colin

Jul 012011
 
CLUB NAUTICO, JAVEA. (+34) 96 646 0614

 ★★★☆☆ 

Fish and ships…

Club NauticoIt is hard to surpass the combined enjoyment of looking at luxury yachts and fishing boats whilst sipping cold drinks with friends on the terrace of the Club Nautico in the harbour of Javea, prior to ordering lunch. The menu del dia was priced at €12 & included a drink, but not the standard ½ bottle of wine.

We all selected the same starter, a salad of avocado and prawns.

However it was the main course that revealed the strengths and weaknesses of this restaurant. The dishes that were acclaimed included Arroz abanda, Ox tail and the fish of the day called Corbina. The Fritura de Pescado was not up to scratch. It was dry & chewy and was unaccompanied by vegetables or even chips to make the dish more palatable.

For dessert we selected a variety of bought in ice creams. The wines were a pleasant Ruedo called Sauron (€10.95) & a Rioja crianza called Hacienda Lopez de Haro (€12). The setting was wonderful, the service friendly and attentive, but the food did not quite match up. Cost p.p. was €17.74.

MH  74

Jun 012011
 
Las VegasLAS VEGAS, TEULADA. (+34) 96 574 0341
 

 ★★☆☆☆ 

A gamble which didn’t quite come off….

Las Vegas was one of the first restaurants reviewed by the FLC almost four years ago. During those boom times there were three menus del dia priced at €10, €12 & €15. The most expensive menu featured lobster or entrecote. That was then, but with the recession continuing to bite there is now just one menu which is priced at €12. One thing that had not changed since our last visit was the annoying practice of the management to segregate their customers, with the Spanish to the front and the Foreigners in the rather gloomy rear of the restaurant.

We started our meal with a generous prawn cocktail & a dish of steamed mussels.

For main course we selected Pork chops, Cordon bleu with salsa & Calamares a la romano –all acceptable but not exceptional.

The wines were Castillo de Liria white from Valencia & a red Tierra de Castilla called Nazares. All in all an ok lunch which cost €14.68 p.p.

RH  63

May 202011
 
Ca PepeCA PEPE, MORAIRA. (+34) 96 574 3311

 ★★★★★ 

Suburban jewel

This long established restaurant located on Calle Haya in the foothills of Moraira has recently changed hands and is now run by an English couple & an enthusiastic Bulgarian waitress. The décor at Ca Pepe is elegant and the food is sublime. The menu del dia costs €15 including a half bottle of wine.

There was a choice of four starters & we sampled them all – endive, walnut & pear salad, ham hock terrine with pear & date chutney, watermelon, chilli, mint and feta cheese salad & a broccoli soup.

For main course we selected each of the dishes on offer, namely pork fillet with pommes mousseline, deviled chicken livers on toast, fillet of hake with dried cherry tomato & spring onion salad & penne pasta with mushroom & tarragon sauce. The house wines were Casa Solar, a white Viura and a red tempanillo from Tierra de Castilla.

The deserts were a chocolate & hazelnut brownie with chocolate sauce, pineapple carpaccio with coconut ice cream & caramelised bananas with hazlenuts & ice cream. We completed our meal with coffies & brandies which nudged the price per person up to €27. Ca Pepe provides great value for exceptional cuisine.

SL 86

May 062011
 
Casa del MacoCASA DEL MACO, BENISSA. (+34) 96 573 2842
 

 ★★★★★ 

Sublime cuisine in a country hotel

Although technically attached to Benissa, Casa del Maco is a country hotel located just outside Calpe. Our enthusiasm for using the train from Benissa to travel to lunch took a battering on this occasion. On decending at Ferrandet station we could see the restaurant through some trees about 100 metres away, however it took a 25 minute hike through woods, past farms and homes whose owners had trained their dogs to bark at well dressed men carrying files and folders, before we arrived hot and sweating at the oasis of calm that is Casa del Maco. This Belgian owned establishment features in the Guide Michelin & produces sublime cuisine. We were treated to a thimblefull of stonefiltered water before perusing the menu del dia, which was priced at €24, not including wine.

For starters the choice was between Carpaccio of Octopus with a lemon cream sauce or breast of Quail braised in a Pedro Ximinez sauce. We chose the latter dish which was artistically presented and tasted delicious.

For main course we chose a tasty chicken supreme and a succulent Sea Bass & to accompany our lunch we enjoyed Doña Beatriz, Verdejo from Rueda and Finca Valdeguinea, Crianza from Rioja.

Desserts were pear crumble with chocolate ice cream and a selection of exquisite fruit tartlets. A pricey meal at €43.33 p.p. fuelled by our generous host´s choice of fine wines.

MR 82

Apr 292011
 

Piri-Piri

PIRI-PIRI, JAVEA. (+34) 96 579 4745
 

 ★★★★☆ 

Edge of the Med dining

Unlike our previous visit to Javea, this time we had an ample view of the Mediterranean as the Piri-Piri is situated on the Marina Española, a pedestrian street near the port. This well appointed restaurant has been operating under the same owners for many years.

Everyone except our host opted for the menu del dia which was priced at €10.80 including a glass of wine.

The starters included a passable vegetable soup, a blue cheese salad or a tasty dish of two baked eggs with spicy chorizo.

The popular choice amongst the main courses offered was Pork loin in Port wine sauce, although Hake with clams & asparagus and spaghetti bolognaise were also available.

For dessert, the menu del dia offering was fresh strawberries & ice cream. Our host´s choice showed what this restaurant could rise to as he moved through Gambas alioli, Sole meuniere followed by apple tart & ice cream.

The house red was a slightly corked Montesierra from Somantano & for white we had a pleasant Domine Verdejo from Rueda. If we had kept to the adequate menu d.d., the cost would have been less than €19 p.p. rather than the €23.45 that was incurred, but then –we’re worth it!

KK 75                          PP 001

UPDATE JULY 2015

Piri-Piri retained it´s four star rating. The menu del dia now costs €14.90 for a warm welcome and excellent cuisine.

Apr 222011
 
an_shebeenAN SHEBEEN, JAVEA. (+34) 96 579 6475
 

 ★★★★☆ 

Pub lunch bar excellence!

Normally a visit to Javea includes a pleasant drive along the Mediterranean seafront, however our driver chose an inland route that passed by abandoned citrus groves, the yards of several building materials companies and a compound full of wrecked cars, before reaching our destination of An Shebeen on the Avenida del Pla in the Arenal part of Javea.

This Irish pub has been operating for about 10 years and has a comfortable well worn feel about it. We skipped the á la carte menu in favour of their menu del diá which was competitively priced at €9.75 not including wine.

The starters were courgette soup, salad or a substantial prawn cocktail which was chosen by most of us.

For the main course the popular choice was the delicious battered cod and chips although one of the group had the Irish stew; there were no takers for the chicken curry.

Desserts were a choice of a hot brownie with ice cream & smothered in rich chocolate sauce or a Baileys cheesecake. Some of diners remarked that they couldn´t taste the Baileys so our attentive server brought a further supply & there were no further complaints.

Our meal was accompanied by the honest house white, Raimat Casal priced at €8.95 and for red, our generous host splashed out on Viña Pomal from Rioja, priced at €19.75. Including cocktails and coffees, the total p.p. for an excellent and enjoyable lunch was €24.26

PH 76                  NB An Shebeen closed in May 2013

 

 

Apr 152011
 
La MentaLA MENTA, DENIA. (+34) 96 643 1851.
 

 ★★☆☆☆ 

Lament indeed!

Once again the Club took the train from Benissa, this time in a northerly direction to Denia. We strolled along the seafront until we arrived in a pretty plaza called San Antonio and there we found Rte. La Menta. Our Denia expert had eaten there before and expressed his confidence in the selection, however it would appear to have changed ownership and is  now in German hands.

The menu del diá was an unappealing combination of salad, followed by  a choice of  Merluza, Goulash or Chicken curry, and an unspecified dessert all for €15.

We therefore went á la carte and restricted ourselves to a main course only. These included Duck breast in a port sauce, medallions of pork, beef and chicken and a goulash dish. We had a bottle of the reliable Viña Sol as well  as the house Rioja. La Menta is an attractive homey restaurant that would  be a suitable venue for a romantic supper but the poor menu del dia offering and rather high price did it no favours. Total p.p. €28.06

SL 61

DARSENA, ALTEA

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Apr 042011
 
DarsenaDARSENA, ALTEA. (+34) 96 688 1186

 ★★☆☆☆ 

Rushin’ here, Russian there..

We took the train from Benissa for a 30 minute trip to travel down the coast through spectacular scenery, to Altea, to have lunch in a Russian restaurant.

Darsena is one of many seafront restaurants on the Paseo Sant Pere, a few minutes walk from the train station. They offer both Russian and typical Mediterranean menus at €14.95 and we selected dishes from both.

Most of us chose a soup of fish fillets spiced up with dill, fennel and a shot of rather sweet vodka, from the Russian menu. Regular diners at the next table opined that pepper vodka should have accompanied this dish.

Our conservative diner had a prawn cocktail, followed by lamb chops. Another club member tucked into a substantial sole for his main course whereas the bravest of us opted for portions of chicken Kiev laden with garlic.

We completed our lunch with apple tart with vanilla ice cream or coffee.

We chose the house wines – the white was called Ladero and came from La Mancha and the red was a tempranillo from Tierra de Castilla called Batuta. One would have to say that the train trip was the highlight of this lunch. Total p.p. €19.72

MH 61

 

Feb 022011
 
Isla TortugaISLA TORTUGA, DENIA.   (+34) 96 642 2888

 ★★★☆☆ 

Dining on Denia harbourside

The terrace of this restaurant is spectacularly located on the top floor of a building  overlooking  the yacht harbour in the port of Denia. Because the weather was being  very kind to us on this February day, we sat outside and took in the view; to the west the impressive landmark mountain of Montgo, and below us in the harbour, millions of Euros worth of yachts.

The menu del dia was priced at €11.90. Our choice of starter was a seafood soup which looked promising with cockles, cuttlefish and chunks of merluza and tuna  but turned out to be rather bland. The fresh salad was substantial and was accompanied by a tasty balsamic sauce.

The choice of main course was chicken or Sicilian swordfish and we all chose the latter, which was accompanied by tomatoes, courgettes, red peppers and potatoes. Swordfish is prone to be served dry but this one was moist and tasty.

The dessert was a somewhat sugary papaya sorbet. Our host decided to splash out on the reliable Marques de Riscal Rueda at the heady price of  €19.95 per bottle. Although we were the only customers for lunch we had to ask the waiter to turn the volume down of the 1980´s music that he obviously enjoyed.  Cost p.p. €23.33

MR 68

Jan 282011
 
LA RATATOUILLE, Sanet y Negrals. (+34) 96 640 8326.

 ★★★★★ 

French name + German hosts + Spanish village = outstanding!

LA RATATOUILLE

It would seem that many of the customers of Ikarus in Denia have followed the German couple Gesine and Timo to their new restaurant La Ratatouille in the Orba valley. The restaurant can only accommodate about 30 guests and is bright and cheerful. The food is exceptional. The menu del dia is priced at €15, not including wine, but we had a special menu which cost €25.

All but one of us indulged ourselves in Timo´s signature dish of caramelized foie gras with vanilla apples, salad bouquet and a fried quail´s egg,  whilst the odd man out had the creamy coconut soup with prawns.

For the main course the choice was braised oxtail which was served with a rich red wine sauce, mushrooms and a potato cake or pan fried fillets of salmon, lubina and dorada served with saffron sauce, spinach and risotto.

The homemade desserts included apple sorbet, chocolate mousse, crème brulee and strawberry strudel. On our way to the restaurant we enjoyed some mariachi music and this seemed to put us all in good humour which perhaps accounted for our consumption of several bottles of Rueda Verdejo and Ribero del Duero.

Some of our number went on to have brandies with their coffee which meant that our overall bill rose to €40.20, and it was worth it.

SL 86