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Choco in Cordoba

Have folks eaten at Choco in Cordoba? I've not seen anything about it on this Board. We have seen some mixed reviews -- but mostly saying that it is outstanding. The fact that no one on Chowhound has mentioned it, of course, makes me suspicious.

Any thoughts?

Antonia

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  1. Hi--
    I think the reason you won't find many folks here that have been is because Córdoba tends to be a one or two-day trip at the most for Chowhounds passing through Spain and El Choco is off the tourist map (though not that far), making it harder to visit. (I myself live in Madrid and go to Córdoba quite a bit with visitors and haven't managed to get there, despite my best intentions.) If you read Spanish, you can find quite a few reviews here:

    http://www.verema.com/restaurantes/39...

    And see what the place is like here and read the story of the chef and how the restaurant evolved:

    http://observaciongastronomica.blogsp...

    I've heard lots of good things about the service, wine pairing, and interesting Cordobés influences from people who like this kind of "cocina de autor." If you go, report back!

    1 Reply
    1. re: butterfly

      Thank you for the good information. My Spanish is not great, but I know from many English sites that the restaurant is very well regarded. We are in Cordoba for 4 nights, so hope to go.

      Antonia

    2. Cordoba always gets short shrift on these boards, never quite sure why, we love it. Went to Choco (which I think means squid?) for Kisko Garcia's mod. Andaluz cooking over 3 yrs ago, loved his creative (and at that time, v. reasonably priced) tasting menu. When we returned to Cordoba earlier this yr we gave him a miss (but heard continued good things about him) and went all out on tapas - in fact came away wondering what's the point of anything else when in Andalusia? Grazing from one tapas bar to another is kind of like having a tasting menu, but in a whole bunch of different, fun places, with a bit of exercise in between courses to work up an appetite for the next one. Special likes: Taberna del Pisto aka Casa San Miguel - very typical, loads of atmosphere, pics of gorgeous preening bullfighters on the walls, the place for classics like their giant tortilla, salmorejo and flamenquin fit to sink a battleship. Ziryab on San Felipe has a tapas side and resto, modern, cool and quiet, nice for a change from the usual deafening roar, fairly traditional ensaladilla rusa etc. Puerta Sevilla (in San Basilio) beneath the old city walls and close by the bridge was a delight - more resto (taberna) than tapas bar, delicious little patio with upstairs rooms overlooking it (and songbirds that burst into the occasional joyful chorus), boquerones and anchovies lined up like tiny soldiers on toast, foie + goat's cheese with caramelised apple jam, tiny lamb chuletitas with the best potatoes ever - big chunks with fragile crusts and mealy middles - roast iberico pork with a tom/pepper/onion/pine nut salsa, reasonably priced (ca. E90 for 2), lovely staff and charming service, with belly laughs from Marta the Maitre d'. Fell in love all over again with Bodegas Campos on Linares - it's huge - around 700 covers - but but don’t let that put you off, you’ll never rub shoulders with more than a manageable few fellow diners, as they're scattered amongst countless deliciously cool dining rooms, spread throughout an astonishing rabbit warren of adjoining Cordoban town houses. We did tapas at the Taberna at the front (no bookings) - super, lively, loads of locals, epic salmorejo with iberico ham, roasted peppers + quail's eggs and yummy tuna tummy (ventresca). Also nice is their brand new/modern Campos and Covap shop next to the Taberna ("pick + stay") - good place to stock up on iberico. Thoroughly Cordobés; thoroughly civilised. Go. Enjoy. And report back please!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Sue Style

        Sue,

        Thanks so much for this very informative post. The more I think about it, the more I think we will stick to tapas and tavernas. I've been reading about the last which seem to be quite famous in Cordoba. And I like the idea of eating such a great variety of food, including lots of Iberico ham. We were just in our local upscale market (Dorothy Lane in Dayton) and we saw Iberico for $130 per pound. Hopefully, not quite so expensive in Spain.

        Are there any regular restaurants that you recommend in addition to places for tapas?

        And, for sure, I will report back on this part of our trip, plus our time in Portugal.

        Thanks again for all the great information.

        Toni

        1. re: antonia2

          Bodegas Campos is a regular sit-down restaurant (though it has a bar, as do many of these kinds of restaurants in Córdoba). Be sure to reserve ahead for a table. It's a sprawling and lovely place. In addition to the ajoblanco, the carrilleras (pork cheeks) and rabo de toro (oxtails) are very good. Another similar spot, but slightly more rustic is El Churrasco, which is known for its meat dishes and fried eggplant with salmorejo (a thicker sort of gazpacho).

          The tiny bar at Casa Pepe de la Judería is very close to the Mezquita and a good spot for fried tapas (the restaurant has a completely different menu--fine but not as good as the two spots above).

          P.S. Choco is cuttlefish (a.k.a. sepia).

          1. re: butterfly

            Sue,

            Thanks a lot for these suggestions. We have heard great things about both restaurants and will definitely try them out.

            I realized yesterday that I am a long time subscriber to your blog which I love. Blogs are a great way to get information about where to eat, what to see, etc. when you are traveling. They often have a much more interesting take on places then the regular guide books. I have relied a lot on them in planning this trip. You can just google "blogs on Spain or blogs on Portugal" and find lots of good information. And, of course, Chowhound!

            Toni

            1. re: antonia2

              you're going to have loads of fun - you can play it totally off the cuff and just fetch up at tapas bars/tabernas (often attached to fancy/famous restaurants) without bookings, or plan ahead and book a table at e.g. Bodegas Campos or Puerta Sevilla or Choco - thanks to butterfly re cuttlefish, also for suggesting El Churrasco - great place, with the most humungous tortilla I've ever seen, about the size of a Christmas pudding...and glad you enjoy the blog, keep on reading!

               
              1. re: Sue Style

                Thanks Sue. We are looking forward to our trip to Codoba and Andalucia and will report back to everyone on Chowhound on our experiences.

                Toni

          2. re: Sue Style

            just back at the hotel after Saturday lunch at Casa El Pisto/Taverna San Miguel where we had a wonderful time. Boquerones, fino, patatas bravas, some pork-on-the-bone dish (name forgotten) with fries, mushroom caps stuffed with matchsticks of ham (and a carrot-cabbage salad), bottle of Rioja crianza, & water, GREAT people-watching a bit under 50 Euros--gotta thank Sue for the rec.

          3. Obviously a little late, but just went to choco and was quite impresseD. it was raining so we didn't feel like tapas hoping. Its only a $5 taxi from the historical area. Creative take on regional cooking, excellent service