May 082015
 
LA BUENA VIDA,            BENISSA            966499900

 ★★★★☆ 

The good life on Benissa costa002

Although most people associate the name Benissa with the hilltop capital of the Marina Alta, the Benissa hinterland includes an area that is heavily populated with villas along the coast between Moraira and Calpe and, at 93 Avenida de las Marinas, the comfortable restaurant La Buena Vida is to be found.

 

La Buena Vida has an elegant modern décor inside and a substantial covered terrace outside. 014005

The menu del día is priced at €15.90 for three courses and a glass of wine.
There was a choice of three starters and we selected rather chewy calamares à la romana and an uninspiring salad. These were accompanied by a pleasant Rueda Verdejo called Colagón (€12.90).
The lunch improved however when the main courses were presented. A tender cod steak, a chicken korma and an absolutely delicious secreto de cerdo steak that was sliced into pieces of pork that melted in the mouth. 008

We were encouraged by the owner, who is clearly passionate about wines, to try the house red which was a vino de finca called Dominio de Fontana (€13.50), and very good it was too.012
For desserts we all selected the chocolate mousse and were not disappointed. With coffees and brandies our lunch in this seaside suburbia cost €27.60 p.p.

 

MH 75  buscard1 001  buscard2 001

Mar 202015
 
LA CULTURAL DE BENISSA,     BENISSA      965731949

 ★★★★☆ 

Not enough of the right noise 012

This grandly named restaurant is run by the same family who used to have the Bon Gust establishment, also in Benissa. Their new venture is located in the Casa Cultural in the mediaeval quarter at 28 Calle Purisima and consists of a partitioned off section of a substantial bar and separate cafeteria in Benissa´s Cultural Centre.

011
We were their only customers, although they were apparently fully booked the day before, on the feast of San José. The menu del día costs €15 and includes a half bottle of house wine, in this case a Rueda Verdejo with the bizarre name of K-naia.

For starters we had calamares á la romana, croquetas of cod, albondigas (meatballs) in an almond sauce and pelotas which are cabbage leaves stuffed with mince and pine nuts, all tasty.005

For main course we tried the arroz á banda and deliciously sweet pigs cheek. Our host splashed out on the reliable Rioja Muga which was on special offer of €28 for a magnum or the equivalent of €14 for a standard bottle compared with their house wine at €11.

The desserts were all made on the premises and included brownies, tarta de chocolata and flan. 010
The meal would have been more atmospheric if there had been other customers to drown out the sound of some noisy wine fridges. Nonetheless an enjoyable lunch that cost €21.17 p.p. coffee and brandy included.
LdD 76                          Buscard 001 (2)

Jun 202014
 
DSC00561CASA EL PEON,    PINOS,  BENISSA                    629655035

 ★★★☆☆ 

Rural treat

Pinos is a small village some 7 kms from Benissa on the CV 749 which is the road leading to the spectacular Sierra Bernia. There are wonderful views of this mountain range from Casa el Peón as well as of Calpe and the Peñon de Ifach.

DSC00562
The restaurant which also operates as a B & B, has a pleasant shaded terrace area which was mainly populated by French lunchers when we arrived. The menu is an extensive folder of photographs of tapas and main courses which would suggest that most of their guests are foreigners rather than Spanish.

DSC00563
The food however, from the alioli to the Paella, was very Spanish, homemade and freshly prepared. We selected six tapas dishes to share and all of them were delicious; calamares à la romana, mixed salad, Russian salad, broad beans, grilled gambas and embutidos – a selection of grilled sausages and black pudding.DSC00567
We had the house white wine a Viura called Don Darias (€8) and our host generously traded up to a Rioja Reserva called Campillo priced at €23.

DSC00570

For our main courses we had a meat and vegetable Paella, a mixed grill and fried eggs with grilled vegetables. Together with coffees and brandies our agreeable rural lunch in the hills cost €26.80 p.p.

LdD  72

 

May 232014
 
RESTAURANTE TIMON, BENISSA        965836155

 ★★★★☆ 

Spectacular Mediterranean settingDSC00452

DSC00463

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Timon is located at the Club Náutico “ Les Bassetes” at Km 2 on the Moraira to Calpe road in the coastal zone of Benissa. This is a tiny harbour where one can sail, dive, bathe, take in the uplifting view of the Peñon de Ifach and enjoy the culinary delights on offer at the first floor restaurant that is Timon.

DSC00456
Their menu del día costs €12.50, not including drinks. The starters were salad or chopitos fritos – deep fried baby squid, and the latter was particularly fresh and tasty. With these we tried the house wines, the white a chardonnay from Navarra called Fortius and the red was Darsena from Ribero del Duero, both priced at €11.90.  One of our party complained about the red, so our long suffering host traded up to the reliable Luis Alegre from Rioja (€18.50) and there were no further complaints.DSC00458
For main course the choice was between chicken or fish and our pleasant waitress suggested that as we were directly overlooking the sea, fish was the way to go and so most of us had the Lubina (sea bass) with vegetables. Two of our group opted to go á la carte and had sole on the bone which was good but a bit on the small side.
The dessert was a delicious mascarpone cream with a strawberry sauce. Exceptionally we were treated to coffees and brandies by the management and so our most pleasant lunch cost €21.53 p.p.

DSC00459
SL 75     Timon 001Timon 002

Apr 052013
 

 

 

BON GUST       BENISSA    965731949

 ★★★★☆ 

 

Tastes good

 

DSC00892

 

Although this restaurant opened four years ago, only one of our club members present had lunched here before and what a revelation it turned to be for the rest! 

Bon Gust is located at Carrer Nou 22, a couple of streets from the large church in the centre of Benissa and from the outside it looks like a typical Spanish bar with branded plastic tables and chairs on the pavement in front. Behind this deceptive front however is a classy bar and restaurant consisting of a series of rooms decorated with wooden walls and floors, glass and chrome.

DSC00894

 The restaurant attracts the business community of Benissa and we were the only foreigners present. The menu del día costs €14 for three courses and a half bottle of wine.

DSC00895

The choice of starters included croquetas of ham and cod, salad or really fresh calamares à la romano.

For our main courses we chose between an excellent arroz a banda, grilled swordfish and baked lamb that literally fell off the bone, it was so tender.

 Our desserts were a chocolate torte and ice cream.

 DSC00890

The house white was a delicious Rueda Verdejo with the unusual name of K-naia and our generous host treated us to the wonderful Rioja Muga 2008 Crianza (€22). Finally we rounded off this enjoyable lunch with mistelas which brought the total cost p.p. to a very reasonable €20.27.

 

PH 79

                      Bon gust 001                  

 

 

NB This restaurant closed in Spring 2014

 

 

 

Oct 052012
 
CASA EUSEBIO     BENISSA   965732410

 ★★★☆☆ 

Declining dining

 

Casa Eusebio is located at the top of Avenida de Valencia in Benissa, and is well known for the excellent tapas served up in the narrow bar that leads into the elegant restaurant. Unfortunately the recession appears to be taking its toll and besides our group there were only two other customers present for lunch.

 

The menu del día is priced at €18, some €2 cheaper than in 2010, however the choice of dishes is now very limited. For the first course there was a selection of five tapas or a fish soup, both of which were delicious. However for the main course we could only choose between either rice with vegetables or steamed cod. We all selected the cod but wondered why there was no meat dish on offer.

 

The dessert choice was again limited to either flan or fresh figs with ice cream. A glass of wine was included in the price of the menu del día, but thankfully our host splashed out on several bottles of Palacio de Bornos Rueda (€13.50) and an Otazu Crianza from Navarra (€16.50) and this lifted our spirits in what was otherwise a rather disappointing lunch which cost €31.90 p.p.

 

PH 70                            

Apr 062012
 

TICO-TICO, BENISSA (34) 965748352

 ★★★☆☆ 

Tasty fare at Benissa sur Mer

Benissa is not just the name of the hilltop town in the Marina Alta , but the district that stretches down to the Mediterranean coastal strip between Moraira & Calpe. It is here at Partida Baladrar, close by the landmark luxury supermarket of Pepe la Sal, that one finds the long established Tico-Tico.

The style and décor is typically Spanish with tiled floors, beamed ceilings and no-nonsense high backed chairs around tables with linen table cloths.

The menu del día is priced according to one´s choice of main course and ranges from €9.70 for merluza or roast chicken up to €14.50 for entrecote steak. Most of the dishes are priced at €10.80 and it was from these that we primarily selected.

After having the traditional helping of pan alioli, we all chose the same starter, a rather bland shrimp cocktail that was lacking in any character.

Tico-Tico´s chef performed better with our main course selections; duck in a rich orange sauce, shoulder of lamb and entrecote with a pepper sauce all served with perfectly cooked chips.

For dessert we had chocolate mousse, home made ice cream and a fresh fruit salad – all good. Although the menu del día included a half bottle of the house wine per person (Don Hugo red & Don Darius white) our generous host kindly insisted on ordering Darsena Ruedo and Martina Berdugo Rioja and, along with coffees and brandies, the total cost of this enjoyable meal in pleasant Spanish surroundings crept up to €21.95 p.p.

 

MR  (74)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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