StephenL

Mar 232018
 
BAR L´ ESTUFA              PARCENT      966405236

 ★★★☆☆ 

Hunger staved at the Stove Bar

 

A welcome port of call on a rather unsettled March day, Bar L´Estufa is situated at Avenida de Alicante 13, which is on the corner opposite the renowned Restaurante L´Era in Parcent at the western end of the Vall del Pop. Bar L´Estufa is an unassuming Spanish restaurant with a substantial outdoor patio area in a courtyard at the rear.

They offer a tapas menu at €9.90 or three menus del día priced at €10, €12 or €14. Most of us opted for the €12 menu but we also experienced the tapas offer and the highest priced menu. The menus included bread, a half bottle of wine and dessert.

For starters we had a chicken salad that was more than enough for two. Other starters chosen were stuffed aubergines, mussels and a substantial fish soup.

 

Main courses selected were pork fillet cooked à la plancha and which was tender and succulent, and a generous entrecote. The house wines were from Utiel-Requena both branded Monumento and whilst a bit light were palatable.

There was a large choice of desserts to choose from and together with coffees and brandy our hearty lunch cost €15.26 p.p.

MH 70    

 

Mar 162018
 
CA DORA,            GATA DE GORGOS          965757405/636225894

 ★★★☆☆ 

Simple cuisine, exceptional value

This family run restaurant is located at 97 Avenida Marina Alta, which is the main street running through Gata de Gorgos.

The dining area is notable for its high ceiling and simple furnishing; there is a patio courtyard which would be a pleasant option for dining in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu del dia is priced at just €10 including a half bottle of wine. We started off with a salad with chicken and bacon, macaroni with tomato and cheese and entremesas which turned out to be a rather disappointing plate of mixed cold meats straight from the packet.

 

 

 

 

 

The wines, both red and white, were from Alicante and branded Plaza de la Reina and priced at €6.

For main course we enjoyed grilled liver served with vegetables and roast chicken. One of our number had a homemade flan whilst the rest of us opted for coffees with either brandy or Baileys.

Cost per person for this simple lunch was a modest €13.12

RM 68

 

Mar 092018
 
MONROES CARVERY,             MORAIRA      965744114

 ★★★☆☆ 

Comfort food for ex pats

Monroes Carvery has been in the business of feeding an expatriate clientele for many years, and is currently run by a daughter of the founder. Pictures and photographs of the famous Marilyn abound, although the connection with the film star would appear to be tenuous.

There are three restaurants in this group, two called Munroes Cavery, one in Pedreguer and the other in Moraira and the Nags Head in Benidorm makes up the chain. We visited Munroes Carvery at 7 Calle Mar Negro which is just off the main road leading into the centre of Moraira. Ample shaded parking was available.

Munroes clearly catered for many patrons at a time, given the volume of tables and place settings, many of them outdoors. It would appear that it was geared more to the self- service cavery model rather waiter service. At summertime Monroes would probably come into its own with visiting expatriates from the U.K. seeking a refuge from Spanish cuisine.

The menu is slightly overwhelming because of its sheer size. There are two menus del día priced at €9.95 and €12.50, the latter includes a half bottle of wine.

For starters many of our group selected prawn cocktail and found it to be innocuous. Smoked mackerel accompanied by brown bread and the Caesar salad were both pronounced good.

 

The main course selection was a lot more varied. Two of our group opted for steak strips, one was tender the other less so.  

The traditional cod and chips were acceptable but the bacon burger was dry and required added sauce. A homemade steak and kidney pudding looked suspiciously like it had come from a tin, but tasted fine.

 

 

Our host selected an agreeable Verdejo Viura from Rioja called Azabache (€7.95) and a red from Cariñina called Monasterio de las Vinas (€9.95). This was found to be wanting so we switched to a Rioja red called 1000 Mojas (€7.95) and it was a definite improvement.

Desserts included a delicious meringue dish and our lunch concluded with the usual coffees and brandies and our bill worked out at just €18.74 p.p.

PD 69    

 

Feb 232018
 
THE BLACK APPLE,              JALON        966480324 & 610298190

 ★★★☆☆ 

What a buzz!

The Black Apple opened its doors just three weeks before our visit and is a welcome culinary addition to Jalon. It is located in the back of the landmark shop, Heidi´s Flowers, at the bottom of Avenida San Domenec where it meets Avenida Ray Juan Carlos.

After passing through the flower shop one enters the restaurant area which is tastefully decorated and there is an outside patio that will become a useful overflow area after the winter is over.

The owner and chef, Tom Francis has put together an innovative concept that is neither tapas or menu del día, but gives one the opportunity of going solo or sharing. There is a large blackboard displaying some six starter options ranging in price from €4.50 to €6.95 and three main courses at €9.95 each.

We selected two hearty vegetable soups, and shared baked Camembert with garlic, delicious fish cakes and potatoes stuffed with tuna, sun dried tomatoes and spring onions, but which were found to be on the heavy side.

Four of party selected a traditional ploughman´s lunch which was presented on a large wooden platter and included Scotch egg, cheddar cheese, ham, pickle and chutney.

 

The remainder of our group shared beautifully presented fisherman´s platters which were comprised of chilli prawns, shredded crab, mackerel pate, tuna, salmon and mussels.  Not knowing the size in advance most found both dishes too plentiful, but next time we will know better.

Our host chose the house wines (€8.50) to accompany our food, the white was a Rueda called Monasterio de Palazuelos and the red was a Navarra called Torrecilla – both enjoyable.

 

Despite having only recently opened its doors, The Black Apple was full of customers and was really buzzing; it should do very well. Total cost  €23.12 p.p.

RH  72

Feb 162018
 
LA FONTANELLA,               CALPE        865527743

Oh dear!

 ★☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

La Fontanella is an Italian restaurant located near the rambla below the old town district of Calpe at Pintor Sorolla 19. This street is not very attractive but you should never judge a book by its cover.

The restaurant inside is substantial and although there is a table linen service the overall ambiance is not particularly endearing. There are three menus del día to choose from priced at €8, €10.50, €12.50 and €14.50.

Most of our table selected the €12.50 menu and there was a choice of starters with ham and melon or bruschetta.

For the more expensive menu our diner selected coctel de gambas but it turned to be a singular shrimp with shredded carrot and lettuce,  albeit with a delicious sauce.

The pasta course was spaghetti bolognesa or tagliatelli carbonara; both ok. The main course was escalope Milanese served with chips but no trimmings, so the appearance of the dish was somewhat spartan.

Our host splashed out on some pleasant wines, a white called La mas Bonita (€14.50) and a Ribiero del Duero called Viejo Mundo (€14.90).  Although our waitress was pleasant, our service was slow and we had to request for water four times before it was brought to the table.

On the positive side the restaurant was clean, there was plenty of parking in the nearby streets and we were offered chopitos on the house, at the end of our lunch which cost €27.16 p.p.

PH 54               

Feb 092018
 
LA FONDA,         BENISSA     966394502

 ★★★★☆ 

That fonder feeling

 

La Fonda is a long established traditional Spanish bar/restaurant and B&B that is located at Orxelles 36, which is a side street at the top of the hill in Benissa, just off the Avenida Pais de Valencia, close by a small filling station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently La Fonda was subjected to a make-over and the result is a modern façade and once inside the bar and restaurant,  there is a good mix of dark wood furniture and clean white walls with large framed mirrors.

Although it was a chilly February day our group were welcomed by a warm and friendly ambience.

The menus del dí are priced according to the main course selected and ranged across €11 for chicken, €14 for rice and prawns and €20 for a large entrecote;  for starters we enjoyed large oblong cocas, pilotas and salads.

The house wines were a Rueda called La Casa by Menude and a Monastrell from Alicante called DNA Murviedro, both very acceptable. We completed our lunch with copas of brandy (€1.50) each having enjoyed the friendly ambience and agreeable staff who served well cooked dishes. The cost p.p. was just  €14.71.

JS 79                                                 

Feb 022018
 
RESTAURANTE DEL HIERRO,         JALON       692738016

 ★★★★☆ 

Good lunch in an empty venue

 

The town of Jalon lies almost exactly on the Greenwich meridian and the Calle Mayor runs due north from the Plaza Mayor. It is a narrow street with a few shops and bars and at number 11 is the restaurant Del Hierro. It is not clear how it acquired this name “Of Iron” as it has traded as Indonesian, Chinese and rice restaurants over the past twenty years or so.

On entering the restaurant there is an intimate setting with table linen service, an attractive bar and interesting Spanish tiles on the walls.

 

In the back there is a larger room with the same decor but which was closed as we were the only customers for lunch.

The menu del día costs €16 including pan and alioli but not any drinks. Two of our party went for the menu and the others opted for à la carte. The menu lunchers chose a substantial dish of canelones and a pate with strawberries  and figs.

The others had gambas al ajillo (€5.50) that were in need of some extra salt for flavour.

For main course the choices were medallions of solomillo of pork (€13.50 when not on the menu del día),  magret de pato (€14) and stone grilled entrecote (€16.80).  All well presented and tasty although one the solomillos was a little chewy.

On the wine front our host selected a Rueda Verdejo called Vega Mascan (€13) and a Vegamar Merlot (€12). Both pleasant. Together with coffees and brandies our pleasant lunch in the heart of Jalon cost €29.62 p.p.

LdD  77    

CANDE, JAVEA

 Javea  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Jan 262018
 
CANDE,                JAVEA       965795990

 ★★★☆☆ 

Good food let down by house wines

Restaurante Cande is located at Cristo del Mar, 20 in the old port of Javea. The façade is modest enough but the restaurant inside, which has been run by three Spanish sisters for over 20 years, is comfortable and homely. There are some interesting photographs on the walls of the Javea coast before the area was developed.

The menus del día are featured on publicity boards outside the entrance and are priced at €12 and €15; we tried both.

 

 

 

 

For starters we chose soup, steamed mussels and entremeses – a selection of cold meats. All were enjoyable. However the accompanying house wines were decidedly disappointing. The white called Rioblanca was thin at just 11.5% and the red called El Primar was equally sad but perhaps the price of just €3.50 should have warned us. Fortunately our host traded up to a verdejo from Tierra del Castilla called Mataespesa (€12.50) and a Rioja Crianza from the Torres stable called Altos Ibéricos (€14) were much more acceptable.

 

Our main course selections were grilled sole, pork chops with a pepper sauce and stuffed loin of pork with prune sauce. All good.

Desserts were limited to sliced orange in a Cointreau sauce or flan. The cost of our lunch in Cande, including coffees and brandies, amounted to €22.33.

 

KK 68              

Jan 192018
 
BAR VARETES,            LLIBER          659243832/640788329

 ★★★★☆ 

Tapas under the False Pepper tree

 

The village of Lliber in the Vall de Pop, otherwise known as the Jalon Valley, must rank as one of the prettiest in the Marina Alta.

Many of the streets have had the tarmac stripped off to reveal to the original stone base and one street has a wonderful display of flowers outside each house.

 

 

 

 

There is a set of steps that is often used for wedding photographs and Lliber´s  imposing church overlooks the Plaza Mayor.

 

In fact when our group of lunchers are not heading to the coast we often meet for a pre-lunch drink in the Plaza Mayor under the False Pepper tree just outside Bar Varetes, one of three bar/restaurants in the village square. The tree has become a bit of a legend for freeing up the tongues of those sitting under it.

Bar Varetes changed hands in late 2017 and the new enthusiastic young team have developed the food offering, with a substantial tapas menu. There are almost 30 tapas dishes to choose from as well as other meat and fish plates but we selected a total of seven different tapas to share between us.

 

Our selection included a wonderful Pate del Hierro, Pelotas, Calamar á la romana, Gambas á la plancha, mini burgers called Figatelles and nicely spicey Patatas bravas.

The only tapa that did not meet with universal approval was the Aspencat, a dish of two grilled vegetables served cold.

The wines accompanying our delicious array of tapas were Dársena, a verdejo from Rueda (€9.50) and Montelciego from Rioja (€8.00).

We completed our lunch under the False Pepper tree with the usual coffees, but the brandies were very generously offered by the casa. The cost of this delightful, relaxed repast in the interior of the Marina Alta was a modest €17.17 p.p.

SL 79

 

 

Jan 052018
 
GUANTANAMERA,             DENIA        966431483

 ★★★☆☆ 

Cubano or Mexicana ?

Guantamera is one of many restaurants driving north from Denia on the carretera Las Marinas and is to be found at km 2.6. It proclaims it has authentic “Cocina Cubano-Mexicana” .

One enters Guantanamera via a rather anonymous enclosed terrace where surprisingly smoking is permitted. We chose to lunch in the small restaurant inside which can only accomodate about 30 guests but is smoke free.

 

 

There is an extensive á la carte menu of both Mexican and Cuban dishes or you can opt for their menu del día which costs a modest €8.50, including a half bottle of wine.  

One of our group chose from the á la carte option and had a substantial quesadilla de gambas, a mexican style tortilla which he shared amongst the rest of us. He followed up with Mexican chicken tacos. The cost of these two tasty dishes amounted to €15.45 not including any wine.

From the menu del día our group selected cold prawns, fresh sardines and steamed mussels. These were followed by a beef broth or gazpacho.

For main course we chose lamb chops, pork chops and swordfish all served with puréed potatoes or rice.

 

The house wines were Adelum, a Sauvignon blanc from Alicante, and Senorio de Los Llanos, the well-known Tempranillo from Valdepeñas.  Together with coffees and brandy our taste of Cuba/Mexico cost just €18.87 p.p.

MH 74