Monday, April 30, 2018

Pairi Daeza: Andalusian Cuisine in Cordoba

The name Pairi Daeza comes from an Iranian phrase which means "garden or grove inside the walls", a quiet place of peace and harmony where one can celebrate the beauty of life away from the noise of the modern world. It's a definition that perfectly reflects the philosophy of this gourmet restaurant, nestled in an historic 17th-century building in the Jewish Quarter of Córdoba, just steps from the famous Mezquita Mosque. Located in the charming Hotel Balcón de Córdoba, this elegant restaurant overlooks a delightful outdoor patio with towering orange trees and up above, a gorgeous rooftop terrace with panoramic views over the city and beyond. Chef Antonio Porras offers a creative fusion of Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisine deeply rooted in the Persian tradition, reflecting the culinary history of Córdoba. Each dish is artfully served on handmade plates by Torres Ferreras, a local pottery studio based in Cordoba. Chef Porras also maintains close relationships with local farmers and suppliers to find the best ingredients, from Los Pedroches Valley jamón, Priego de Córdoba olive oil and pink tomatoes from Alcove and oranges from Palma del Rio. All created with the freshest local seasonal ingredients and prepared using the healthiest cooking techniques, Pairi Daeza truly reflects the magic of Córdoba and lives up to its name as a little haven of paradise. 

Pairi Daeza Restaurant overlooks the hotel's lovely garden courtyard 

Pairi Daeza menu

Fresh flowers in handblown Cordovan glass vase

Glass of sparkling Spanish Codorniu Benjamin Cava

Fresh warm sesame seed bread

Recommended by our server, the Alonso del Yerro was rich, complex and delicious

Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero 2013 is made in Spain's Castilla y León region

A perfect pairing with our entrées of Galician Steak and Lamb Tikka Masala

Red Tuna Tataki with White Garlic Sauce

Salmorejo with quail eggs and crispy jamon

Burrata Caprese

Tenderbud Salad with Crispy Chicken and honey mustard emulsion

Grilled Galician Beef garnished with Spanish sea salt and served with crushed potato

Lamb Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice infused with Orange Blossom

Artisanal Fresh Fruit with Feta 

The Roof Top Terrace of the Hotel Balcón de Córdoba

Friday, April 27, 2018

La Regadera in Córdoba with Chef Adrián Caballero

Overlooking the banks of the Guadalquivir, La Regadera has been ranked one of the best restaurants in Córdoba since opening in 2011, where acclaimed chef Adrián Caballero serves delicious Andalusian cuisine and a daily changing menu to take advantage of the freshest and highest quality market produce that the seasons offer. A paradise for those who love nature and exceptional cuisine, the interior of La Regadera is like a garden, full of aromatic plants complete with a dramatic 'green' wall featuring a living vertical garden. Another natural element of the restaurant is its nursery, which the chefs constantly go to carefully cut flowers and edible leaves to finish each dish that comes out of the kitchen. The interior is a love story to Andalusian and Cordoba culture, decorated with local natural fibres and ceramics which dot the stark white walls, and a collection of whimsical found objects such as an old coffee machine converted into the pot of a basil plant, and wooden boxes that used to transport the fruit and vegetables, all illuminated with lots of natural light so unique Andalusia. The name 'regadera' is actually Spanish for 'watering can', an ideal moniker for this delightful restaurant where one is treated to a shower of fabulous dishes. 

The hanging exterior sign of Regadera in Cordoba

A vertical garden highlights the main wall at Regadera

An antique drawer cabinet displays a Spanish cookbook

Fresh herbs are grown inside the restaurant for the kitchen to garnish each of the dishes

Micro cilantro, parsley and chervil

The interior is a love story to Andalusian and Cordoba culture, decorated with local natural fibres and ceramics which dot the stark white walls

Reserved tables are marked with the guest's name nestled within a vase of fresh flowers 

Confit Garlic Olives

 Terras Gauda Abadia de San Campio Albariño 

A delicious Spanish white wine, perfect for serving with seafood

Our reserver pouring Pepe Yllera Roble from Castilla y León

Brilliant deep black cherry red in colour, the wine has a bold structure with a long finish, perfect with anything off the grill, roasted meats and aged cheeses

Fresh baked breads from the kitchen

Light green Spanish Olive Oil Butter with sea salt garnish

The cover of the Regadera menu features drops of water from a watering can

Chef Adrián Caballero's daily changing menu takes advantage of the freshest and highest quality market produce that the seasons offer

The tiny but powerful kitchen at Regardera

Acorn Iberian Ham Croquettes 

Confit Garlic Mayonnaise served with the croquettes

A light crispy exterior with a silky smooth and delicious filling

Confit Cod Loin with cream of chickpeas, stew consommé and baby spinach and chard leaves

A handsome white picker arrives to pour the consommé over the fish

Braised Oxtail Cannelloni with sheeps milk béchamel and slices of cured cheese, 
garnished with micro greens 

Exterior of the restaurant with views of the Roman bridge of Córdoba and Guadalquivir river

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hospes Palacio del Bailio: A Cordoba Treasure

Hospes Palacio del Bailío is the first-five star Hotel in Cordoba, located in the heart of the ancient city of Cordoba, with The Mezquita, Alcázar palace and Jewish quarter all within walking distance. Set in a former 16th-century Spanish palace over the ruins of a first century Roman house, the hotel was declared a Cultural Heritage Monument in 1982. The current owners took great care to preserve the property’s vibrancy by maintaining its unique character and original detailing. Restored paintings and frescoes from the 19th century line the walls. Andalucian-style courtyards adorned with flowers, fruit trees and aromatic plants are framed by grand Moorish gates. Guest rooms are modern and luxurious inspired by Andalusia's character, detailed with dark walnut, polished marble and copper-and-champagne-toned textiles, that produce a sumptuous setting of historic and design perfection. Hospes Palacio del Bailío is alive with art — even the fragrant air seems full of grandeur as one breezes through the hotel’s marble corridors and orange-grove gardens.

Andalusian-style courtyard with outdoor swimming poll surrounded with palm trees, flowers, 
fruit trees and aromatic plants

Arbequina courtyard Terrazzo Restaurant

Hospes Palacio del Bailio deluxe suite

Hospes Palacio del Bailio business centre

Beautiful Moorish-style sitting area with exquisite vaulted ceiling


Arroz con Carabineros

A glass floor reveals Roman ruins buried below