Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dining Heaven

I'm back! I apologize to my fellow readers for my absence but I was on a bit of a hiatus. August in Spain can be quite boring as everyone leaves to go on vacation so I myself escaped to Germany for a bit (what a fantastic country) and now I am back in Valladolid.

As if I had not already ate like a queen in Germany thanks to my dear friends introducing me to delicious restaurants (I will get to that later), the very next day after arriving in Spain a family friend took us out for lunch. Lunchtime in Spain is equivalent to dinner time in the United States and other countries. Almost every local store shuts down at 14:00 h for lunch break and doesn't open again until 17:00 h! The tradition is to have the strongest meal of the day at that time with family and, well... usually end up taking a nap afterwards.

Newsweek recently voted Spain the best country for dining and I can understand why. We chose a restaurant named Fortuna 25 in the heart of the city. Most restaurants are very similar in look and offer mostly mediterranean dishes. Usually there is a fixed price for a three course lunch with plenty options to choose from. For the "entrante" or first plate, I chose "chipirones a la plancha con alioli" or grilled squid with olive oil mayonnaise. This dish is very traditional and I had tried it several times before, but this was by far the best. Tender, perfectly salted, and so delicious it was all in my stomach before I blinked twice.

I had decided on the second course the minute I picked up the menu, because as usual I magnetized automatically to the duck options. Duck confit in a grape sauce? YES, please! When will be the day that I get tired of the tender, delicious, and gamey taste of this beautiful bird? The answer is, never! To be honest I couldn't taste the grape in the "grape sauce" all that much and it almost reminded me a bit of stew, but it was nonetheless amazing.

Almost everything on the table was absolutely mouth-watering but I was introduced to one thing I had never tried before... The tail of a bull. To some it sounds repulsive, but it was actually awesome; very gamey, strong flavor and super tender.

Finally, for dessert I tried to pick the least sweet thing on the menu. Although once in a blue moon I go crazy for certain desserts, I find that lately I am drawn much more to salty dishes. The "peras al vino" or pears soaked in wine sauce were the perfect choice! Definitely sweet, but with a dash of sour flavor.

I have officially made myself hungry revisiting this experience, so I'm off for now!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Simplicity + Couture = Perfection

I'm well aware that Paris Couture Week took place a few weeks ago, but through my travels I haven't really sat down and analyzed the shows until now. I remember at the beginning of my fashion design studies all I dreamt of was working for a couture house and keeping the art alive. I am still very much in love with couture but the only way I see it surviving is if the designers begin to simplify and edit their designs and collections. As our society adjusts to a faster pace of life with constant flow of information, we are looking for comfortable, simple pieces to wear that fit our fast lifestyles and pieces that can be easily combined with classics in the wardrobe to cut out "trying-on-outfits-time" in the mornings.

With that said, the Armani Privé Couture Fall 2010 collection walked right off the catwalk and into my heart. The simple silhouettes with fluid curvy lines and draping details in perfectly tailored ensembles have enchanted me.

How about a suit for work? One with strong shoulders in the jacket balanced by the draping detail and curved edges for a feminine interpretation of the power suit.

And this sexy little number, perfect for so many occasions; a cocktail party, sunday brunch, or a hot date... yes, please!

Oh, wait! It's getting cold out, let me cover my gorgeous dress with my even more gorgeous coat versatile enough for any outfit...

You want to show off that silhouette that you climbed 500 stairs for everyday? No problem, how about this sexy, fitted dress...

And if that isn't fancy enough for that wedding you've been invited to this fall, don't worry because this one will do the trick...

If you're brave enough to steal the spotlight from the bride, than the final look of the collection is for you!

Stunning, absolutely stunning! Feminine, flawless, and versatile collection!

Why Armani? Why do you torture me so?!

(Thank you for the images)