If you want to head to Spain but have no money for plane fare, hit up La Sala Rosa Restaurant on a Thursday evening. Every week they put on a flamenco show to complement their delicious Spanish food and drinks, and it’s an atmosphere that you can’t find anywhere else in Montreal.

sala rosaTo make sure you get a table or a seat at the bar, arrive around 8:15pm. The drinks are very well-priced: mixed drinks go for $3.50 and more elaborate cocktails, like a delicious caipirinha, go for $7. We ordered a few glasses of calimotxo for $3 each, a basque drink comprised of red wine and coca-cola (don’t knock it til you try it- it’s refreshing and packs a punch).

Caipirinha

Caipirinha

The food was also delicious, if on the slightly-pricier side. If you’re on a budget, your best bet is to do as we did and eat a light dinner before coming and then ordering a couple of tapas to share, complimenting the drinks and music. Between six of us, we shared an order of patatas bravas, which are absolutely wonderful roasted potatoes coated in a vinegary, spicy smoked paprika sauce. We also ordered spinach-potato-cheese croquetas with a crispy exterior and soft filling that came with a tiny salad with a cumin dressing.

DSC_0545The show started at 9pm. It’s a classic flamenco trio: a guitarist, providing el toque, a singer, doing el canto, and a dancer, doing el baile. Flamenco is a Spanish style of music and dance that comes from Andalucia; It’s powerful, packed with emotion, and its energy fluctuates throughout the show.

DSC_0612The dancing involves twirls and many spirited stomps, making speedy rhythms and noises that seem impossible with just two feet and some high-heel shoes. The singing is charged with the distinctive sound of the cante jondo, deeply soulful and emotional. The guitar sound is classically spanish, bright-sounding, varying in speeds, with periods of intricate finger-picking broken up with strummed chords and long-building crescendoes. It’s all tied together with rhythmic clapping, often to match the dancer’s footwork.

All in all, a Thursday evening at La Sala Rosa Restaurant is the perfect way to escape the mid-winter blues and pretend that you’re in Spain.


For more information on La Sala Rosa, visit their website.

 

All photos by Zaliqa Rosli, Zoë Carlton and Grace Harris