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               

Jan 202017
RESTAURANTE TAVINO,              CALPE      965832667


Paradise for wine loversDSC01619

Tavino is located in Calle Blasco Ibanez, one of the streets running off Gabriel Miró in central Calpe. The street is full of restaurants but Tavino is noteworthy for its small al fresco area outside complete with a sign declaring  “A paradise for real wine lovers”.

Inside the restaurant the décor is classic but at the same time modern and attractive. On a cold, wet January day the warm muted ambience was welcoming and inviting.



At the bar area Tavino boasts a state of the art dispensing unit offering a wide selection of wines by the glass in perfect condition. At the rear of the restaurant is a bodega/wine shop with a limited range of quality wines.



The menu is extensive and although there is no advertised menu del día, there is one available on request at a reasonable €12.50 for three courses, excluding drinks and one of our group opted for this.  DSC01627

For the rest of us we selected deep fried camembert and calamares á la romana for starters and salads, schnitzel and pork cheeks for main course.

Our host did not scrimp on the wines, selecting a Rueda Verdejo called Rey Santo (€15) and a Rioja Crianza called Jaldum (€16.80).  We completed our meal with a Ribero del Duero called Silvanos which cost €4.10 per glass.



A very enjoyable lunch with excellent wines in comfortable surroundings, costing just under €33 p.p.

JS 77

Dec 022016
BASE CAMP,          CALPE     965831833


Top Indian cuisine in Base Campdsc01571

Base Camp is a well established Indian/Nepali restaurant located at km 1 on the Calpe to Moraira road. It is easy to locate being next to the Bed Centre and a few doors away from the landmark bar called “Grizzly´s”. There is plenty of parking in front of the restaurant.

The outside has the appearance of a normal Indian restaurant with a small terrace for al fresco dining. Inside the restaurant is decorated with ethnic fabrics and impressive murals.dsc01577

The à la carte and takeaway menus are extensive and there are three menu del día options priced at €9.99, €16.99 and €26.99 for two people sharing. When we visited Base Camp it was a rather miserable winter´s day and we were the only customers; no doubt business would be brisk in the evening. Regardless, the atmosphere was warm and friendly although we did have to request the background ethnic music to be reduced in volume.dsc01574

We decided to select the €26.99 menu for two and thoroughly enjoyed savouring the starters of kebab sheek, chicken tikka, vegetable pakura and samosa. These were followed up by main courses of two varieties of chicken and two lamb curries accompanied by potato side dishes, naan bread and deliciously cooked rice. There was a choice of mixed ice cream for dessert or coffee.


To complete the authentic Indian experience were large bottles of Cobra beer (€5.50) and some of us opted for a perfectly acceptable Marques de Teran Rioja (€13.50).

Service was efficient and attentive without being obtrusive and the cost p.p. for this very enjoyable Indian lunch was €26.49.

JS 78


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Jul 292016
LA FOSA,              CALPE        965835324


Strange name for a restaurant!

The Playa de Levante stretches to the north of the iconic Peñon de Ifach in Calpe and on Calle Llentiscle 7 is the strangely named Restaurant La Fosa. It has a spacy interior and large terrace overlooking the Mediterranean a with a stunning view of the Peñon.

There are three menus del día to choose from priced at €12.50, €16.50 and €20 and all include a half bottle of wine. Two of our group selected the mid priced menu whereas the rest of us opted for the €20 option; none of us was disappointed.

As it was our host´s birthday he treated us to some classy wines including  Pagos del Rey Rueda Verdejo (€15) and Habla de la Tierra from Extremadura (€14.50). We completed  the red with manchego cheese and followed this with coffees and brandies.

A delightful lunch which cost €38.03 p.p.

Fosa in Spanish translates to “ pit, ditch, cavity or grave” in English!

LdD 72


Jul 082016
BAR ESPAÑA,               CALPE    865670502



Bar España is a small restaurant located on Calle la Mar 5a in the hilly part of Calpe near the Cultural centre. In summer the restaurant uses the sidewalk on the other side of the street to place tables for al fresco dining.

The menu del día costs €10.50 and includes a half bottle of wine. We started our lunch with gazpacho and salad and moved on to grilled lamb, chicken breast and fried merluza. All rather bland.

Cost p.p. €18.44

JS 34

Jan 292016
DE JAYENA,               CALPE                                 965839473


Reliable diningjayena, calpe 001

Our lunch club last visited Restaurante de Jayena in the upper town in Calpe back in 2007 and nothing much has changed since then.

The restaurant and bar is located on a corner site at Calle Malaga and blends into the surroundings to such an extent that you could easily pass it by.

The interior décor is warm and comfortable and there is table linen service.

jayena, calpe 009


There are three menu options on offer with the top menu costing €15, a rice menu priced at €14 and the so-called menu gastronomico costing a modest €9.25.
We opted for the latter and were provided with the usual pan alioli and a salad before our starters arrived. jayena, calpe 004

These were entremeses, a somewhat unexciting selection of cold cuts of meats, and unusually for a starter, a substantial stew or estofado. A white Valencian wine called Tia Poma accompanied these dishes.

jayena, calpe 006
For our main course we chose fillet of beef and cordon bleu, which one of members declared to be the best he had eaten. A bottle of Rioja called Armegil (€8.80) was served with these dishes.
Together with coffees and brandy our comfortable lunch in Calpe cost just €15.68 p.p.
MH 70

de Jayena calpe

Sep 192014
EL CANTAL,         CALPE       965832830


Not a lot of lobster…DSC00725


El Cantal is located at number 16 on the grandly named Avenida Isla de Formentera which is the street leading down to the port of Calpe. The restaurant is modern and functional with stunning views.DSC00729


Their menu del día is priced at €16.90 but does not include any drinks.There were three starters, the first being a cold soup -cream of melon with port. It was so sweet that it could have been served as a dessert. This was followed by deliciously fresh calamares á la Andaluza and salad. The starters were accompanied by the reliable Rueda Verdejo called Menade (€14).DSC00732
For main course two of us shared paella with lobster, well, half a lobster. The others had grilled entrecote and two of the members were very satisfied with their choice, however the third luncher found his steak to be decidedly chewy and salty. Our generous host produced a Ribero del Duero 2011 Crianza called Romantica (€15) which certainly added to our enjoyment.
The desserts included profiteroles, brownies and ice cream and when the wines, coffees and brandies were included our lunch cost a hefty €33.40 p.p.
PH 71


Cards2 001

Jun 272014
DSC00613ROMANTICA,   CALPE     965839687


Twister langostino

All of the streets leading down to the substantial beach of Playa del Bol in Calpe are named after countries and Restaurante Romantica is to be found between Calles Holanda and Grecia. Despite the name, the restaurant does not look particularly romantic, but we were there for lunch rather than romance.
We selected both the menu del día, competitively priced at €11.40 for a three course lunch including wine, as well as the Paella menu priced at €13.50.DSC00620

Most of us chose the intriguingly named coctel de twister langostino which proved to be delicious deep fried battered twists containing prawns, whilst the less adventurous had slices of two homemade pates for their starter.
The paella was preceeded by fresh avocado stuffed with shrimps.

All though we were right beside the sea almost everyone decided on meat dishes for the main course, either a substantial mixed grill or lamb chops – both excellen and our fish eater was pleased with his choice of salmon steak.



The house wines were Abadia del Roble from La Mancha. The red was acceptable but the white was given the thumbs down and so our host kindly selected a Rueda called Darsena (€11.70).


For desserts we enjoyed profiteroles, fresh pineapple, melon and an almond tart. The cost of this pleasant, if unromantic, lunch was €25.38.


Mar 142014

HOTEL GRAN SOL,   CALPE    965836282


Norwegian makeover

The Gran Sol is a long established hotel and restaurant in one of the suburbs of Calpe where a GPS is a definite advantage to locate one’s destination. The address is Urb. Gran Sol 6B which is a few streets to the south east of Imperial Park.


The hotel is an unassuming building from the outside and has been going through a makeover by the Norwegian family that bought it about a year or so ago. On entering the restaurant there is a large comfortable lounge area to chill out in, a bar and then restaurant itself with a  terrace outside with views onto the Peñon d’Ifach.

The refurbishment of the restaurant’s decor includes a lot of stone and wood and is very pleasing to the eye.DSC00274

The chef at the Gran Sol is English and his menu is too.

Our starters included homemade croquetas de jamon, a French onion soup and gambas with a sublime cider sauce.


The price of the menu del día is set by the main course selected and in our case ranged from €12.50 for a Beef and Ale pie, or roast pork with crackling to €18.00 for duck à la orange. All tasty.

Our desserts included profiteroles and an apple pie.  DSC00280

The house wines were from Somontano and branded Montesierra. The white was an unusual blend of Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Macebeo whereas the red was a traditional Cabarnet Sauvignon/Tempranillo. Both good honest wines which cost €9 once the half bottle person limit had been passed. 

The total cost p.p. for an enjoyable lunch in comfortable surroundings amounted to just under €20.

MH 79

6 Gran Sol rev (2)6 Gran Sol rev (1)





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Jan 172014

DRACULA,     CALPE      965839211DSC00165


D is for Dracula….. 

Avenida del Puerto consists of a long line of restaurants and bars in the port area of Calpe. At the bottom of this street that leads to the Port is the busiest restaurant, a piece of Romania dramatically named Dracula. The décor in the patio area includes a wall featuring Dracula’s castle, the lettering dripping with blood and inside the restaurant the bric-a-brac includes paintings of the Count framed by swords and further scenes of Transilvania.

DSC00167 DSC00172 

Dracula’s clientele included Spanish, Romanians and northern Europeans and when we quizzed some of the regular lunchers as to the reason why Dracula was so popular, they advised that the host was always generous to his clientele and indeed this proved to be the case.


Dracula has three menus del día, priced at €10.50, €13.50 and €15.50 and most of us chose from the latter whereas one of our members went à la carte. Once we had made our selection our generous host brought us a plate of mussels to sample, on the house.


Our starter from the menu was prawn cocktail and our off piste member enjoyed a plate of scrambled eggs and gambas, which we washed down with the pleasant house white from Cariñena called Castillo Ducay (€9).


The à la carte main course was lamb cutlets, slightly overcooked, and from the menu we were presented with a substantial moist pork knuckle cooked with beans or with fries and fresh salad –both good. These dishes were accompanied by a Rioja Crianza called Lozaniel (€9).


We decided on coffees rather than desserts and again our host lived up to his reputation for generosity by providing free Romanian grappa and brandies to finish off a quirky but enjoyable experience. Cost p.p. €27.

MH 74 3 Dracula rev (2)  3 Dracula rev (1)