Share This Gerry Dawes's Spain Post


Instagram




"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life." -- Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés of José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019

"Trust me everyone, I have traveled with this man, if Gerry Dawes tells you to eat somewhere it's like Bourdain, believe it!!" - - Chef Mark Kiffin, The Compound Restaurant, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Spain wouldn’t be as known to Americans without the stories Gerry tells and writes.” - - Superstar Catalan Chef Ferran Adrià, elBulli

"But, for Gerry, Spain is more than just the Adriàs and (Juan Mari and Elena) Arzaks. He has connected with all manner of people working at every level and in every corner of Spain. I’m always amazed at this reach. You can step into a restaurant in the smallest town in Spain, and it turns out they know Gerry somehow. I remember one rainy night in Madrid during the 2003 Madrid Fusión congress. I wanted to go to my favorite place for patatas bravas, the ultimate tapa. But Gerry had another place in mind, and I didn’t know about it. But Gerry is always right. The potatoes at his place were amazing.” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019

"Gerry Dawes loves Spain, and he loves Spanish wines. And the man knows whereof he speaks. The country bestowed upon him its prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomia (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003, and here’s what James A. Michener said about him in Iberia: SpanishTravels and Reflections: “In his nearly thirty years of wandering the back roads of Spain, Gerry Dawes has built up a much stronger bank of experiences than I had to rely on when I started writing Iberia … His adventures far exceeded mine in both width and depth … ” I first reached out to Dawes when I was planning a culinary journey to Barcelona, Rioja, and the Basque region of Spain, in 2011. I found his website and began reading, and have been learning from him ever since. Then, when I was preparing to stage at Arzak, in 2012, Dawes offered me some sound advice: learn Basque. He is opinionated – “You must decide whether you love wine or carpentry. If you want wood in your wine, suck on a toothpick as you drink your vino.” – he lives life with passion, and he respects wine and the men and woman who make it. Here’s to Gerry!" - - The Original Drinker: Spanish Wine Master Loves a $15.99 Rosado, Hates Wood and Always Avoids Wine Bars, James Brock, Paper City, papercitymag.com


Food Arts Silver Spoon Award to Gerry Dawes


 Premio Nacional de Gastronomía - - James Beard Foundation Nomination (Best Wine Writing)
Premio Periodistíco Cava

Gerry Dawes's Article Medieval Riches of El Cid's City (About Burgos, Spain)
Front Page, The New York Times Sunday Travel Section

 About Blog Author Gerry Dawes, Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award)


Gerry Dawes at Marisquería Rafa in Madrid.
Photo by John Sconzo, Docsconz: Musings on Food & Life 


Custom-designed Wine, Food, Cultural and Photographic Tours of Spain Organized and Led by Gerry Dawes and Spanish Itinerary Planning

7 Days, 7 Nights: Beyond Paella, A Video Culinary, Wine & Travel Adventure in Valencia & Alicante with Gerry Dawes & Special Guests


If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this great information and these photographs for Gerry Dawes's Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel. Contributions of $5 and up will be greatly appreciated. Contributions of $100 or more will be acknowledged on the blog.

* * * * To make your contribution, please click on
this secure link to Paypal.* * * *


6/06/2019

Valencia: Casa Montaña, One of Spain´s Greatest Bodegas & Tapas Restaurants, Five Geraldo-Dalí Persistence of Memory Melting Watches Award to Casa Montaña & Its Owners, Emiliano García Domene & His Son General Manager Alejandro García


* * * * * 

All photographs by Gerry Dawes©2019.  
No publication without written permission and payment considerations.  gerrydawes@aol.com
  
Owner Emiliano García and his son and General Manager Alejandro
García in the old bodega section of Casa Montaña, which dates to 1836. 



Geraldo-Dalí Persistence of Memory Five Melting Watches Award

This Persistence of Memory Five Melting Watch Rating for excellence applies not just to Casa Montaña, but to owner Emiliano García Domene, his son and General Manager Alejandro García Llinares, their staff and the wine list that Emiliano has put together.  Together they all add up to one of Spain´s greatest and most memorable dining experiences.


 Casa Montaña, Valencia

Founded in 1836 in this same building.  Casa Montaña passed in 1861 to Ramona Montaña Romeu, daughter of the founders.  In 1880, Casa Montaña was remodeled in the modernista style that still characterizes the entrance and bodega area of the establishment today.  Casa Montaña passed through the hands of more than half a dozen owners from 1836 to 1994, when Emiliano García acquired the historic bodega and maintained its special ambience, making it into a force for the re-vitalization of Valencia´s entire Cabanyal-Canyamelar District.


The famous mural signs on the exterior of Casa Montaña in the Cabanyal district of Valencia.
This photo was taken on one of the rare rainy days in this sunny Mediterranean city.

The Barrio de Cabanyal, the former fishermen´s district, where Casa Montaña is located, was in danger of being destroyed in order to build a broad avenue cutting through the district to the sea.  Emiliano García became a prominent activist who fought tenaciously against these plans for the avenue that were being pushed by Valencia´s right-wing Mayor and would have destroyed hundreds of buildings in this unique area of the city.   (Ironically, in elections held in May of 2019, Emiliano García campaigned with the Socialist Party candidate for Mayor of Valencia and ran on her ticket as a Concejal, a City Council member, the number two spot on the ticket.   They won the election.)


The front room, the old bodega section of Casa Montaña, which dates to 1836.


My friend of almost 20 years, owner Emiliano García in the back dining room of Casa Montaña, alongside the kitchen, with a bottle of wine from another mutual friend, the great Jesús Madrazo, who is perhaps Spain´s best producer of fine red wines.I was very flattered that Emiliano, who was in the middle of a very intense political campaign, took time off to have lunch (and dinner) with me.  Photo by Emiliano´s life partner Olga Juhasz.


The old bodega section of Casa Montaña, which dates to 1836.  All those barrels hold traditional style wines from Valencia and around Spain.


Casa Montaña is one of the most popular bars and tapas restaurants in Valencia and its reputation for great food and wonderful ambience draw customers from the city, the surrounding Levante region (la Comunidad Valenciana), Spanish gourmet food aficionados and foodies from all over the world.  It is a food pilgrimage destination.


Owner Emiliano García and his son and General Manager Alejandro
García discussing their business in the passageway between the bar section and the newer dining room of Casa Montaña.


Emiliano García, who at times seems indefatigable, in addition to being an activist for social justice and responsible business and environmental practices in Valencia, is one of the most respected, quality driven restaurant and hospitality entrepreneurs in Spain.  For several years, he was the Vice President of the Federación Española de Hostelería (Spanish Hospitality [Hotels & Restaurants] Federation.


A framed article 'La Taberna del Quixote" about Casa Montaña and owner Emiliano García that hangs in the restaurant.

Jesús Trelis (Historias del Delantal - Apron Stories): “Emiliano García esconde en su interior el alma de Alonso Quijano. No en vano ha sido su batalla caballeresca la que ha hecho posible que esa bodega, que abrió sus puertas en 1836 en el Cabanyal – Canyamelar, siga siendo hoy un puro homenaje a la cultura valenciana.”

("Emiliano García hides within his heart the soul of Alonso Quijano (Don Quixote’s name).  Not in vain has been his knightly battle that has made possible this bodega (Casa Montaña), which opened its doors in 1836 in the Cabanyal - Canyamelar and remains today a pure tribute to the culture of Valencia.")

Casa Montaña: The Food

Emiliano García has very high-quality standards for everything that goes onto the menu at Casa Montaña.  He travels each season to various sources in the Valencia region and to such areas as the Montes Universales in neighboring Teruel province for the selected dry-farmed potatoes that are served as his patatas bravas to as far afield as Santoña in northern Cantabria to personally choose lots of that fishing port town’s famous anchovies.

The extensive tapas menus listings-there are several dozen tapas available-at Casa Montaña, may seem a little strange at first.  The headings do not include the usual Meat, Fish, Egg Dishes, Vegetables, etc. categories, but are listed as Las Patatas (Potatoes), Las Anchoas (Anchovies), Las Clóchinas (the Valencian word for mejillones, mussels), El Jamón (ham), Los Beberechos (cockles), Los Postres (desserts) and El Café (coffees, teas and infusions).   

In quite original, iconoclastic, if somewhat bewildering fashion, you will find under the Las Patatas (Potatoes) section of the menu such tapas as the michirones broad beans, habitas con 100%  jamón Ibérico de bellota (baby fava beans with Ibérico ham from acorn-fattened pigs), the patatas bravas de Montes Universales (“rainfed,” read dry-farmed” potatoes with garlic--aioli garlic mayonnaise made with milk--and spicy bravas sauce) and pimientos de Padrón (classic “blistered” small green fried peppers from Galicia).   

Under the heading Las Anchoas (Anchovies), for instance, there are tapas ranging from the famous salt-cured anchovies from Santoña and fresh anchovies pickled in vinegar to the ensaladilla (potato salad [see below], Valencian peanuts, sardines and smoked eel.  And if those listings seem odd, look under Las Clóchinas (“Valencia’s small, very special mussels, which are only harvested when there’s no ‘r’ in the month.”), where not only the mussels, steamed cockles and cuttlefish are listed, you will find longaniza and txistorra sausage, morcilla (blood sausage) and the solomillo de ‘vacuno especial,’ sirloin from specially raised cattle.   

Small local tomatoes, peeled and dressed with Extra Virgen Olive Oil and sea salt.




Lazo jamón Ibérico de bellota de Jabugo, Ibérico ham--from hogs fattened by free-range grazing on acorns--salted and air-cured at the Lazo production facility in the prime D. O. Jabugo (Huelva, Andalucía). 


 


Video Demonstrating Maestro Cortador de Jamón Juanma Aguilar´s expertise in carving these high quality Lazo Jamón Ibérico de Bellota de Jabugo hams at Emilio and Alejandro García’s Casa Montaña.   

Maestro Cortador de Jamón Juanma Aguilar, Mucho Más Que Jamón, Puzol (Valencia).
xarcuteriadejuanma@gmail.com

Video, Translations & Commentary by Gerry Dawes©2017 


 
Potaje de Garbanzos de Vigilia, a soup served at Casa Montaña durning cuaresma (lent), made with garbanzos, de-salinated bacalao (salt cod), fresh spinach, garlic cloves, small onions, sliced boiled egg, bread, Spanish Extra Virgen Olive Oil, bay leaf and Spanish agri-dulce pimentón (paprika).
 

Patatas bravas de secano, selected dry-farmed potatoes from the Montes Universales in Teruel province.  The whole potatoes are deep-fried and several with a slightly picante bravas sauce and a special creamy aioli.  Emiliano García works with one farmer who grows un-irrigated potatoes and he buys the whole crop for Casa Montaña. 


Habas estofadas (michirones), stewed michirones broadbeans, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.
 

Puerro templado a la vinagreta de tartufo, warm leeks in truffle vinaigrette, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


Ensaladilla con bonito, potato and tuna salad, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


Anchoas de campaña del Cantábrico, salt-cured anchovies of the season from Santoña, a Cantabrian seaport famous for some of the greatest anchovy producers in Spain, personally selected by owner Emiliano García, who will accept no less than top quality.


Anchoas de campaña del Cantábrico, salt-cured anchovies of the season from Santoña, a Cantabrian seaport famous for some of the greatest anchovy producers in Spain, personally selected by owner Emiliano García, who will accept no less than top quality.

Atún rojo del Mediterráneo marinado a las 7 especias, red Mediterranean tuna marinated in olive oil with seven different spices and herbs, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


  
 Atún rojo del Mediterráneo marinado a las 7 especias, red Mediterranean tuna marinated in olive oil with seven different spices and herbs, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


Sardinas en escabeche, sardines "pickled" with vinegar, olive oil and vegetable, escabeche sauce (only served during Holy Week).

 
Berberechos al vapor D.O. Rías Gallegas, steamed cockles from Galicia, only in season, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


Berberechos al vapor D.O. Rías Gallegas, steamed cockles from Galicia, only in season, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


Sèpia amb ceba de varietat tradicional, cuttlefish with traditional variety onion, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


 
Another version of sèpia amb ceba de varietat tradicional, cuttlefish with traditional variety onion, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


Solomillo de ‘vacuno especial’ trinchado con ajos tiernos, sirloin from specially raised cattle served in chunks with green garlic shoots, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


 Tocinito de cielo con mermelada de tomate de variedad tradicional, tocinito de cielo (akin to creme brulee) with tomato jam made from a traditional variety tomato, Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.


Postre artesano de naranja valenciana de temporada, traditional artisanal Valencian orange-based dessert (seasonal), Casa Montaña, Cabanyal-Canyamelar District, Valencia.

Casa Montaña:  The Wine

Emiliano García has brought his energy in to making Casa Montaña one of the most famous and respected tapas restaurants in Spain.  And, from his love of wine, nurtured in the wine town of Requena (Valencia) where he was born, he has created one of the best wine lists in Spain with 500 selections from area specialty wines from casks such as mistela (fresh grape must whose fermentation is cut short by the addition of alcohol) and Fondillón (a superb aged semi-sweet vino rancio wine made in Alicante from Monastrell grapes that is reminiscent of a great Sherry Oloroso blended with a vintage tawny Port) to the best Spanish wines such as the very limited production Rioja wine Selección Jesús Madrazo and top internationally known wines such as 1982 Château Pétrus

Emiliano García, owner of Casa Montaña is a great wine aficionado and a bonafide wine expert, who selects the wines for the 500-selections wine list and also owns a top wine shop near his restaurants and has given countless wine seminars and tastings at both his store and in a special tasting room/dining room that he has set up at Casa Montaña.
 


Casa Montaña always has exciting wine, Champagne, sparkling wine selections by the glass and vino generosos (Sherry, vermouth, etc.), mistelas, Fondillóns and other wines from the barrels behind the bar.


Selección Jesús Madrazo, a superb bottle of limited production Rioja wine from another mutual friend of Emilano García and mine, the great Jesús Madrazo, formerly the winemaker who brought Contino in la Rioja Alavesa to prominence and perhaps Spain´s best fine red winemaker.




Casa Montaña
Calle José Benlliure 69
Cabanyal-Canyamelar District
Valencia, Spain
011-34 96 367 23 14


* * * * *
  Shall deeds of Caesar or Napoleon ring
More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
 
Poem by Archer M. Huntington inscribed under the Don Quixote on his horse Rocinante bas-relief sculpture by his wife, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington,
in the courtyard of the Hispanic Society of America’s incredible museum at 613 W. 155th Street, New York City.
__________________________________________________________________________________
 Gastronomy Blogs

About Gerry Dawes

My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life." -- Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019


Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York (streaming live and archived at www.pawlingpublicradio.org and at www.beatofthevalley.com.)

Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 


". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails