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Antonio Belles and Cristina Garcia recently closed nearby Lola Rojo to concentrate on its hugely popular little sibling down the road. Rosita is a real looker, with its Moorish paintings, bright tiles and close-set tables arranged around a hefty, marble-topped bar. Traditional tapas are primed to complement a 20-strong list of affordably priced sherries (all served by the glass), so pick from small plates such as slivers of top-quality acorn-fed jamón, white anchovies with salmorejo dressing, patatas bravas or roast chicken croquetas for some light distraction. Otherwise, order slow-cooked dishes and specialities from the charcoal oven – perhaps duck egg with chorizo, potatoes and sun-dried tomatoes, Dexter steaks and meatballs or octopus with papas arrugadas (‘wrinkled’ baked potatoes) and mojo rojo. ‘Healthy combi’ lunch menus offer speedy sustenance for a fiver during the working week, while all-Spanish staff provide smiling service.
Recently I went to Rosita and the Sherry for one of their traditionally Spanish Calcotada evenings. A calcot is a cross between a leek and a spring onion. Each year during harvest time these celebrations can be found all over southern Spain. The calcots are grilled on an open fire, the charred skins are peeled back and the sweet onion is then dipped in romesco sauce before being dangled above your open mouth and deftly eaten, hopefully without the sauce being dripped down your front...
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SLB went to Rosita & the Sherry Bar in Northcote Rd Battersea for a calçotada. I’d never heard of a calçotada before so had to do a bit of research and it turns out that a calçot (pronounced calsot) is a kind of cross between a spring onion and a leek and they’re very popular in Catalonia in north-east Spain. In fact, the town of Valls near Tarragona specialises in the production of calçots, so much so that they are a protected ‘denomination’ rather like certain wines and cheeses. Every year in the winter months, Valls and many other places have festivals to celebrate the calçot harvest called ‘calçotadas’...
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