A few weeks ago, we ate at Canota, near our apartment, intent on having a meat-focused meal. We’d both been quite tired and I suspected we both needed some iron and protein after several weeks of crackers, cheese, and salad (this was pre-big-pot purchase).
We’d eaten at Canota once before, months ago, and had a revolting meal. Andrew had unwittingly ordered blood sausage and lima beans, mistranslating the menu, and I’d unwisely ordered sodden cod that was drowning in butter and salt. The food was virtually inedible. Meanwhile, the restaurant was crowded, and everyone seemed to be ordering the same thing: platters of sizzling meat. We heard it sizzling throughout the restaurant as waiters delivered the platters to table after table. It looked ridiculously good. We chalked up the terrible meal to our own failure to do as the locals were very obviously doing.
This time, the meal was a success. We weren’t sure what on the menu would lead to a delivery of a platter of sizzling meat, so Andrew told the waiter about our last experience and said we wanted what those people, months ago, had been eating. The waiter knew instantly what we meant, and soon a platter of sizzling meat was on the table before us.
The platter of sizzling meat was raw. Not rare, but raw—sliced raw steak. The earthenware platter was fire-hot, and we cooked each slice, quickly on both sides, and ate it immediately, like eating steak directly from a grill. The meat fully lived up to the promise of the sizzle. Just like last time, everyone around us was ordering the sizzling meat. The rest of the menu—for good reason—seems to have been forgotten.