Oct 202017
 
CA PINET, ALCALALI        96 588 42 29

 ★★★☆☆ 

Keeping the (red) flag flying!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those people who remember the original Ca Pinet at Tarbena will recall a slightly dingy bar off the square, more like a museum than a restaurant, run ‘single-handedly’ by a man who revelled in the glories of a communist past. The walls were festooned with pictures of the proprietor, alongside Che Guevara, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro. This shrine to a communist past seemed welded to the spot, so it is with some surprise to find that it has moved lock, stock and barrel to Alcalali, where it occupies a site formerly taken by an Indian restaurant, and before that, by Los Almendros.

You cannot miss it: it is painted bright red (of course) and even the business card and menu sport a hammer and sickle. Most of the menu is taken up, not with food, but with pictures of a glorious past, full of unfulfilled promise and heroic poses by long-forgotten leaders of the communist brotherhood. The walls are still festooned with newspaper clippings and photographs, and the place is dominated by pictures of the original proprietor – it is still a shrine, and a fascinating one at that.

The menu features dishes of the day, based around the usual favourites such as paella, fideuada and what is termed gazpacho. No, not the watery tomato/almond-based soup of the Andalusian South, but a full-bodied stew, made from either fish or meat, padded out with squares of pasta and floating in a tasty stock. But first we had a selection of sausages and black puddings, the morcillas and salchichones, including  delicious embutidos laced with honey and served with walnuts. Scrumptious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was followed up by the ubiquitous tuna salad with its predictable ingredients of  a bit of tinned tuna, half a boiled egg, a few slices of onion and crisp lettuce leaves. Predictable – but good. That left us fired up for the main course…

Four of us chose the gazpacho, one pair opting for the fish gazpacho, the other for the chicken-based meat alternative, and very good indeed they turned out to be. Another diner chose the chicken, and all of us enjoyed the feast. It was followed up by the offer of different mousses – chocolate or lemon – and of course by custard cream. By then most of us had no room for puddings and opted for coffee and brandy.

The wines deserve mention: no wines were on offer other than those produced from Marnes, in the Jalon Valley, within a stone’s throw of where we were eating. The bottles had been re-labelled with the name of the restaurant, and the red was , much to our surprise, not bad at all and provided excellent value.

Overall we were all agreed: Ca Pinet is not a place to rush to with your wife or partner, but as a venue for a group outing – it was well worth a try and was considerably better than we expected. Long live the revolution!

The cost per head came to 24 euros.

MR 70   

 

 

Sep 302016
 
CASTELLVI,           ALCALALI,     966482481

 ★★★☆☆ 

 Good food in an empty restaurant

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Castellvi is a landmark restaurant in Alcalali located on the crossroad between the turn off to Orba and Parcent. It is a substantial building with lots of parking space opdsc01335posite but strangely we were the only lunchers present.

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The menu del día is priced according to the main course selected and generally ranges in the €15-16.50 price bracket, up to €20 including a half bottle of house wine.

The meal started off well with excellent homemade bread with alioli and tomato. Our starters included melon with ham, timbals of crab salad and finally Castellvi crepes, which were filled with tasty fish and a wonderful sauce.dsc01340

We tried the house wines, both called Adelum, but decided to trade up to Lan Crianza Rioja (€15) and Prado del Rey Verdejo from Rueda (€14).

For our main course we chose barbecue ribs with a honey sauce, lamb cutlets, pork fillet, beef strogonoff and shoulder of lamb. All good and in substantial portions that some of us struggled to finish.

 

 

 

Most of us therefore skipped desserts and opted instead for cdsc01330offees and brandies.  An enjoyable lunch in a large empty restaurant. Cost p.p. €27.50

SL 71                                                         buscard-castellvi

Jun 122015
 
LA TORRE,                   ALCALALI                   966482649   a Outside

 ★★★☆☆ 

 Three stars seen from the Tower

Today we took our Friday lunch club back to its roots by seeking out a traditional Spanish Menu del dia restaurant with unpretentious local cuisine in a traditional village setting… Hence we returned to Alcalalí in the Vall de Pop, to visit the restaurant La Torre, housed in a an old townhouse right in the heart of village, next to the church.

A room with a view?

A room with a view?

We dined inside, but in summer you can dine ‘al fresco’ in the adjacent square, to soak up the Spanish atmosphere.. One is greeted by the owner Jaime Ferrer, who is very personable, speaks good English and displays a seasoned understanding of British tastes in both food and humour! The menus del dia displayed on a portable blackboard offer a very varied choice of typical Spanish dishes ranging from roast chicken (€10,80) to Entrecote steak (€21,00). Like many local restaurants, the choice of main course dictates the cost of the 3-course menu. On this occasion, 4 of us opted for the “mixto de tapas” as a starter, whilst one rebel member broke ranks and plumped for a very generous plate of melon with Jamon Serrano. Other temptations included gazpacho, paté with ‘tostadas’ and calamares.

Tapas....

Tapas….

The main courses were all good ‘honest’ Spanish dishes – no fancy designer brush strokes on today’s plates, the only streaks left on the plates were those left by the diner mopping up the last bit of the sauce with bread! The pork fillet in mushroom sauce was polished off by one member, leaving his plate forensically clean. Conejo ( rabbit) cooked in a mustard sauce was another members choice and was deemed ‘thumpin’ good. Despite its country location, La Torre always offers fresh fish dishes – Jaime particularly recommended the lenguado (sole) a la plancha, which turned out to be very fresh, thick and succulent -a pleasant change from some of the thin, elongated and rather dry specimens one can encounter. Your hosting member today selected fresh, ‘unfettered’ Calamari – 5 entire little squid, which were interestingly seasoned and very soft – delicioso!!

Lenguado  a la plancha

Lenguado a la plancha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The desserts were home made and included a very colourful forest-fruit tart – a must try! 014

 

The house wines (Vinalopó 2015 red, and  “Acanto” – sauvignon blanc 2014 white – half a bottle p.p. included) were above average; indeed none of us felt the need to go “off-piste” into the wine list. All the above is accompanied by the infamous bread and ali-oli (garlic mayonnaise) – its infamy stemming from its ability to offend, later in the day, the olfactory glands of the most stalwart, but absent partners!

Price per person on this occasion including drinks, came to €20.66 per person

MH 74        Buscard 1 001    Buscard2 001

Feb 012013
 

 

LOS AMIGOS          ALCALALI   966482270

 ★★★☆☆ 

Old friends are best

Los Amigos is located between La Solana and Restaurante Pepe on the Caretera de Pedreguer on the outskirts of the historic village of Alcalali. This restaurant is run by an unlikely couple of Spanish speaking Chinese and has a barn like interior.

 

Even though it was early February, the warm sunny weather meant that everyone chose to have lunch on the patio outside with wonderful views of the almond blossom throughout the Val de Pop.

The price of the menu del día depends of the choice of main course and ranges from €8.50 for roast chicken to €12.95 for Lenguado Meunière. For starters we selected seafood cocktail, aubergine stuffed with mince and peppers and avocado with prawns all tasty.

 

 

For the main course one of our group decided to go off piste and ordered Solomillo which brought the cost of his lunch to €18.50, whilst the rest of us enjoyed Lenguado à la plancha and a substantial duck swimming in a delicious orange sauce.

 

 

 

 

For dessert we had Los Amigos take on Trifle (described in the menu as tarta de flan con fruta y nata) and a selection of ice cream.

 

The menu included a half bottle of wine per person and we focussed on Quinteiro from Ourense. Together with a few beers and coffees the total per person was just over €19. This is a good unpretentious restaurant serving food that does not disappoint.

MH 73                                                                      cards 001 (3)