great restaurant in sevilla
We just got back from Spain, where we had some remarkable meals at restaurants all over the Chowhound boards, but there's one in Sevilla that I hadn't seen discussed that we really loved. It's called Abontal. The chef is young, recently won the award for "Best Young Chef -- Andalucia," and he was genuinely happy to have a table of 7 Americans eating his food. We all started with a Spanish olive-oil tasting, which didn't give the chef a chance to show us much but his skills in choosing purveyors and cutting apples and bread, but it was fascinating. They did a great job in putting together increasingly complex oils that helped us make sense of the variety of different tastes you can get from an olive. After that, we moved on to fish and meat -- a luscious, light hake in a gazpacho sauce sprinkled with tiny clams, a roasted sea bass simply complemented with olive oil, garlic, and thyme, crunchy suckling pig, loin of lamb. Nothing fancy, nothing too challenging, just delicious, well-prepared, interesting food, equal to or better than the great food we had the night before at Egana Oriza. We were pretty full by dessert, so stuck to the wonderful selection of intense, house-made sorbets (the mango was especially good). The space itself is clean and modern, with lots of white and spare decor. The only drawback was that, when we asked for help on the wine, the "helper" tried to steer us to the most expensive wines on the menu, which he kept saying were excellent values. They may have been, but at 120-140 euros/bottle were way above what we'd wanted to spend. We had a good cava and a couple of bottles of excellent wine for around 40 euros/each. The meal itself was well-priced for food of that quality (around 30-40 euros/each), and we floated home happy.