The very successful Ebro river festival at Terry’s came to a close at the end of September with another dinner. Once again, the menu was orchestrated by JC de Terry using the produce to be found in the areas the river traverses.
While the opening dinner several weeks back had many dishes with rather intricate preparations, the dishes this time seemed less complicated and had more earthy and direct flavors as well as more traditional preparation. Although different, both approaches served to highlight the ingredients and as JC said (I’m paraphrasing here), actually imbibe the culture of the regions.
I arrived late but JC made sure I had some of the 2 meter long longaniza which had some truffles stuffed in it. Although one might expect bold flavors from this, I found it rather subtly flavored which meant one could eat a lot of it.
As in the first dinner, we started with a trio of small dishes.
My favorite was the stuffed pepper. The patorillo, a traditional Rioja stew of organ meats was hearty. I thought the beans and duck confit dish in the middle of this trio got a little bit lost as it had a rather mild flavor.
Another Riojan stew, this time made with vegetables and escargot was next.
I’m sure those who had the huge asparagus during the first dinner were happy to see it again in this dish.
A fish dish of bacalao and kokotxas baked in a puff pastry was next.
I found this quite excellent and used m bread to sop up all the liquid.
The main event was chuleton in the style of Meson Egues, which is a famous and highly regarded restaurant in Logroño This was a fine steak and there was a lot of it as well. Those who weren’t satisfied with the amount on their plate could hel themselves to more set at the center of the table.
Although we were all well stuffed at this point, one has to make room for dessert. JC has a thing about cheese ice cream and he indulges his passion for it in the dessert.
To end, trays of Rusos de Alfaro, which JC described as something akin to Sansrival cake were passed around. They reminded me of Palillos de Milan except that instead of a meringue topping, it’s a cream and the base is much more delicate and light.
There was, of course, wine served (all red), but, to be honest, I was much more interested in the food. The wine that did stand out for me was the Propriedad label from the Bodega of Palacios Remondo in Rioja. The rich fruit in this wine made a good foil for the rather earthy dishes. Of course, the final wine, a Cerro Anon Reserva from Bodegas Olarra, also in Rioja, was another wine that made a good impression. Although served with dessert, I opted to drink it before having the ice cream.
With this year’s successful festival ended, we all look forward to what JC will conjure up for next year. Some suggestions overheard were a focus on Andalucia or perhaps Catalunya. Whatever he decides, JC will surely make a success of it.
Terry’s Selection Segundo Piso is located at Unit 2 Karrivin Plaza, Bldg. B, 2316 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Tel 8441816