Christmas passes, we overcome the slope of January and the cold of winter comes ... those are the three signs that warn that it is time to make a calçotada. The Catalan tradition of eating calçots With friends or family it starts in January and lasts until the end of March. The calçots can be eaten in any restaurant ... even in Barcelona we find them. But it is in Valls, in l'Alt Camp, where the tradition of the calçotada and where the only ones are grown with the IGP Calçot de Valls.
One Saturday in February my partner, my dog Gin and I drove to Valls, specifically to Casafort, a village that depends on the town of Nulles, 7 kilometers from the capital of l'Alt Camp. The route by car is just over an hour and the toll costs 7 euros with few cents.
In Casafort is the restaurant QuintaForca It occupies a house in the small town and where Xavi, the cook and owner, welcomed us. The restaurant has about 6 tables, distributed in the different rooms of the house, with a kitchen in sight. It is a restaurant inside the Slow Food movement that cooks with seasonal, proximity and organic products… QuintaForca is not a restaurant specializing in calçoted. In fact, it is the first thing Xavi tells you when you enter the door, but I had already gone three years ago and I was delighted. Do not expect the typical atmosphere of farmhouse of calçotada, with embers at the entrance and with groups eating outdoor calçots.
What they do at QuintaForca is to prepare a calçotada, just as Xavi would do at home with his family. The menu starts with a vermouth, an onion soup and continues with the calçots and beans with its sauce salvitxada (It's what they call romesco there), lamb meat, black and white sausage, potatoes to the caliu (grilled) mongetes (beans) of Santa Pau and grilled artichoke. Escarole, wine, cava and orange dessert salad tortell (roscón) of cream. As you can see, it is a very abundant menu. The price, all inclusive, is 50 euros per person. We, yes, we took three tuppers full of food ... so we had dinner resolved the day after.
When we finished the meal, we walked around Casafort. We realized that there were many marked roads to be able to make small hiking trails that connect the nearest villages in the area. We walk about 25 minutes, the landscape is really attractive: vineyards, almond trees and hazelnuts.
It was late afternoon and we went to Spa Hotel Les Vinyes in Vilardida. We spent Saturday night at this hotel recommended by Xavi. Our priority was to spend the night with our dog Gin and here is allowed to stay with animals, as long as you choose the suite with a terrace that is worth 129 euros a night. The room is fantastic, very cozy, careful and rustic decoration overlooking the vineyards. The only drawback is that a secondary road passes very close to the hotel and cars are heard. Luckily, it's not very busy.