It’s been a bit of a personal, modus operandi from the start to just write nice things. Not from a pop positive, psychology point of view. I just want to celebrate the good and the great, because these days it’s so easy to be mediocre. What I’ve realised over the last three years of writing I Know a Little Place in Seville, is that the aforementioned ‘greats’ all have something in common: what they do comes from the heart. From the one-woman, dressmaker to hipster, hangouts like No-Lugar and Red House Art Café; you know as the punter that you’re valued and what you’re about to receive is delivered with loving care and attention.
So I was really excited to be trying out the newest venture from the guys behind Ovejas Negras, Juanma Garcia y Genoveva Torres (hence Torres y Garcia). The concept of their biggest project yet (the bar occupies an eye watering 400m squared) is high quality, rustic cuisine and boasts a wood burning oven to make its own bread and pizzas. The interior is extremely stylish, the loos are unisex and the atmosphere buzzing, in an Arenal Ralph Lauren kind of way.
Sounds great right? (Ok so maybe not the Ralph Lauren bit). Of course there’s the food. For me with my humblish tastes and rather large appetite, it didn’t set my world on fire. After all, I paid 25 Euros including wine for some shared dishes and had to stuff my face with biscuits when I got home as I was still hungry.
But, even that I could have handled, if I hadn’t been treated like an inconvenience and spoken to in brusque, English imperatives such as ‘Come!’ and ‘Sit!’ – normally reserved for a disobedient dog. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a one-off experience isolated to just one member of staff. Indeed the waitress looking after our table was equally annoyed by our presence, sighing with what felt like contempt and or at best impatience, or at least that was how it seemed.
So, sadly eating in Torres y Garcia wasn’t a life affirming experience like my first visit to Ovejas Negras was. Maybe it’s the inevitable sacrifice made when you open five restaurants – something has to give and this case it is value for money and sheer human kindness.
Torres y Garcia
Calle Harinas 2