Last night I went to a sherry tasting dinner at Azafran that was quite enjoyable, and reasonably priced to boot. Five courses, including dessert, and a different type of sherry served with each, for $40. Most of the dishes also used sherry in cooking--first course was clams sauteed in Manzanilla sherry, 2nd was monkfish sauteed in Fino sherry with lots of garlic, golden raisins and pine nuts, and 3rd was grilled tuna in an Oloroso sherry sauce. Of these three, I particularly liked the monkfish; unfortunately, the tuna was rather dry, and the onions in some sort of creamy sauce that came with it were not to my taste.
4th course was a seafood paella, which we both thought was excellent (all the shellfish in it was perfectly cooked) and wished we'd had more room for. Dessert was a very nice almond tart.
I wish I had taken better notes on the actual sherries, as the printout I have just has the type: Manzanilla, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez. The Palo Cortado was (I'm pretty sure) a Barbadillo Palo Cortado Obispo. I thought this one was particularly good, and it matched very well with the monkfish dish. The Pedro Ximenez was also very good--although sweet, it had a nice acidity to it so it wasn't cloying. I was told it's made partially with Muscat, although I may have had so much to drink at that point that I'm not remembering correctly.
Criticisms I've read of Azafran include that it's noisy, and it did get pretty loud towards the end of our dinner (the restaurant was almost full by the time we left). Service was good, though, and we left very full and happy. I'll go back again for the regular menu.
I think Azafran is running this menu for the next two nights, as well, althought it'd be best to confirm.
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