“I normally arrive at these evenings a good half hour before kick-off and almost form part of the welcoming committee at the door. However, this time around, I was probably one of the last to arrive. As I turned the corner into Market Lane it was exciting to see the natural evolution that El Capote’s Food and Wine Evenings have taken. A team of waitresses and Ian himself were circulating round the crowds serving glasses of beer to everyone with the occasional top up for those of thirsty disposition. Enjoying the Spring evening we greeted each other but it was interesting to note that out of a regular clientele of 30 people on these special evenings, only approximately 6 of us were part of the original crowd. Speaking to Ian about this later he mentioned that all his allocated covers had been snapped up within the hour on sending out the invitation email; hence many regulars had been left out!
Good food, good wine, good company
Once we were all present, Ian invited us into El Capote where we took our places around bar tables; there was to be no seating tonight. And we were quickly thrust into the tantalising delights the evening would have us experience.
Paper cones of beetroot crisps, potato crisps and spiced cashew nuts were handed out to everyone whilst the first course was prepared.
Tantalising delights the evening would have us experience
Glasses of a silky, kimchi broth were handed out to everyone with slices of red grape as well as sea urchin roe – huevas de erizo – hidden at the bottom. If the sea urchin wasn’t surprise enough there were also bits of popping candy, crackling away. This glass was a delicate breath of the sea. I was however unsure as to the temperature of the dish. The idea of a broth would indicate that it would be a warm dish but it was served lukewarm. Was this to prevent the sea urchin from cooking in the residual heat? Was it due to the time it took to plate up the dish? Either way – around our bar table we came to the consensus that perhaps chilled it would have also been delicious. We happily sipped away diving for the sumptuous sea urchin flesh so as not to waste a single morsel.
Next came a palate-cleansing cocktail made with elderflower cordial, Prosecco and a mint leaf. Bright, fresh, bubbly and dangerously quaffable! Whilst we sipped upon these we were asked to play a game to determine a winner from each table. Some of us are still trying to get to grips as to how to play the game!
The winners from each table won a golden nugget of pure decadence – mil hojas de foie y queso de cabra covered in gold leaf. The rest of us were presented with the wooden spoon version of these milhojas (mille feuille). Ours was not covered in gold leaf but delicious nonetheless. The golden winners were treated to sheer indulgence. With both versions there was accompanying jam/membrillo and hazelnut rubble adding sweetness and a texture to the finished dish. Absolutely divine….”