CHRINGUITO OLALA, BENISSA

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Oct 022020
 

CHIRINGUITO OLALA                BENISSA              680507469

 ★★★★☆ 

Wonderful seaside setting, delicious tapas

    

Cala Baladrar is a small cove a few kilometres south of Moraira and is part of Benissa Costa. This is the location of the wonderfully named Chiringuito,  Olala. It is not the easiest restaurant to find but with stunning views over the sea towards the Peñon de Ifach it is definitely worth the effort.

Like most chiringuitos or beach bars it is mainly a fresco dining under pine trees. On the day we went there was a major storm brewing, adding to the sense of drama.

There is no menu del día, but this was not a problem as our interest was in having a lunch of tapas.  We selected four plates of tapas and they were magnificent.

We started with Torrajo, which was delicious grilled bread with a strong garlic alioli. There followed Patatas bravas accompanied with a tasty hot sauce. The boquerones or fried anchovies were really fresh. Finally we had steamed mussels and some our group declared them to the best they had ever eaten. O! la! la!

These four tapas dishes cost a total of just €30 and we then made a big mistake. We each decided to have a burger (€10 per unit) which was poor value in comparison and also in no way as tasty as the tapas. Next time we will stick to tapas only.

                         

Our host selected a Rueda called  Beronia (€17) and a red from Utiel Requena called B.O. Bobal (€13) both delicious.

Desserts were apple tarts and cheesecakes. Together with coffees and chopitos our lunch by the seaside cost €32.66 p.p. but next time it should be about €25 by sticking to tapas.

JS 77

 

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PIZZERIA L´ORENGA, BENISSA

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Sep 182020
 

PIZZERIA L´ORENGA                    BENISSA          965731679

 ★★☆☆☆ 

Soulless

This Pizzeria is located on Avenida L´Alcudia 20. It is to the east of Benissa´s main street. When we arrived we were the only customers and as there were very few lights switched on the restaurant had a rather gloomy atmosphere.

The menu del día was priced at a competitive €13. For starters most of us had smoked salmon salad whilst two of us enjoyed milhojes de tomate with queso de Burgos, essentially sliced raw tomato with cheese.

 

For wines our host selected the well respected Verdejo called Verdeo (€12) and a Ribero del Duero called Carramimbre (€14.90) and both were most enjoyable. Our main courses included Pizza Hawaii and a Pizza Peperoni, both good. Some of us opted for Spaghetti with gambas; the pasta was tasty but there were only two shrimps accompanying it.

     

Overall good food and drink let down by the lack of atmosphere. Our lunch, including coffees and brandies cost €21.31

LdD 67

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EL PEON DE PINOS

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Jul 032020
 

EL PEON DE PINOS           PINOS, BENISSA           629655035

 ★★★☆☆ 

Third lunch and good as ever

Our club has lunched at El Peón de Pinos on three occasions now; in May 2009, June 2014 and on July 3 this year. Actually if you read our review from 2014 almost nothing has changed over the last six years. 

On this occasion the weather was unusually cloudy and even a bit wet and the spectacular Sierra Bernia could not be seen because it was enveloped in cloud. But this did not dampen our enjoyable lunch in this family run restaurant one iota.

Although El Peón de Pinos is renowned for its wonderful paellas, we decided to try their tapas menu and we were not disappointed. The tapas range in price from €2 for brochetas  to €8 for gambas a la plancha but our selection was priced at just €3.50 for each dish.

The best of the tapas we selected were champiñones, alboñdigas and calamares romana and the least impressive hígado plancha. We had a total of seven tapas plus dessert and the food bill totalled €10 per person.

On the wine front the house white, Monte Segáriá from Alicante (€7) was not great, but the red, Faustino VII Rioja (€10) was most pleasant. Our drinks bill matched the food and so the total amounted to €20 per person on the wonderful, if a bit damp and cloudy day in July, up in the mountains overlooking Calpe.

 

 

 

JS 73

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BAR FRAU, BENISSA

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Jun 212020
 

BAR FRAU                BENISSA                 966113307

 ★★☆☆☆ 

Fast service, good food, great value, but noisy….

Since our last lunch in Bar Frau three years ago the price of the menu del día has dropped from €9 to €8 including a half bottle of wine p.p. – incredible value for four courses. The ambiance of the restaurant leaves a lot to be desired and the acoustics are rather noisy. If you are in a hurry to be fed, as a lot of their clientele are, this is the place to be as the dishes arrive at a gallop.

We all had a fresh salad followed by cheese and pate, arroz a banda or gazpacho. All good. For main course we had secreto de cerdo and accompanied by a Rueda Verdejo and a Spanish red wine of unknown provenance. Together with standard desserts, coffees and brandy the cost of lunch was a remarkable €10.50 compared with €12 three years ago!

MH 66   

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May 242019
 
CASA CANTO,              BENISSA      965730629

 ★★★★★ 

Better than ever!

Casa Canto has recently reopened in the restaurant location where it started out, at Avenida Pais Valencia 217 at the top of the main street running through Benissa. The road frontage is modest and inside the door there is a narrow tapas bar leading on into the comfortable restaurant at the back.

 

This is a family owned restaurant with Ximo Ivars as Chef de cuisine and Jordi Ivars performing the role of Maître d´. The combination produces outstanding results.

The menu del dia is priced at €18 for five courses starting with an amuse bouche of foamed liver which was delicious. There followed a wonderful Waldorf salad and then a brochette of monkfish combined with a violet flavoured potato sauce.

 

For main course we selected grilled lubina served with a delicate flavoursome sauce, a rice dish of chicken, rabbit and vegetables and finally a stew of veal cheek. All perfect.

 

Our host chose Rueda Verdejo from Marqués de Riscal  and a Rioja crianza from Ramón Bilbao, both priced at €16.50 and most enjoyable.

 

The desserts included a chocolate sorbet, cheesecake and homemade flan catalan – stunning!

 

We rounded off this fabulous lunch with coffees and chopitos of brandy and the cost p.p. amounted to €31.24. Well worth it.

 

SL 82

May 102019
 
CASES-DE-SANT-JAUME,         BENISSA         691557733

 ★★☆☆☆ 

Off the beaten track

This hotel/restaurant is hidden away down a country lane several kilometers outside Benissa on the way to  Pedramala and Benimarco in an area known as Paratella. Apparently the owners are having difficulty in obtaining permission from the authorities to have signage erected on the main roads which is unfortunate.

The restaurant itself is most attractive and comfortable with great views over the surrounding countryside. We were the only customers for lunch. The menu del día costs €18.90 with supplements for some of the dishes.

 

 

There was a choice of three starters, three main courses and two desserts. The starters were mushroom soup, melon and serrano ham and shrimp cocktail (€1 +) – all quite acceptable.

 

 

These were accompanied by the house wine, a red and a white from Catalunya called Marques de la Concorda (€10.90).

Our host decided to trade up on the red and selected an interestingly named Rioja called ChitÓn (€15.55).

For main course we were served Entrecote with pepper sauce and vegetables (€3+), dorada with garlic and chips and pork fillet with mushroom sauce and vegetables. Unfortunately the plates were not heated and most of the dishes were overcooked.

Cases-de-Sant-Jaume is a delightful venue but has a real challenge in getting on the map. Our sortie there cost €35.68 p.p.

PH  65

 

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

 

 

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

Nov 302018
 
34 de SAN NICOLAS,               BENISSA       865716345

 ★★★☆☆ 

Where in Benissa?

This recently opened restaurant is located at 34 Calle San Nicolas in Benissa in a quiet street leading up the hill from the Plaza Jaume.

 

 

 

Whilst not formally pedestrianised , the street has little passing traffic and so 34 has a number of tables on the street itself.

 

Inside 34 the décor is bright and modern, comfortable, warm and inviting.

The menu del día changes every day according to availability of fresh products and is priced at €14 for three courses and one drink. The food is typically Spanish, well cooked and presented. The service is prompt and friendly.

Although there were three or four starters all but one of us opted for the home made cocas. The cocas which are like a mini pizza bases were indeed pleasant, however the toppings were surprisingly small.

 

 

The main courses included delicious Secreto de Iberico, an enjoyable dish of rice and mussels and excellent spare ribs.

Finally the dish called Mar y Montaña which turned out to be chickpeas and squid was not rated positively by the one luncher who chose it.

Our host selected Somantano Pirineos red and white wines both priced at €11 and very acceptable.

Most of us skipped the usual desserts of flan, tarts, ice cream etc and instead had coffees accompanied by chopitos offered by the house. The 34 is a welcome addition to the stock of restaurants in Benissa and our enjoyable experience cost €19.62 p.p.

JS 72

 

 

Apr 202018
 
OCEANA CLUB,                 BENISSA COSTA       634313924

 ★★★☆☆ 

Slim pickings

Formerly known as Restaurante Timon,  Oceana Club is located at one of the most stunning sites on the Costa Blanca.

 

 

It is to be found at Les Bassetes, which is a tiny harbour on the Moraira to Calpe road, and is located on the top floor of the harbour complex with wonderful views onto the Peñon de Ifach.

We chose to lunch indoors as there was quite a strong wind blowing outside; the new owners have refurbished the restaurant in a tasteful style.

The menu del día is priced at €17.50 for three courses and a drink.

For starters the choice was mixed salad, carpaccio of tuna or courgette soup, all acceptable but not very exciting.

Our host selected Mantel Rueda Verdejo (€19) and the house red from Ribero del Duero called La Planta.

For main course we selected chicken brochettes, fresh salmon and paella. The portions were not particularly generous.

 

 

Finally for desserts we had ice cream and sliced melon and pineapple.

 

After lunch we enjoyed some live music on the terrace and including coffees, our lunch overlooking the Mediterranean cost €28.24 p.p.

PH 70