Thursday, April 7, 2011

Villa Rosa and Celebrations!

Today we had lunch at the Villa Rosa with a friend. It's was our second visit to this amazing restaurant and I have to tell you this is definitely five-star dining: white starched tablecloths and napkins, fresh flowers at every turn, and food that is a cut above the rest. But the service is what makes it a dining experience. It was celebratory! Berta and Patricia Ventimilla, the owners, make you feel like family from the moment you step in the door.

We went to savor the famous "Fanesca" which is only served once a year (a pre-Lenten "meal"). Every region of Ecuador has a different version of this "sopa" (soup), but Villa Rosa's Fanesca is simply the best.

Berta proudly brought out the spoon to show us what they stirred the pot with and let me tell you; it was a huge spoon. The soup was a meal in itself and nothing else was required. It was a cream-based soup with 12 different beans and grains in it! There were peas, fava beans, lima beans, fish (salt cod), seeds, squash and served with a hard boiled egg on top. Villa Rosa has been rated consistently by Frommer's and Conde Nast as the best place in Cuenca to dine and I will have to agree with them. This elegant restaurant is located at 12-22 Gran Columbia at Tarqui in a restored colonial home.

When we returned home with our tummies quite full, I checked my e-mail and then I knew why we were celebrating. The Kindle edition of Living and Retiring in Cuenca was on the "bookshelf." And the best news yet, you don't need a Kindle. You can actually download Kindle on to your PC, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or Android (absolutely free). You can even preview a sample chapter. Now Mark and I don't have to "fight" over the Kindle anymore; it's on my laptop!

It's been a celebratory day in every way. Even the rain is making me happy; the Tomebamba River is almost full to overflowing and it sounds like Niagra Falls from our balcony and in every room in the house. It feels like we're on a cruise ship -- only we're staying still and the river is moving!

Celebrations happen every day in Cuenca and today was no exception!

Until next time...hasta luego!

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