StephenL

Mar 082019
 
GIRÓ,                       BENISSA          965730048

 ★★★★☆ 

Busy Giró- great grub

 

Avenida Pais de Valencia is the main street running through Benissa and a lot of businesses have suffered from the constant flow of traffic. This may change when the long awaited bypass is finally operating.  In the meantime it is good to see at number 100, a restaurant called Giró, that is so busy that it has to turn away customers that have not booked.

 

The frontage of Giró is small and one could easily walk past the restaurant without noticing it. The interior is small but cosy and because the restaurant is full, it is quite noisy.

Their menu del día is priced at €13 for three courses and including a glass of house wine.

There is no printed menu so the waiter recites the course options. In our case we opted for a salad of apple, red cabbage and carrot.

 

 

This was followed by individual vegetable cocas. Both starters were most enjoyable. Our host selected  the local house white wine, Santpere and a red Monastrell called Tempus Regit which were both priced at €9.00.

For main course most of our party opted for lamb chops in garlic whereas one of our members chose secreto de cerdo (pork).

 

Our host traded up with a further bottle of local red wine called Romanico (€14).

We were all pretty full at this stage so we skipped the desserts and instead had coffees and brandy. Cost of this enjoyable, cosy lunch was a modest €16.83 p.p.

Don´t forget to book in advance!

JS 78

 

 

Mar 012019
 
CASA BENJAMIN,              DENIA           965298384

 ★★★★★ 

Long standing reputation – since 1906

Bodega CasaBenjamin is located at Carrer  Ramòn y Cajal, just off the Plaza Glorieta, from where the Marqués de Campo runs down to the sea. The bodega has a stunning vintage interior, very stylish and with smartly dressed staff .

 

The sense of history is summed up in the slogan of CasaBenjamin “miles de botellas desde 1906”. We finished our pre-lunch drinks in the bodega and adjourned to the restaurant at the rear of the premises.

The restaurant offers a wide variety of tapas, but there are two menu options as well, priced at €14.95 and €19.95 and delivering starters, main course and dessert. The difference between the two menus is in the starters; the cheaper menu delivers one cold and one hot tapa whereas the more expensive provides two cold and two hot starters. Our group all opted for the €14.95 menu, which did not include wine.

Our starters were fresh cod croquettas and steamed mussels.

 

For main course most of us opted for racks of Teruel spare ribs, a dish of artichoke with broken eggs and Iberico ham and finally a brochette figatell which was a skewer of small meatballs and Iberico ham. All substantial and delicious.

Our host selected a red Viña Ulises 2017 from bodega Casta Diva in Parcent (€18.10) which accompanied our dishes very pleasantly. Desserts were tarta de chocolate and ice cream.

We concluded our inspiring five star lunch (€33.57 p.p.) with coffees and brandy.

LdD 80

 

 

Feb 222019
 
VARADERO,                    JAVEA         965791683

 ★★★★☆ 

Worth seeking out  

This curiously named restaurant (Varadero means “dry dock” in Spanish) is located on Plaza President Sr. Adolfo Suarez in the port area of Javea.

 

 

It would be easy to walk past the entrance as it is underbranded, but once inside the welcome from Souraya, the charming Lebanese owner is most reassuring.

We were presented tasty pita bread and hummus whilst we studied the menu del día which was priced at €15.

 

 

For starters we had vermicelli consommé, fried boquerones (anchovies), and migas malaquenos which turned out to be poched egg on a spicy mix of bread crumbs and mince.

Our host selected the house wines, both from the not so well known region of Almansa, the white a 100% Verdejo called Santa Cruz and the red a Garnacha called Albarroble, both priced at €13 and perfectly acceptable.

The main courses included cajan style prawns, ribeye steaks, vegetable lasagne and traditional fish & chips. All good.

Desserts were apple tart and a cream roly-poly called brazo de gitano. These were followed by the highlight of our lunch, the preparation of  “Queimada Gallega” an Orujo based liqueur  set on fire. The flambé ritual was expertly carried out by Borja, a proud Galician,  and enhanced our enjoyable lunch which cost €25.56 p.p.

RH 77

Feb 152019
 

RTE. DEL PESCADOR,           MORAIRA        965744849

 ★★★☆☆ 

Pity about the sole

Restaurante del Pescador is one of numerous bars and restaurants on Calle Mar in the harbour area of Moraira.

 

 

 

The inside of del Pescador is quite small and the majority of diners eat al fresco.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a menu del día for €13.95 and one of our party opted for this and was most satisfied with his choice. For the others we opted for a menu del noche which was priced at €20.  Neither menus included wine in the price.

We were served with a tasty amuse bouche along with warm bread, alioli and fresh tomato paste with the compliments of the house before we received our starters.  The starters were excellent and consisted of chiperones, gambas cooked with garlic and large fresh mussels.

 

 

 

For the main course the menu del día luncher had a perfectly cooked paella.

 

 

For the rest of us we chose sole, which was disappointingly small and with not a lot of flavour. We tried the house red and white which was El Pinar de Villena from Alicante (both priced at €14) and our host traded up to Musgos Verdejo from Rueda (€18.50).

We concluded this lunch that had started so well, with coffees and brandies offered by the house. Cost p.p. €31.33

SL 72

 

Feb 012019
 
LA RACCHETTA,            JAVEA         692652595

 ★★☆☆☆ 

GAME for a SET meal at La Racchetta?

La Racchetta is Calpe Tennis club´s restaurant and welcomes club members and non members alike. The restaurant was recently taken over by an Italian group and is building a reputation for SERVING a good value (just €10.50) menu del día which changes daily.

Our lunch had a distinctly Italian flavour starting with Parmigione, a kind of aubergine lasagne. Also on offer were lentil and chorizo soup or potato salad.

For main course we chose Italian hamburger and chips, Rigatoni (vegetable macaroni) and griddled chicken thigh.

The wine was a light Alicante red from Villena (12%) and included in the price of the menu del día.

The choice of dessert was limited to ice cream or fruit so most of our party opted for coffee and as it was a cold day we warmed up with some Soberano –GAME, SET and down the hatch!

 

The décor of La Racchetta is somewhat Spartan and the room can get quite noisy although in warmer weather it would be possible to dine on the terrace outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NET price p.p. €14.14

MH 67

 

BASTA ! DENIA

 Denia  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Jan 252019
 
BASTA !                  DENIA          965753988

 ★★★★☆ 

Good enough!

Basta! is a lounge bar and restaurant located in the port of Denia, with expensive yachts moored nearby and wonderful views of the sea, Denia castle and the looming mountain Montgó.

 

 

 

The restaurant has a warm and relaxed atmosphere with a large terrace and very friendly and attentive staff. On Sundays they have live music and on Friday evenings they offer a surprise dish with salads for just €10 to celebrate the start of the weekend.

The menu del día is priced at €15.50 for four courses. Our first course was a red tuna tatami, served with soy sauce, sesame, wasabi mayonnaise, wakame and tomato. Some of group opted to have their tuna cooked, rather than raw.

Second course was mini sirloin skewer with shiracha sauce, pickled cabbage, peanuts and prawn cracker – delicious!

The main course was entrecote grilled to everyone´s taste with roast potatoes, green pepper sauce and asparagus – wonderful!

Finally we finished our lunch with raspberry sorbet with fresh fruit and mango sauce.

 

Our host selected Vina Paceta, a rioja crianza 2015, which was most enjoyable (€16.50).

 

Coffee and brandies completed a memorable lunch which cost €30 p.p.

PM 75

 

Jan 182019
 
RINCON DE CALPE,               CALPE      965832460

 ★★★★☆ 

Traditional Spanish

Calle Oscar Esplá is one of many small streets connected to Avenida Gabriel Miró, the principal street of old town Calpe. The unassuming Rincon de Calpe is situated at no.2 with  a small frontage.

 

As is often the case, the bar area leads into a large and comfortable dining area which is decorated with tiles, paintings and a beamed ceiling.

It was a chilly January day when we entered and we were the only foreigners present but the welcome was warm. The menu del diá was priced at €15.25 for three courses and one drink. For starters there was a selection of tapas, salad and albondigas. The main course was either a mixed meat paella or chicken breast with a red pepper sauce.

 

 

Some of our group opted to go á la carte and enjoyed garlic soup or tortilla for starters followed up with pork chops (€10.25) and delicious grilled  prawns in garlic (€14.50).

 

Our host selected a very enjoyable Ribero del Duero called Senerio Real (€15.25).

We rounded off our traditional Spanish lunch with coffees and brandy and this brought the cost to €28.60 p.p.

JS 75

Jan 112019
 
EL KARMALET,            JALON          966369619

 ★★☆☆☆ 

A bit disorganised

There have been a number of restaurants located at this corner of Calle Judas just off the  Plaza Mayor in Jalon in the past, the last being Barrio Fiesta which closed in 2013. El Karmalet opened at the end of 2018, just about a month before our visit.

The restaurant has been redecorated with one wall in the bar area completed covered with an interesting black and white photograph of Jalon in days of yore. In fact it was in the bar that we had lunch although there is apparently a pleasant dining room with a fireplace in the back of the building.

There was a menu del día on offer and priced at €12 but it was uninspiring; a salad, followed by ham with melon or courgette soup followed by a main course of either chicken breast or fried fish. We all decided to go á la carte.

 

We quickly discovered that many of the dishes listed on the menu were not available and so our starters were caramelised goat´s cheese salad and a tasty courgette soup.

 

 

Our host ordered bottles of a Rioja Crianza 2013 from Don Jacobi (€14) which went very well with the lunch.

 

 

The main course selections were all meat dishes, two of them using beef from Avila.

There was a T-bone steak weighing almost 900 grams that two of our members shared (and just as well as it cost over €33) and an entrecote (€14.50) which was pronounced very tasty. The lamb cutlets (€13.50) had to be sent back to the kitchen for reheating and this was just symptomatic of the disorganised service.

We concluded with coffees and chopitos of brandy kindly offered by the house, but we came away believing El Karmalet can develop into a better restaurant than it was when we lunched there. Cost p.p. €30.88

SL 64

 

Jan 042019
 
SIETE LUNAS,              CALPE     965034129

 ★★★★☆ 

A shining sun

Carrer Dr. Fleming is at the edge of the centre of Calpe, quite close to Avenida Gabriel Míro and there are lots of restaurants in this area.

Siete Lunas is located at no. 7 on the Carrer and is a modern style restaurant, which is much larger on the inside than it appears to be on the  outside. Siete Lunas is run by a friendly Dutch/German couple and has a pleasant ambiance.

 

There are two menus del día on offer: menu Siete Lunas priced at €20.75 and menu Gourmet priced at €30. Both menus offer a wide choice of starters, main courses and desserts.

 

 

 

We ordered Atun ahomado, French onion soup and Hojaldre Mariscos for our starters and all were very tasty.

 

 

 

 

Our host chose a lovely Rioja to accompany our meal from Ramon de Bilbao (€23.75)

For our main courses we had Babi Ketjap, Hojaldre with wild mushrooms, and steak with red pepper sauce. One of our group found the Babi Ketjap a bit salty but otherwise everyone else was very pleased with their choice.

 

 

 

 

 

Two of us had Siete Lunas coffee for dessert, the rest of us had coffee and brandies and this very pleasant lunch cost €34.43 p.p.

LdD 79

 

 

 

Dec 282018
 
CA EMILIO,      BENISSA        965733736/639110646

 ★☆☆☆☆ 

Trawling…

Ca Emilio is to be found on Calle Cami de Canor no.26, which is a corner site next to a roundabout in Benissa, with interesting neighbours nearby of a crematorium on one side and a large school on the other opposite side.

 

The outside wall of the restaurant has a massive mural depicting a trawler and the message that their menu del día carries the very modest price of just €9. Ca Emilio is long established and is run by Emilio, a former trawlerman from Calpe and his daughter Rosanna.

Many of their customers stop off at the bar for a drink and tapas, but we moved into their separate, rather chilly, restaurant which was decorated with rural bric-a-brac.

 

 

 

 

We all indulged in the €9 menu and starting with a prawn soup and a moist paella-style rice dish called Arroz Señoret. The soup would have benefited from being served hotter.

 

The main courses were somewhat limited and we tried Pulpo con ajos (Octopus with garlic) and Bacalao Cruet, a sort of cod stew, which while tasty, was served warm but on a cold plate.

The menu included a third of a bottle of wine p.p. so our host had to fund some additional bottles of Salinas, a light (12%) red and white wine from Utiel-Requena at €7.50 each.

 

 

 

This is a modest but friendly restaurant which does offer great value for money. The cost p.p. was just €11.70.

MH 56