Dec 092016



Paradise lost…..and rediscovered!

After a rare, but prolonged spell of dank, gloomy and depressing weather, the rain Gods called a truce and a chink in the heavens could be glimpsed through the clouds above the Vall de Pop. Our host interpreted this as a sign to enjoy some “de vino” intervention and whisked us off to Paradise –the Restaurante El Paraiso, to be precise.dsc01592

El Paraiso is located on the CV 715 at about one kilometre from Parcent driving in the direction of Col de Rates and Tárbena. Although we had been here some four years earlier, Paraiso has recently reopened after being closed for almost two years. The new hosts are a husband and wife team, Manolo and Svetlana.dsc01593

There are two menus del día on offer priced at €12 for 3 courses including wine or €18 for 3 courses excluding wine. Most of us chose the €12 option and one of our party decided to go for the €18 menu.dsc01581


For starters there was a heavenly cream of pumpkin soup and a very rich tomato broth which suited the wintery weather. The more expensive menu offered a selection of tapas including huevos rotos.

All main courses carried a supplementary price and both the pork knuckle (€4) and entrecote (€4) were moist and tender although the entrecote was subjected to extra time on the grill. dsc01583








The shoulder of lamb carried a €6 supplement but unfortunately it turned out to be dry and overcooked. When this was brought to the attention of Manolo, he was aghast and immediately waived the supplement and offered a dessert from the €18 menu in compensation. The final main course selected was slow cooked veal cheek from the €18 option and was declared to be delicious. A general criticism was perhaps the rather meagre selection of vegetables which consisted primarily of onion.

As to the wine, the €12 menu included the Alicante wine called Alcanta from the Bocopa Bodega near Sax. It was judged to be acceptable but rather light both in body and strength and our host kindly agreed to trade up to a 2013 rioja crianza called Pergamino (€13) which was an excellent choice.

Our lunch was rounded off with coffee and a house offering of Hierbas de Pego. Our lunch in paradise cost €22.65 p.p.

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Nov 012013



Pure theatre


It’s not often we get to have lunch in a theatre, particularly in a small country town like Parcent in the Vall de Pop. The Coop Agrícola in Parcent has a Local Social founded in 1915 that houses a bar/restaurant in a substantial sized theatre. The ceilings are high, the walls tiled and the acoustics deafening when the room is full of locals chattering away.


Apparently the running of the restaurant is for four years and we arrived for lunch when the new management had just that day taken over, so we were anticipating a bit of theatre. To be fair the new team of father and mother and their two daughters coped well.DSC00034DSC00036


There was no printed menu, however we were advised that there was a choice of three starters, three main courses, three desserts and a half bottle of wine for €11. In fact if it hadn’t been a holiday (All Saint’s day), but a normal weekday, the price would have been a remarkable €7.50.   


We started with deep fried calamari rings with salad and grilled liver with salad. Both simple but tasty dishes.


For main course our choices were grilled fillet of pork and grilled chicken, both served with fries. Again simple but good.


Finally for dessert we had an excellent cheesecake and tiramisu. The wines selected were a disappointing Airen from the Felix Solis stable called Peñasol and a pleasant Rioja called Crin. As there was no price list we calculated that the wines cost €6 a bottle.


El Progrés offers remarkable value in an unusual setting and after the new team have settled in, they should do well. Cost p.p. €12.50.



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