|Paella is big at Hotel Las Arenas in Valencia, Spain. (NECEE REGIS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE)|
VALENCIA, Spain - This city is an ideal place to sample the region's most famous dish: paella. There are as many kinds as there are kitchens, though most agree on the basic ingredients for traditional Valencian paella: rice, chicken and/or pork and rabbit, beans, and occasionally snails. Other variations call for seafood - prawns, mussels, squid - as well as vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, pimentos, and peas. A "fideuà" replaces rice with thin pasta.
At the Sorolla Restaurant, in the recently opened Hotel Las Arenas, you can sample a traditional Valencian version in elegant style. They also serve nine other rice dishes, with things as varied as cod and cauliflower, or duck with beans and turnip.
Hotel Las Arenas is on the reclaimed and renovated Mediterranean waterfront in this, the country's third largest city. Dinner is served late in Spain (the restaurant doesn't open till 8:30 p.m.); stroll the promenade first.
Hotel Las Arenas Balneario Resort, 22-24 Calle Eugenia Viñes, 011-34-96-312-0600, hotel-lasarenas.com.