There was something about Seville. It was lively, vibrant, but not overwhelming. It seemed fairly laid-back, but full of color and history. We'd started the morning by walking to Mercado de Triana and now; the Missus had Plaza de Espana squarely in Her sights. so we crossed back over the Puente de Isabel II and headed down Paseo de Cristobal Colon...named after well, you know. It was overcast and fairly cool (remember, this was back in February) and the walk was quite easy. You do pass quite a few landmarks; like the Plaza de Toros (bullring), which I read could seat 12,000 people.
A bit further down; where Paseo de Cristobal Colon becomes Paseo de las Delicias is the Torre del Oro (the Gold Tower).
Built in 1220, the tower was once part of the city walls and also used to guard the river. According to accounts, a large chain connected the Torre del Oro to a tower on the other side of the river in Triana. It was also used as a prison for a period after the Reconquista.
This impressive building is the Palacio de San Telmo; San Telmo Palace.
It has a long and rather interesting history. It was originally built as a Navigator's College and then sold to the Duke of Montpensier who made it his palace. In 1893 it was donated to the city and is currently the residence of the President of the Regional Government of Andalusia.
That fountain and monument above is the Glorieta de los Marineros, dedicated to Juan Sebastián Elcano, who after Magellan's death, completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth.
Plaza de Espana is located in Maria Luisa Park, a very nice green area, full of fountains and gardens. Of course the main attraction for most; the Missus and I included is the Plaza de Espana, built for the 1929 World's Fair. Walking down the short tree lined street to the grand curved building makes quite an impression.
It is quite a bit to take in......
The curved façade makes it look quite grand and very harmonic to the eye.
The two towers at the end are connected by a gallery and the center structure provides a nice view as well.
And the acoustics near the main stairs are pretty good.
Our favorite part of the plaza was the former Spanish Pavilion where the façade of the main structure is lined with 58 benches. Each bench features wonderful tile work. Each one depicts a historic scene from the history of each province of Spain.
It was fun walking past the benches; the provinces are ordered alphabetically, and see all of the places we'd visited during our trips to Spain - Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla, Vizcaya.... And take in some of the interesting details that'd we'd recognize; like the coat of arms for Madrid; the Bear and The Madrono Tree.
Soon it was time to leave and head off to lunch. We headed north a short ways and down a rather small street to Petit Comite, a place that I'd read quite a bit about.
The folks here are very friendly, the atmosphere somewhat cozy, the menu full of interesting, sometimes "fusion" raciones and tapas. Of all the places we ate at in Seville, this one felt the most like a true restaurant.
The Missus started with a glass of wine; I had a beer. And with the help of our friendly Server, put together what he considered a "nice" meal....'not too much, not too little" with a few signature dishes. Oh, did I mention his English was impeccable......which made me somewhat worried, but heck, we found that just about every place we visited in Seville, there was someone, at least one person who spoke English.......and it seemed most of the young folks did speak some English. It kind of made me embarrassed that I really don't know another language.
First up; the Duck Risotto with Pumpkin and Foie Gras (8,2€ - $9).
I've mention my leeriness of typical restaurant par cooked risotto before, but this was mentioned as a house specialty. It came out in minutes and the texture was rather uneven, sometimes too hard and chewy, though the pumpkin did help to add additional creaminess to the dish. We also thought the kitchen was a bit heavy-handed in the sodium department which really affected the flavors.
The Broken Egg with Foie Gras (6,9€ - $7.75) was better.
Thinking that we had ordered too much food, we almost didn't order the Octopus with Truffle Parmentier, but our Server told us it was one of the restaurant's signature dishes, so we got a media racione (5,5€ - $6.25)
I'm glad we got this as this was by far our favorite dish of the meal. Nice combination of flavors and textures; the truffled potatoes were delicious, the octopus flavorful and just slightly toothsome. The egg added an even richer texture to the dish, almost, but not sending it over-the-top.
We finished with the Angus Pastry with foie gras (6,5€ - $7.25)
Yes, it's a burger....sort of...the puff pastry is a whimsical play on the bun...there's a fairly decent sized piece of foie gras under that puff pastry. Loved the texture of the bun....and of course the foie. Found the burger to be pretty good, but underseasoned as were the vegetables.
We really loved the service here, but found the food to be a bit uneven and though Petit Comite was far from mediocre, it paled in comparison to all our other meals in Seville. Perhaps it was just an off day?
Dos de Mayo #30
All of that rather rich food for lunch left me ready for "siesta time". But the Missus wanted to visit one last place before heading off to slumber land. So we headed under that arch and off to our next stop which was surprisingly close.
Thanks for reading!