The Ladies Who Lunch

Yesterday I spent a delightful 3 hours over lunch at Refugio with my friend Zahava.  We had met here in Valencia 3 years ago at Yom Kippur services.  Each time I have returned, we have caught up with each other.  Sometimes you meet someone who feels like an old friend, even though you’ve only known each other a short time.  Zahava is one of those people.  We never seemed to run out of things to talk about.  Both of us are mothers of grown daughters, although hers is much younger than mine.  So, you can imagine that was a lengthy topic of conversation.

We had met a 1:30, and explored the Carmen for the perfect place to have lunch. There were several attractive choices and we settled on Refugio.    It was a very simple but attractive space.  The menu looked delicious and suitable for Zahava, who is a vegetarian.  We decided to do some sharing so that each of us could sample much of the menu of the day.  The menu of the day was 12 € and included an appetizer, entre, dessert.  The appetizers, a tasty and beautifully garnished pumpkin soup and a salad with Stilton cheese mousse and crostini looked so good it was gone before I thought about taking pictures. (Sorry)  I regained focus by the main course and took pictures before we enjoyed the lovely fish dish with a most creative presentation and a vegetable and tofu pasta.  The dessert dishes were a tarta de membrillo and a cuajada de coco with a drizzle of chocolate.  Both were excellent.  The great food and very warm and friendly service definitely puts Refugio on my list of places to return to.

Sole with fennel

Pasta with vegetables and tofu

Pastel de Membrillo

Cuajada de Coco

In the evening Marty and I went to a concert at the Palau.  I had been wondering what everyone with their dripping umbrellas was going to do with them.  Not to worry, at  the coat check area they were giving out plastic sleeves to put on the umbrellas.  We had arrived a bit early so we went to the atrium where there is a bar.  Marty ordered cava  (champagne) which arrived with small sweet croissants.  The tab was 6  €.   What a delightful surprise.  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos was conducting and there were two soloists for the debut of a new piece.   Both soloists,  Alexandre Da Costa, violinist, and Pablo Sainz Villegas, guitarist, were extremely talented and played beautifully together.   The piece, Fulgores, by Lorenzo Palomo, was very modern and I am sure, challenging for the artists.  I loved it.  The rest of the program was Robert Schumann’s Symphony  #3 in E flat major, op.97   and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, 2 Suite.  It was fun to hear the Daphnis and Chloe as we had heard it not too long ago at the LA Phil with Gustavo Dudamel conducting.  Both performances were quite good but very  different.

About susanvida

Happily retired, I now spend much of my time in Valencia Spain. I fill my days with photography, cooking, dining and visiting with friends. In my "former life" I was a Director of Human Resources for Starwood Hotels and Resorts. I am married to Martin Kaplan, who shares my passion for Valencia, food and of course, our daughter, Rachel Sara.
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