Notes From Hairenik
Last night my wife took me as well as her sister to a Spanish restaurant I've been wanting to try located right across the street from us on Alaverdian Street, called Goyesco, which opened only a month ago.
On the first or second day of every month Anush treats me to dinner at a restaurant in central Yerevan neither of us have ever gone to, usually serving national, non-Armenian cuisine--French, Italian, Chinese or whatever.

The dining room of Goyesco is on the ground floor, and all the walls as well as floor were wood (actually I think the walls were covered in simulated wood paneling but the effect was nice). The first thing I expected from Chef Miguel's impressive menu were several pages listing a few dozen tapas, the appetizers found in Spanish cuisine that you're supposed to order several of to satisfy your hunger. At least, that's what Spanish restaurants are like back in Boston.

Goyesco offers about 12 or so various tapas, one of which was a potato puree ball filled with wonderful cheeses, and another was a surprise, a savory meatless paste of some sort filled in tiny pastry cups, which was complimentary. We also ordered some bread slices that were slathered with a wonderful garlicky mayonaise. Then there was the salad for three, a basic lettuce, tomato and onion mélange with boiled egg quarters and black and green olives, sprinkled with tuna and laced with an olive oil dressing. Simple, yet perfect.

Then came the entrees. Anush's sister Gohar ordered a vegetable soup that was served slightly warm. The vegetables were cooked only slightly in order to savor the raw, organic textures of the local produce. Anush chose a chicken dish served on the bone but cut up into chunks with a light brown sauce, the ingredients of which I could not discern when tasting it. She wasn't impressed but I thought it was great; the chicken was moist, falling off the bone. I'll have to admit, it didn't come close to her stupendously prepared Indian-infused everything--meats, potatoes, beans, etc.--but it was tasty nevertheless.

I ordered an entrecôte steak, served perfectly medium rare, which was accompanied with quickly grilled peppers, onions, eggplant and tomatoes. Despite the generous portions along with the tapas and salad we ordered, we did not come out of there with bulging stomachs complaining of having eaten too much. There was something light about the food, I can't really explain it, but we left very satisfied. Gohar even called a friend while we were still seated to inform her she found a new place for lunch.

Goyesco is located not even a block from the Vernisage, on the corner of Alaverdian and Vartanantz Streets, so it's the perfect place for tourists to pop in for something to eat during what is expected (and already proven) to be a scorching summer. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly, treating us like we were family. Whenever I walk by there while taking Chi Chi for a stroll they go gaga-- last night they demanded that we take her inside the next time we pass by. The dining room is cool and exceptionally clean, and you will eat well for the same prices you see anywhere these days--between 2200 and 3500 dram per entree-- around $6-9. Highly recommended.