EL PEON DE PINOS

 Benissa  Comments Off on EL PEON DE PINOS
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

 Benissa  Comments Off on BAR FRAU, BENISSA  Tagged with:
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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TRAMONTI, PARCENT

 Parcent  Comments Off on TRAMONTI, PARCENT  Tagged with:
Jun 122020
 

TRAMONTI                                        PARCENT                        966405184

 ★★★☆☆ 

Reliable but …..

Our second lunch in Tramonti in five years and really not a lot has changed for the better. We awarded Tramonti 3 stars on both occasions.

The price of lunch is still dictated by the cost of the main course selected and the Roast Lamb Tramonti remains at €16.50 today compared with 6 years ago. However whereas the price has been stable, those of us that ordered this dish were disappointed to have send our plates back to the kitchen because they had been served cold.

It was interesting that the cost of lunch on this occasion was lower than 6 years ago at €21.34  compared with €25.64 p.p. However we would prefer to pay more for a better lunch.

KK 71

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BISTRO SELENE, JALON

 Jalon  Comments Off on BISTRO SELENE, JALON  Tagged with:
Jun 052020
 

  BISTRO SELENE                 JALON            602600751

 ★★★★★ 

Congratulations!

We first visited Bistro Selene back in 2014 when it had just opened and we awarded it with 4 stars. So it is great to be able to report that we have now upgraded our rating to the maximum 5 stars, the first restaurant in Jalon to achieve this.

What has changed?

The price of the menu del día has edged up from €15 to €15.90 & the house wine from €10 to €11 per bottle. The overall cost of our lunch rose from €23.60 to €28.95 p.p. but we did enjoy more wine on this occasion, so no complaints. 

Indeed the Belgian chef is producing sublime cuisine including an outstanding goat´s cheese salad as a starter and pork tenderloin for the main course, both of which we had enjoyed nearly six years ago.

A wonderful experience!

 

SL 80

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GRAELLES, JAVEA

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Jun 282019
 
GRAELLES,                JAVEA        646592053

 ★★★☆☆ 

Lunch beside the seaside

Graelles is a well presented restaurant located at Avenida Mediterraneo 22, which is the stretch of coast between the Parador hotel and the port of Javea.

The menu del día is priced at €12.50 and the starters on offer were a plentiful salad, prawn cocktail and calamares. For main course we enjoyed fried bacalao (cod).

Our host selected red and white wines from the Requena area under the same brand name of Audentia and both were more than acceptable and priced at €13.50.

Dessert was a combination of cheesecakes, “iced coffees” and chocolate cake. If none of the food drew great acclaim, the general view was that it was all acceptable and very good value although our wine consumption lifted the cost p.p. to €29.90.

RH 72

Jun 212019
 
VENTA ROJA,        LLIBER           965731039

 ★★☆☆☆ 

Gastronomía inglesa

We have eaten in Venta Roja on numerous occasions, including 2016 and 2013, as it has changed hands many times over the years. It is situated in a substantial building in the Lliber vineyards on the CV750 road between Benissa and Jalon.

The new owners, John and Tina Allsopp, have operated other restaurants in the Costa Blanca and took over at Venta Roja in early May this year. The restaurant is vast and includes a large terrace for outdoor dining.

The menu del día now costs €17.95 for three courses and a drink. For starters our party selected  homemade pate and tomato soup before moving on to the main course options of fresh langostines, pork loin with pepper sauce, steak and ale pie and fish and chips. The cuisine had a definite English feel to it.

The house wines, both red and white were called Viña Martín from Rioja and priced at €8.95.

Some of our group had apple pie with ice cream or lemon meringue for dessert. The rest opted for coffee and chopitos of brandy which were provided by the house. Apart from one member, we were satisfied by our experience at Venta Roja which cost €27.25 p.p.

 

KK 61

 

 

Jun 142019
 
CAFETERIA LA CULTURAL,         TEULADA    965740002

 ★★★☆☆ 

A cultural experience?

Located on the Plaza de la Constitucion, this canteen appears to serve as the eating place for the Teulada local government.  It is vast and accordingly is a bit off-putting. However the food served and its value for money soon dispelled our early doubts.

The menu del diá is priced at just €11 including a half bottle of Los Señores wine.

There was a choice of eight starters on offer and most of us chose mussels or fried boquerones – both very satisfying.

 

For main course there were three rice dishes, three fish dishes and five meat dishes to choose from. Again most of us opted for roast chicken, lamb and fritura de pescado and we were not disappointed.

 

Our host traded up on the wine to a white Cariñena called Don Mendo (€8.50).

 

 

The dessert was a Macedonia with ice cream. Including coffees and brandies our cultural experience in Teulada cost €17.60 p.p.

 

 

PH 74

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 172019
 
BODEGA DEL PUERTO,        DENIA          96578921

 ★★★★★ 

Five star bodega

Bodega del Puerto is located at Plaza Fontanella 8, in the traditional Baix de la Mar barrio of Denia opposite the fishing port and a couple of streets away from the new tapas centre called Magazinos.

For some 35 years it was a renowned wine and spirit shop and it is only in the last seven years that it became a restaurant too. The transformation  successfully managed to retain the original character of the bodega and now in addition to selling wines, it offers traditional Spanish dishes.

There are several menus del día on offer ranging in price from €14.50 up to €22 p.p. and we chose one costing €14.90 whereas some of our group decided to go á la carte and chose gambas al ajillo which were outstanding, followed by pigs cheek, both dishes cost €8.90 each.

The menu del día started with a mixed salad with tuna, followed by mousse de foie, both tasty; thereafter we enjoyed 500 gm T bone chuleton gallego shared between two and a light dessert of caramelised French toast.

 

 

Our host selected the white house wine which was Musgo Verdejo from Rueda (€9.90) and a Rioja called Coto Mayor (€13.40) – both superb.

 

 

 

 

This most enjoyable lunch cost €25 p.p.

PM 80

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