Saturday, March 29, 2014

Benito at Serrano

As you walk in you see a fabulous painting on the back wall. You've come to see it and other pieces by reknowed artist Benito Escarpizo. Celebrating 2014 as  A Year of Art, Benito's work is on display through this weekend. We made sure not to miss the exposition and I quietly moved through the dining hall to photograph and admire all I saw. 
Suddenly someone was behind me and said, "You don't want to take too many pictures!" I was startled and then delighted to personally meet the artist himself, who walked around with us commenting on what he had created and what was being displayed. 

Restaurant Serrano, which besides being a class one restaurant in every sense also became in 1995 an official Mycological Restaurant, meaning that it's the place to be to attend one of the numerous courses and lectures taught about mushrooms and cooking, integrating a panel of mycological tasters of Castile and León. In case you didn't know, Restaurante Serrano is a landmark in the province of León for mushroom tasting. 

Jesus, owner, who together with his family, are fabulous chefs, and culinary instructors of renowned cooking classes and wine and beer tasting in Astorga. He takes special delight in mushroom hunting and in the preparation of his own mushroom recipes that are always on my personal vegetarian list of "bests".

This time our vegetable (carrot, zucchini, mushroom) lasagna with bechamel cream sauce melted in our mouths as we enjoyed every bite along with amply provided fresh baked bread. In Spain you eat with both hands, always above the table, your utensil in one hand and your bread in the other, enjoying every last morsel and drop of sauce.

I had made reservations knowing that Benito, from La Cepeda was going to have his work exhibited at The Serrano. What we didn't expect was to run into him there and talk to him about his work and life and greet his family whom we were honored to meet (just to the right of us where you see the red-aproned waiter) before sitting down to our meal.

A chocolate mousse with lemon meringue, cinnamon, creme and cake bottom, together with café con leche was the perfect way to end a perfect meal.

Note: We seemed to enter into 2015 so fast that I didn't even notice that the wonderful art exposition hosted by Serrano's Restaurant had ended. What's more, I was so sorry that I wasn't able to view every single one of them as I had ambitiously planned. Still, worthy of comment was our meal in February-March and meeting and visiting with Benito Escarpizo and his family from La Cepeda. It was a true honor.

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