La Azotea is a tiny place with about about 6 small tables and around a dozen stools at the bar. It is mostly a tapas place with lots of fresh seafood with really friendly staff. One wall of the place is windows out to the street and the wall opposite has a window that looks into the kitchen. They have a printed menu but most ordering seemed to be from the waiter involving what was fresh that day. Seafood is sold by weight or by piece. The set up is basic with paper napkins and no table cloth but the waiters happily changed out the plates with each course and often brought clean napkins and flatware. There is some background music but the place filled in no time with customers even waiting to take our seats. It was a totally fun experience to sit at the bar and watch the action as well as interact with the staff.
The places all are set with olives and bread.
We started with some artichokes, onions and ham. The onion had cooked down to the point of making it a sauce. The ham added a lot of flavor to the mild artichokes. It was a great start.
Next were clams with garlic and manzanilla sherry. They were tasty, simple and loaded with garlic. Even the juice was good to soak up with some bread. The clams were so tender, sweet and fresh. A total winner of a dish.
The staff saw us watching the slicing of the hams. It is an art to get the correct amount of thinness and fat with each slice. All of a sudden two slices on bread show up at our spot – that’s the kind of place it is, they enjoy having you there. It was a delicious bite.
We ordered a fresh fish, some kind of sole that was to be baked in the oven. It was presented before it was taken to cook and then again after it was out of the oven. After which they took it back to fillet it for you. It was totally moist and nicely seasoned. Their fillet technique was spot on – not a bone in sight. It was served with a potato gratin that was a tad spicy, but just the right amount. The fish skeleton was brought out to as were the sacks of roe sacs for you to eat as desired. They were mild tasting but had this great popping in your mouth, which were the eggs.
Another special that day was pigeon. The leg was prepared confit style, the breast grilled to a perfect rare and the wing was fried. The meat was all very tender and the different textures of the pieces made it interesting. It was all well seasoned. A wheat blend made the sauce and the olives are the dark brown components.
For dessert we had a orange and orange blossom cream with gin ice and mint ice cream. It was creamy, cool, smooth and very refreshing. It was sweet enough to satisfy but not so much that it would put you over the top. It also was a really unique combination of flavors.
The Chef had noticed us watching him and came out to meet Frankie after the meal. They called him the “crazy chef” but I’d say he just turns out some crazy good food.