Can Pineda is a small restaurant of 2 rooms with wine barrels overhead and photos decorating the walls. The building started as a place to purchase wine and the barrels used to store the wines have long been empty but now serve as a decorative touch. It has been a restaurant for over 100 years with the current owners in place for 45 years, a sister and brother team. You enter into the smaller room that is mostly taken up with a bar/counter and pass through a short corridor filled with cases of iced down meats and seafood and cartons of fresh mushrooms and vegetables. It bodes well for the quality of the food to come. There is a fairly large menu along with several specials of the day.
The very friendly and helpful waitress was able to lead us a selection of their best dishes incorporating the freshest of the ingredients, to create a ‘tasting’ menu for us. White truffles were available that day but they would be priced at double the cost of any dish with black truffles.
We started with tomato bread which was really crisp and light and airy while being well seasoned with olive oil and tomatoes. We had this with the mixed sauté of mushrooms, including ceps or porcini. The bread was nice but the mushrooms were simply amazing.
We followed with the clams, artichokes and beans that was served with a side of peppers. The peppers added a nice zip to this fresh and simple dish. The clams had opened and added a touch of brine to the flavor. It was very tasty and perfect to mix with a slice of the doughy, crusty bread.
The baby squid was a special that day and it was dotted with fried garlic slices, bits of pepper to give it a hint of spice and mushrooms. The cook is not afraid of adding salt and it did give this dish an outstanding flavor. The squid was so delicate and tasty, not tough or chewy, just amazing. This was a lick the plate dish – so good.
Next we had a favorite of Mela, our server, poached egg with foie and truffles. The foie gras was seared perfectly and added a richness to the dish. Another winner, although I never did figure out what the chunky puree under the egg was. It tasted great, so who cares.
We finished with the Kid of Aragon, and talk about a winner. Aragon is where they raise the best goats and this one had been roasted for 4 hours over the potatoes that accompanied it. It was velvety tender with a wonderful crispy skin. The meat melted in your both – every bit of it. The potatoes reeked of meat drippings. This was without a doubt, the best goat I’ve ever eaten. Make room, it is rich but such a treat.
Mela recommended a different dessert but the description of the rolled cookies stuffed with sweetened cream appealed too much not to order it. It was topped with white and dark chocolate sauces as well as cream anglaise. A very nice finish.