As hotel guests for four nights, we dined twice in the atmospheric dining room of this old family castle. Javier has assembled a solid wine list with a couple of dozen crianzas, reservas and a dozen gran reservas - many from the immediate area. Dinner was so good on our second night that I made notes. Javier started off with complimentary sweet red bell peppers (lightly sauteed in olive oil, garlic, parsley and a few grains of sea salt), and delicious potato and chorizo soup. We then ordered the mixed vegetables as our appetizer; they really understand "farm to fork" here - the dish was easily large enough to share with very fresh peas, carrots, artichoke hearts, a few small white asparagus tips and a touch of Iberian ham. My friend enjoyed bakalao (cod) prepared with tomato and sweet red peppers, while I had the entrecote, a thin beef steak prepared medium rare. Our entrees came with a complimentary, lightly dressed green salad. For dessert we considered several options. The arroz con leche is Javier's grandmother's recipe, but he suggested a puff pastry with apples thinly sliced on top of a custard flavored with a little Calvados. It was perfect, not gooey, and the touch of apple liqueur was just right. Great evening!
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