dinner, even in the mountains. On a friday. I think they do most of their business in the winter ski season because only a few more diners joined us at 10pm.
It was a good thing we were early because there was a big language barrier and we were very indecisive. So many things looked amazing and we weren't really sure how much to order since everything in spain seems to be small plate style. We finally settled on prawn carpaccio with fresh porcini confit, plus a puff pastry tart layered with fois gras, potatoes and ...apples maybe? (actually...I don't really remember what was in it). They both blew our minds, if I remember correctly.

Next we had a goat cheese salad with avocado and jamon.... and finally our main courses. We ordered a wild boar stew and a filet w/ a porcini mushroom cream sauce. I loved the beef, kyle liked the stew better than I did. The stew was full and earthy, but still a stew and I don't think I'm a huge fan of stew meat. We shared both and were stuffed. I'm sure we had dessert too, but my memory is seriously failing me. Take notes next time I guess!

Back to the hotel and off to bed until......

No comments: