Mar 292019
 
LA XERNA DEL MAR,                    DENIA          966488822

 ★★★☆☆ 

Modern Mediterranean

Calle Sandunga is one of the many streets in Denia´s old fishing village which has been renovated with traditional cobblestones. La Xerna del Mar is to be found at no.50 amongst numerous other restaurants in this old part of the town.

 

La Xerna only opened in September 2018 and has a very modern but Mediterranean feel about it with its blue, white and gold decoration and an open air terrace.

The menu del día is priced at €19.50 for three courses and includes pan y alioli, but no drinks, and this what we all opted for. We shared the first course of mixed salad, cocas and an octopus dish with sobrasada which is a spicy Majorcan sausage, and vegetables. Delicious.

We continued with all three main dishes on offer – arroz meloso, one with mariscos and the other with duck which turned out to be rather disappointing. There was a separate duck dish without rice.

Our host selected Marques de Cáceres Verdejo (€15.50) and a Ribero del Duero, Prado Rey (€18) both most enjoyable.

For dessert we opted for crème caramel and a Manchego cheesecake.

 

Coffees and chopitos offered by the house, completed our pleasant lunch in relaxing surrounding, Cost p.p. €32.87

PM 73

Mar 222019
 
LA COCINA,                     JAVEA      965795140

 ★★★★★ 

World class kitchen

Nestled not far from the port of Javea, but far enough to deter the bucket & spade brigade, La Cocina or, to give it its full title, La Cocino del Mundo, is truly a wonderous kitchen from which comestible delights spring.

 

The décor of La Cocina is gentle and soothing.

The owners, who run the restaurant themselves, are proud of their menu from many parts of the world and are extremely careful to advise diners of the constituent elements of each dish, lest someone is intolerant of or dislikes a specific food.

Our party was presented with a two course menu, within which the first course offerings were all gluten free. In fact each dish was labelled with a list of fourteen potential allergic causes, from peanuts to seafood. Whilst waiting for our choices to be served we nibbled on pan rustica with alioli, reminiscent of the French cheese Boursin.

The items selected were an onion bhaji with salad leaves, a coca with mushrooms in a creamy sauce, baked Camembert, a goat´s cheese salad with onion from Amsterdam and beetroot relish and a dish of tacos with prawns. Each was consumed with delight.

The second course selections included a beef pie, a fish gratin that had a parmesan topping and a prawn curry that incurred a €1 surcharge on the fixed price of €16.50.

Comments ranged from “substantial” (prawn curry), “lovely and moist” (cajun chicken) and “delicious” (fish gratin). One diner was disappointed that the pastry for the beef pie was balanced on top of the beef rather than as a proper pie.

Our host selected the house wines: the white called Ocean, a monovarietal Montilla-Moriles 2017 and a red Tempranillo from Navarra called Castillo Monjardin. Both wines were pleasant and cost €11.

One member opted for dessert at an extra €5 for apple crumble with ice cream which he reported as not having too much cinnamon – so that´s alright!

With coffees and post-prandial liqueur of choice this elegant lunch cost €27.74 p.p.

PD 80

Mar 152019
 
CASA ROLANDO,          CALPE        965831052

 ★★★★☆ 

No Misteaks at Casa Rolando

Located at no.3 C/ Dr. Fleming, a shady street in downtown Calpe, Casa Rolando is a small intimate Argentinian restaurant.

 

Efficiently run by a well known Argentinian husband and wife team, it is very popular with both Spanish and Expats alike as it offers really good value menus del día, which particularly appeal to staunch canivores.

Priced at just €9.90, the two course menu del día includes bread, a drink, and dessert or coffee. The starters on offer were cod stew, casseroled eggs or mixed salad.

Thereafter the choice was a sea-food noodle dish called fideuá de mariscos, oven-baked pork lomo or fried whiting.

 

Three of our group upgraded to the €19 menu which included an Argentinian style pasty, or salad, followed by beef fillet or a Galician entrecote.

Both were excellent and were accompanied by the very acceptable house wine from La Mancha called Ramon Corta.

Desserts were the usual flan, ice cream or profiterolls.

 

Casa Rolando is a cosy atmospheric restaurant and it is important to book your table as it fills up early, both at lunchtime and in the evening.

Cost p.p. €18.98

MH 75

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

 

 

Mar 012019
 
CASA BENJAMIN,              DENIA           965298384

 ★★★★★ 

Long standing reputation – since 1906

Bodega CasaBenjamin is located at Carrer  Ramòn y Cajal, just off the Plaza Glorieta, from where the Marqués de Campo runs down to the sea. The bodega has a stunning vintage interior, very stylish and with smartly dressed staff .

 

The sense of history is summed up in the slogan of CasaBenjamin “miles de botellas desde 1906”. We finished our pre-lunch drinks in the bodega and adjourned to the restaurant at the rear of the premises.

The restaurant offers a wide variety of tapas, but there are two menu options as well, priced at €14.95 and €19.95 and delivering starters, main course and dessert. The difference between the two menus is in the starters; the cheaper menu delivers one cold and one hot tapa whereas the more expensive provides two cold and two hot starters. Our group all opted for the €14.95 menu, which did not include wine.

Our starters were fresh cod croquettas and steamed mussels.

 

For main course most of us opted for racks of Teruel spare ribs, a dish of artichoke with broken eggs and Iberico ham and finally a brochette figatell which was a skewer of small meatballs and Iberico ham. All substantial and delicious.

Our host selected a red Viña Ulises 2017 from bodega Casta Diva in Parcent (€18.10) which accompanied our dishes very pleasantly. Desserts were tarta de chocolate and ice cream.

We concluded our inspiring five star lunch (€33.57 p.p.) with coffees and brandy.

LdD 80

 

 

Feb 222019
 
VARADERO,                    JAVEA         965791683

 ★★★★☆ 

Worth seeking out  

This curiously named restaurant (Varadero means “dry dock” in Spanish) is located on Plaza President Sr. Adolfo Suarez in the port area of Javea.

 

 

It would be easy to walk past the entrance as it is underbranded, but once inside the welcome from Souraya, the charming Lebanese owner is most reassuring.

We were presented tasty pita bread and hummus whilst we studied the menu del día which was priced at €15.

 

 

For starters we had vermicelli consommé, fried boquerones (anchovies), and migas malaquenos which turned out to be poched egg on a spicy mix of bread crumbs and mince.

Our host selected the house wines, both from the not so well known region of Almansa, the white a 100% Verdejo called Santa Cruz and the red a Garnacha called Albarroble, both priced at €13 and perfectly acceptable.

The main courses included cajan style prawns, ribeye steaks, vegetable lasagne and traditional fish & chips. All good.

Desserts were apple tart and a cream roly-poly called brazo de gitano. These were followed by the highlight of our lunch, the preparation of  “Queimada Gallega” an Orujo based liqueur  set on fire. The flambé ritual was expertly carried out by Borja, a proud Galician,  and enhanced our enjoyable lunch which cost €25.56 p.p.

RH 77

Feb 152019
 

RTE. DEL PESCADOR,           MORAIRA        965744849

 ★★★☆☆ 

Pity about the sole

Restaurante del Pescador is one of numerous bars and restaurants on Calle Mar in the harbour area of Moraira.

 

 

 

The inside of del Pescador is quite small and the majority of diners eat al fresco.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a menu del día for €13.95 and one of our party opted for this and was most satisfied with his choice. For the others we opted for a menu del noche which was priced at €20.  Neither menus included wine in the price.

We were served with a tasty amuse bouche along with warm bread, alioli and fresh tomato paste with the compliments of the house before we received our starters.  The starters were excellent and consisted of chiperones, gambas cooked with garlic and large fresh mussels.

 

 

 

For the main course the menu del día luncher had a perfectly cooked paella.

 

 

For the rest of us we chose sole, which was disappointingly small and with not a lot of flavour. We tried the house red and white which was El Pinar de Villena from Alicante (both priced at €14) and our host traded up to Musgos Verdejo from Rueda (€18.50).

We concluded this lunch that had started so well, with coffees and brandies offered by the house. Cost p.p. €31.33

SL 72

 

Feb 012019
 
LA RACCHETTA,            CALPE         692652595

 ★★☆☆☆ 

GAME for a SET meal at La Racchetta?

La Racchetta is Calpe Tennis club´s restaurant and welcomes club members and non members alike. The restaurant was recently taken over by an Italian group and is building a reputation for SERVING a good value (just €10.50) menu del día which changes daily.

Our lunch had a distinctly Italian flavour starting with Parmigione, a kind of aubergine lasagne. Also on offer were lentil and chorizo soup or potato salad.

For main course we chose Italian hamburger and chips, Rigatoni (vegetable macaroni) and griddled chicken thigh.

The wine was a light Alicante red from Villena (12%) and included in the price of the menu del día.

The choice of dessert was limited to ice cream or fruit so most of our party opted for coffee and as it was a cold day we warmed up with some Soberano –GAME, SET and down the hatch!

 

The décor of La Racchetta is somewhat Spartan and the room can get quite noisy although in warmer weather it would be possible to dine on the terrace outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NET price p.p. €14.14

MH 67

 

BASTA ! DENIA

 Denia  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Jan 252019
 
BASTA !                  DENIA          965753988

 ★★★★☆ 

Good enough!

Basta! is a lounge bar and restaurant located in the port of Denia, with expensive yachts moored nearby and wonderful views of the sea, Denia castle and the looming mountain Montgó.

 

 

 

The restaurant has a warm and relaxed atmosphere with a large terrace and very friendly and attentive staff. On Sundays they have live music and on Friday evenings they offer a surprise dish with salads for just €10 to celebrate the start of the weekend.

The menu del día is priced at €15.50 for four courses. Our first course was a red tuna tatami, served with soy sauce, sesame, wasabi mayonnaise, wakame and tomato. Some of group opted to have their tuna cooked, rather than raw.

Second course was mini sirloin skewer with shiracha sauce, pickled cabbage, peanuts and prawn cracker – delicious!

The main course was entrecote grilled to everyone´s taste with roast potatoes, green pepper sauce and asparagus – wonderful!

Finally we finished our lunch with raspberry sorbet with fresh fruit and mango sauce.

 

Our host selected Vina Paceta, a rioja crianza 2015, which was most enjoyable (€16.50).

 

Coffee and brandies completed a memorable lunch which cost €30 p.p.

PM 75

 

Jan 182019
 
RINCON DE CALPE,               CALPE      965832460

 ★★★★☆ 

Traditional Spanish

Calle Oscar Esplá is one of many small streets connected to Avenida Gabriel Miró, the principal street of old town Calpe. The unassuming Rincon de Calpe is situated at no.2 with  a small frontage.

 

As is often the case, the bar area leads into a large and comfortable dining area which is decorated with tiles, paintings and a beamed ceiling.

It was a chilly January day when we entered and we were the only foreigners present but the welcome was warm. The menu del diá was priced at €15.25 for three courses and one drink. For starters there was a selection of tapas, salad and albondigas. The main course was either a mixed meat paella or chicken breast with a red pepper sauce.

 

 

Some of our group opted to go á la carte and enjoyed garlic soup or tortilla for starters followed up with pork chops (€10.25) and delicious grilled  prawns in garlic (€14.50).

 

Our host selected a very enjoyable Ribero del Duero called Senerio Real (€15.25).

We rounded off our traditional Spanish lunch with coffees and brandy and this brought the cost to €28.60 p.p.

JS 75