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Bar Jamon/Mermaid Inn Report

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Bar Jamon/Mermaid Inn Report

denis | Jan 30, 2004 03:05 PM

A couple of friends and I went to Bar Jamon on Monday at around 7 and waltzed right in, though only to standing room, which was fine. We had a delightful time. Both the Serrano hams (one aged more than the other) were delicious, and we also got a couple of cheeses and the tortilla. The cheeses were the cabrales and one beginning with an "m" that I think was maybe a goat's milk cheese. The latter was somewhat creamy, with a slight and slightly complex tanginess to it that was very winning. The cabrales was mind-blowing. If the m-cheese was a piquantly satisfying short story, the cabrales was a multivolume Russian novel, except Spanish. The serving of the cabrales was quite modest--a sliver about the size of 6 quarters laid flat that ran from a little less than 1/4 inch thick on one edge to nothing on the other--but we couldn't finish it. The tortilla was the best I've ever had by a lot, though admittedly I haven't had a ton: it was smooth, the potatoes had a little firmness, and it was flavorful, and it was mild.

The crowd at Bar Jamon was attractive, it was lively but not overwhelming in there, and the guy running the place was perfect. People constantly wanting his attention ruffled him not at all, and this made one not mind waiting.

Mermaid Inn was also quite good. I have to confess that we were all very well lubricated by the time we got there (we had wine at Bar Jamon of course, and then stopped at Angel's Share for a couple on the way to Bar Jamon), so I don't remember the details of everything. We got a scallop dish, which was good but not extraordinary. The monkfish was delicious, and the skate was really exceptional. The daurade struck me as a bit fishy, but my friends didn't see it that way, and it was perfectly cooked. I'd certainly go back.

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