Back in 1936, as the Spanish Civil War was going on, Federico Garcia Lorca completed writing the play, The House of Bernada Alba. A (large) number of years ago, Mirinda directed a marvellous production of it at the Lighthouse Theatre. The play has only female characters in it except for one who, while only named, is a brooding, sexual presence. His name is Pepe. The women call him Pepe “el Romano“.
The only reason I mention this wonderful Spanish play by an amazing Spanish writer is because we went to our favourite tapas restaurant (and possibly our favourite restaurant, period) tonight and Mirinda calls it Pepe el Romano.
Pulpo Negro, its actual name, is Spanish for Black Octopus and serves the best tapas for miles and miles around. It is brilliant. It is also very popular, so I don’t really need to send them more business. In fact, when I try and book, I normally have to move my preferred date by a week or two in order to get a table. But it is so worth it.
And they are always changing bits and pieces in the menu. I guess it stops the chefs getting bored as well as keeping customers coming back for more.
Tonight, for instance, they were offering artichokes and violet with aioli. Personally, I am very fond of artichokes, particularly if someone else peels them for me, so was naturally drawn to order them. I am so glad I did.
They were utterly delicious. As was everything, really.
Obviously I had my favourite smashed egg but was disappointed that the pistachio cake with olive oil had been switched out for a whiskey tart. Until I ate the whiskey tart and very quickly changed my mind.
All up, an excellent (as usual) meal at Pulpo Negro. Cheers for that.
PS: The title of this post comes from a New York Times review of a 2006 production of The House of Bernarda Alba. You can read it here. It’s a little less than glowing but with a great title.