Thursday, 3 October 2019

Out and about in Manchester. And ginger prejudice.

It is routine in the Spanish region of Galicia to find a restaurant offering a menú del día for a reasonable price. The equivalent is not always found in the Uk but today I went to meet a couple of friends for lunch in Manchester. We went to La Viña on Deansgate where they offer a menú del día for £9.99.

 3 Tapas & a drink £9.99 per person
Monday – Friday until 5pm

  • PIMIENTOS DE PADRÓN Spanish-style, green peppers cooked in extra virgin olive oil & smoked sea salt.
 Crisp lightly-battered aubergine slices stacked & drizzled with honey & truffle oil 
 Crispy cubes of potato with a spicy sofrito tomato sauce & alioli 
 Alhambra reserva beer battered fish with alioli & lemon 
  • TORTILLA  Spanish caramelised onion & potato omelette 
Roast pork meatballs in a sofrito tomato sauce 
 Crumbed croquetas filled with chicken in a creamy béchamel sauce 
Lemon-scented whipped goats cheese with warm roasted cauliflower, balsamic beetroot & courgettes. With beetroot purée, pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds & a sherry & balsamic glaze 
A selection of seasonal mushrooms cooked in a sherry cream sauce, topped with toasted pine nuts 
 Crispy squid, sprinkled with smoked sea salt, crispy leeks, fried fresh garlic & sliced red chillies with alioli 
 I had pescado rebozado (five small fingers of fish - but not fish fingers), patatas bravas (good but not very spicy) and setas con salsa (extremely tasty!!). I suppose purists might find fault but we three found it good value and very tasty. It has to be said though that the coffee we finished off with was rather more expensive than the equivalent in Galicia.

The staff seem to be all Spanish speakers. Our waitress was a diminutive Venezuelan, very friendly and glad to have Spanish speaking customers, and very tolerant of my friend’s slow and careful Spanish.

Best of all was that nobody was hurrying us on our way when we had finished eating. They even brought us an extra jug of water while we sat and chatted. Worth a visit.

A good time was had by all, we caught up on all the gossip and agreed that Manchester is a fine city. Even if we also agreed that we might not actually want to live right in the city centre. Not because it’s Manchester but because we don’t like city centre living. Cities, we agreed, are good for visiting but we wouldn’t go beyond that. Even Manchester weather was kind to us. The rain did not set in until well after I arrived home once more.

On a different tack, here’s a link to an article about Leonardo da Vinci.

 “Far from being admired as an extraordinary genius, Leonardo da Vinci was repeatedly lampooned and teased about his unusual red hair and his unconventional sexuality by other leading artists of his day. Although the work of the great Italian was popular in his time, an extensive new study of the artist to be published this week has outlined evidence that he was the butt of gossipy jokes in Renaissance Milan.
Author Simon Hewitt has unearthed a little-studied image held in Germany, a “comic strip” design made in 1495 to illustrate a poem, that showed how Leonardo was once ridiculed. In one of its colourful images, An Allegory of Justice, a ginger-haired clerk, or court lawyer, is shown seated at a desk, mesmerised by other young men, and represents Leonardo da Vinci. “The identity of Leonardo as the red-headed scribe is totally new,”
Hewitt told the Observer ahead of the publication of Leonardo da Vinci and the Book of Doom. “The comic-strip picture is in an obscure manuscript in Berlin and has never been consulted before by any Leonardo scholar.”” 

Who knew that anti-ginger prejudice was already prevalent all that time ago?

Personally I never really came across much such prejudice as a child. Maybe I simply lived through a a tolerant time.

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