Fatigued and stomachs rumbling, we stalked the side porch of the house, trying to see if anyone was there. It says restaurant, we grumbled, knowing full-well that at this point we would eagerly knock on the door of someone's home, just to gain directions to the nearest open eatery. It was either that, or try our hand in the shining azure depths of the Mediterranean. Our group of 4 looked salt-tangled and sun-soaked.
Fortunately, a smiling man noticed our snooping and patiently led us to the front door of his empty abode, through the dining room, and out to the blissful shade of the flowery back patio. "We'd like paella and wine," we offered -- a unanimous vote. He explained that it would take "a while," but that it was well worth the wait, and we should enjoy a bottle of wine and some relaxed conversation.
That, we did. It was like stepping into an air of Diazepam, and the tranquil, hour-long wait warranted nary a peep of complaint.
All I can say in retrospect is that our knowledgeable chef was right. It was worth the wait. And now, I doubt I will ever order paella again. You simply can't top perfection.