Sea urchins,man buns, Q tips and popcorn

Sea urchin Bloody Mary Gazpacho,how do you follow that?.....
Well met by sunlight proud Lusitania!!! The sunlight sparkled on the Guadiana as we taxied across the bridge towards gastronomic utopia.Oh to be a sexagenarian,such fun,and another year on the clock.Spontaneity may be not,but eating out is back with a vengeance. I am not sure I would have chosen to go out for lunch in Spain on a busy Saturday in the holiday season had it not been for the fact that it was my birthday. A table for lunch at LPA had been booked online through a foolproof system that would make Tom Kerridge marvel at the technology.Our booking was responded to with a confirmation online and followed up on the morning of the reservation with a reminder, and a chance to click on a button if we wanted to cancel.Its not rocket salad is it? No chance for disgraceful no shows by disgraceful Billy No Marks.Why don´t more restaurants take credit card numbers at point of receiving a booking.Its been debated for years,but it still hasn´t been put in place.It might deter Joe public from eating out, but would save restaurant owners and chefs thousands.At least they would know where they stood.If you book a theatre ticket,you pay for it in advance,if you buy travel tickets you pay in advance  so why not pay a deposit to secure your dinner in advance and make sure you turn up to eat it and not mess around with others livelihoods.At a time when the hospitality industry is struggling on the brink of oblivion this is a wake up call surely.Well´nuff said. Lusitania was going to be full of wonders and surprises that day.Urchins,man buns, Q tips*(well I thought that was what they were called until my friend pointed me in the direction of a QR code) and popcorn.
There was no evidence of there ever being  a lockdown apart from the tell tale new fashion statement the mask.More on that story later...The precision of how a successful restaurant is run,pandemic or no pandemic was clear.We sat down at our table and were talked through the menu-less system of ordering by scanning our phones on the *QR codes attached to the four corners of the table.What came up on our phones was a menu with some innovations and some interesting tweaks to old favourites.(We had not been able to eat here for some time due to lockdown measures and border closures).Like mischievous children we ordered one of every single starter.At this point I felt so naughty even eating a pea.
a steak tartare like you´ve never seen one before....

......Sticky chicken on a stick with popcorn.Fabio´s own interpretation 
of that delicious Massimo Bottura dish from "Bread is gold"
This food doesn´t need visible labels to identify its pedigree.I could be blindfolded and still taste Fabios distinctive and witty signature.
Then..."I had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was… The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was."
And then I awoke to this......
Puck's prank making apparent that bottom was not an ass but a caniche.The ultimate ham in wanting to play all the parts in the play the mechanicals had put on for such a great feast feast.

 Handed to me on a plate,the best birthday cake ever, a Cheesecake encased in a beetroot and red wine glaze with chocolate soil.We left the restaurant in a state of euphoria and while sitting on a bench awaiting our taxi I looked up and thought I was still dreaming...The thespian had acquired a man bun,Whatever next I only asked for a quiet day out.


  1. Lucky you. I'm still waiting for my favourite restaurants to reopen.


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