Las Rejas

Encurtidos de liliáceas, azafrán y toques yodados
Manolo de la Osa
Country: España
City: 16660 Las Pedroñeras (Cuenca)
Address: General Borrero, 49
(+34) 967161089
Closed: Sunday to Thursday nights, Monday and the last two weeks of June
Price: 100 / 120 €
Tasting menu:: 80 €

Manolo de la Osa remains Manolo de la Osa. That means that he is unpredictable. He acts both as Don Quijote and Sancho and possesses a peculiar talent, both palatal and mental. When he is mentally inspired, he is able to take the world by storm. And this was reflected into the plate.

His creative cuisine, immaculate, exquisite and sybaritic, combines the idiosyncrasy of La Mancha region and universality, whose proportions vary from dish to dish. Refinement and exquisiteness with hints of extreme talent. The show started with an amazing ability for synthesizing and a string of nuances: salted anchovy, celery, olive and Parmesan cheese; a tremendous roll. The liliaceous pickles with saffron and iodized touches are another example of gorgeous light minimalism. And what can we say about the combination of humility and ostentation, proximity and cosmopolitism, called gachamiga with caviar. What a daring proposal, Manolo! This is my Manolito, the real one! Almonds, pine kernels and summer truffle, expressed with extreme simplicity. Inspired by Michel Bras’s style, but with an own stamp: young vegetables and legumes with cheese emulsion, truffles, mushrooms and aromas from the garden. The master has always worked with specific products. He has always had a weakness for oysters, one of his stellar achievements. This year, he proposes them with the exciting and utterly refreshing counterpoints of cucumber and apple. The cockles with cod brandade cream are synonymous with intense flavours and very different textures. The morteruelo 2011 is an unprecedented refinement of exquisiteness executed with the traditional clairvoyance of the chef.
The foie gras with figs and grape plays the same part again, without really breaking out, evolving intelligently and giving both mundane and delicate pleasures. The cold purple garlic soup –an organic specie grown in Las Pedroñeras– is a timeless dish which shows that a stellar recipe ends up becoming an obligation. The red mullet with mushrooms stock is impeccable; perfect doneness with vivid and natural sensations. Regarding the meat section –a chapter Manolo has always devoted himself heart and soul to–, let us highlight the charcoal grilled lamb brains, which literally melt in the mouth, filling it with wise rusticity. Or the suckling lamb loin with herbs and grape syrup, synonymous with nobility, naturality, tradition and brilliant finishing. The risotto with hare, that has got more hare than rice, is characterized by the wild, fresh, exultant, extremely juicy side of the game; genuine top quality and must of the house. And we finished shouting “Hurrah with La Mancha and its shepherds”, Manolo pays tribute to making the best rustic gazpacho ever tasted. Haute cuisine, very haute cuisine dressed in a traditional way.