By Christopher A. Pape
In the realm of fine dining, the three major cuisines of French, Italian and Japanese have reigned supreme. Until recently, no one would have spent a moment’s notice on the cooking of the Iberian Peninsula, thinking it too crude and too rustic for serious consideration. But there has been a dramatic and penetrating Renaissance. La Fonda del Sol, tucked away in a corner of Grand Central Station is leading the charge in recognition and praise of Spanish cooking.
Recently a good friend and I had dinner here; please allow me to shower praise. For each bite was universally praised and assessed to be one of the best meals we had had in a long time. Owned and operated by the Patina group it is a shining temple of all things Spanish and delicious. Starting with Iberico Ham of the finest quality was a great portent of things to come. We loved its salty quality, but praise escaped our lips for the fatty properties. We followed this succulent treat with an octopus a la plancha. Here it was served with chorizo picante, potatoes and piquillo pepper. The flesh of the octopus was tender and melted in our mouths. We loved the flavor of the chorizo, the well-cooked potatoes and the aroma that the piquillo pepper provided.
Other dishes were placed in front of us and all were loved. Mention should be made, however, of their main courses. We very much enjoyed an Atlantic day boat cod, which from which its taste and firmness suggested ultra-freshness. It was served with black beans, pork belly and sofrit. The fattiness of the pork was matched perfectly with the fish and those beans gave great contrast to the rest of the ingredients.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent and varied wines that were paired with each course. All of Spanish origin, we appreciated their uniqueness and found that each well complimented their intended dish quite well. On another note, we devoured the dessert and Buñuelos or cinnamon fritters with several interesting dipping sauces.
Not only is La Fonda del Sol centrally located, it sits centrally in the hearts of lovers of fine dining and delicious cuisine. With a sleek interior, professional and cordial staff, there are few places that can compete. Try it for yourself and you will see what it means to be a Spanish standard bearer.