I've been known to wax poetic about Spain. I've called it my soulmate (if a country could be a soulmate). I've called it the most brilliant country in the world. And in the last two or three years have traveled to and throughout Spain four times. So if you don't know by now, I love Spain. And I love Spanish food. Jamon iberico, queso manchego, paella, arroz negro, fideua, gazpacho, tapas, rioja, cava...I love it all.
In my experience, "jamon iberico" served anywhere outside of Spain simply falls short. It's usually too salty or not silky enough. But Bodega Santa Rita's jamon iberico was a perfectly opaque-thin slice of velvety just-right cured saltiness. The tortilla Espanola was cooked perfectly. The gambas al ajillo came sizzling in a clay dish swimming in garlic and olive oil. And the lamb skewers came topped with a thin slice of delicious foie gras. Even though I was in a shopping/restaurant complex in the middle of central Tokyo, the authentic flavors, combined with a couple glasses of tinto (red wine), transported me to Espana.
Tortilla Espanola - the most humble yet delicious (and ubiquitous of Spanish dishes) - a thick wedge of eggs, onions, potatoes, olive oil and salt
Gambas al ajillo
Broiled scallops on the half shell
Grilled pork skewers with roasted red peppers
Grilled lamb topped with foie gras
Food rating: ****
Bang for buck rating: 4
Location: first floor of Garden Terrace in Tokyo Midtown complex, Roppongi, Tokyo
Average price of meal for two: 11,000 yen (~$120)