We found this place on a previous trip (next to our favourite bakery - Poujouran - sadly no longer with us but the new place Secco is pretty good). Bellota Bellota is a wonderful Spanish ham place - with a tiny restaurant and a beautiful basement - was it originally a wine merchant? There are a couple of tables down there that would make a very good romantic setting. But the food...!
We did the menu - we were late for lunch but it didn't seem to matter - A free sampler of three of their four taramas and caviars came first.
A glorious gazpacho with every ingredient clearly identifiable to taste but not to see - augmented with some of their delicious sausages which Paul had as a very generous appetizer as well. Delicious bread - there was something in the menu about Poilane but no one ever cuts it that thick so it is still moist and flavourful. We could probably have stopped there, but we had a full bottle of Spanish Wine (Rioja 2005 our favourite) and nowhere to go or be.
I had ordered the carailladas (pig cheeks) but sadly it was gone so had the calamari in its own ink instead - amazing with their potato puree with olive oil, paprika and some wonderful herb. Paul had the loma (pork) with tomato - and pureed potatoes with sausage - delicious. The dessert wasn't theirs but fabulous anyway - tarte au caramel salle. Yum. The coffee came with slightly salty nuts and chocolate covered pinenuts(?) and a brown sugar heart hung on the side of the cup. All the dishes are glass and perfectly suited to each dish. Really beautiful.
And of course the ham, which they will cut for you or give you (for a reasonable but pricey consideration) prepackaged for travel.
18 Rue Jean Nicot
01 53 59 96 96
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