- Erica Mar 7, 2005 04:15 PM
This place is rarely dicussed here..I always wonder why. I liked the food a lot the one time I had dinner here (guinea hen, fried calamari, venison, crema catalana) We are planning to return this weekend and I would like some recommendations on other things to try. How are the lamb shanks, for example?? The steaks?? Grilled octopus? What else????
I agree that Casa Mono deserves more discussion. I was there over the weekend for a late Saturday lunch and enjoyed all the dishes I tried.
The fried sardines, which were larger than usual, were dusted with the faintest trace of wondra flour and expertly deep-fried in extra virgin olive oil. I did discover though that when the sardines get past a certain size, one does have to pay a bit more attention than usual to the usually completely edible bones.
The cockles, steamed with thin, browned slivers of garlic and mixed with a rough scramble of eggs and tiny cubes of pork was truly delicious and paired up very nicely with the Lusco Albarino that we were drinking.
Additionally, the "jamon a mano" was a very tasty platter of thinly sliced serrano ham.
The sweetbreads are reason alone to visit Casa Mono -- I called them "Kentucky Fried Sweetbreads" in a post several months ago and that moniker still could apply.
Finally, the duck egg is great and should be tried.
I guess the chief and most valid complaint to be lodged against Casa Mono is the cramped confines in which all this great food is served. It can approach unpleasant during the dinner rush. Otherwise, the place has really come into its own.
i've had mixed experiences there...the scallions are delicious and the cauliflower is good too...the fried anchovies are heavily breaded and greasy...service was so awful and rude one time that i considered never returning, but one of my best friends goes there often so i sometimes meet him there...overall, i think the dishes need to more consistent and i find some of them very overpriced (i.e. even the delicious scallions: should not cost 7 dollars for a few green onions with a little sauce...)
Interesting that you had such poor service at Casa Mono because, when we had our one dinner there, we had just the opposite experience, i.e., our server couldn't have been nicer and more helpful, in addition to be very efficient.
There were three of us, and we ordered a variety of dishes, none of which was a dud. Since it was quite a while ago, my recall as to which we favored is hazy, but the pumpkin croquettes, the lamb, and the patatas come to mind. The dessert sundae was also delish.
We had a terrific meal there this past weekend (our first). We liked every dish we tried. I thought the Lengua (tongue), duck egg and pork loin were phenomenal. Other great dishes were: fried rabbit, patatas (side), lamb shank, mussels w/chorizo. The service was fine, although a bit "cold". Enjoy!
Love, love, llove it! Consistently tasty -- love the small dishes -- which aren't so small once you start eating -- great fryer: sweetbreads and pumpkin croquettas a must -- we get them every time -- my husband loves the duck egg (a little too breadfasty for me) -- octopus with it's greens are a perfect lunch, I could go on and on.
wines are terrific -- lots available by the glass
I'm usually too full for dessert, but crema catalana is very good
I'll show some love for Casa Mono. Do not miss: Sweetbreads, sardnies, piquillo peppers and the setas. Wine list if you don't already know is top notch. Try the reasonably priced Laurona Montsant or one of the great wines from Toro.