After a very long week of 13-hour days, sometimes you need a little treat. And last night’s dinner was just the treat. After a ramble to see Salamanca’s Christmas lights, a little Christmas shopping (Emilie is coming) and to enjoy an impromptu local band, we settled in for a culinary journey.
We dined at Ment. It’s a restaurant helmed by Michelin-stared Chef Oscar Calleja. The renowned Cantabrian/Mexican Chef has created a sanctuary for food. Spanish chefs are making a splash on the world stage right now, and it is easy to see why. My friend, Donna, remarked that it was like eating in a spa. Chef Calleja’s philosophy of tranquillity and humility is certainly achieved.
The staff were as attentive as those of a spa. But it was the food that was the true star. We enjoyed the Fall tasting menu including everything hunted in the region during this time of year. Wild boar, goose, duck, and Roe deer. Truffles, mushrooms of obscure varieties,and fall berries, it was a wave of flavors drawing from the chef’s dueling heritages of Mexico and Cantabria.
I am no foodie, but I took photos of the entire meal. It was art, after all. Course after course. Each came with a palate cleansing surprise to lead you gently to the next course. The photos don’t really do it justice.
Finally, since I am unable to eat gluten they made us a special dessert consisting of a cotton candy tortilla, which they placed in my hand. Then they added a bar of sorbet covered in gold dust. I was to wrap is as a burrito and take a bite. Amazing. It’s the only word for it.
Donna and I moaned repeatedly throughout the three-hour meal. Inspiring other late arriving diners to say ‘I’ll have what she’s having’. Cotton candy ice cream burritos all around.
If ever in Salamanca, you must try this restaurant. And when you do, enjoy whatever seasonal tasting menu Chef Oscar Calleja has conjured up. You be very glad you did.