May 112018
 
AMARE TAPAS,              JAVEA          965792602

 ★★★☆☆ 

Tapas with a sea view

This restaurant is part of a group of three similar restaurants that includes Amarre 152 which we had visited in the past. It is situated at Avenida del Mediterráneo  96, which is on the sea front a few hundred metres north of the Javea Parador. There is ample parking on the beach opposite.

 

As the name suggests, it is mainly a Tapas restaurant, but it does sport a menu del día priced at a modest €8.50 and two of group opted for this. They were served a slightly limp salad, followed by costillas, oven baked with a rich honey glaze. The ribs were deemed average, slightly on the dry side.

The remainder of the group indulged themselves in a wide variety of tapas, electing for huevos rotos with iberico ham (€7), sardinas (€4.50), garlic prawns (€6.50), croquetas of iberico ham (€4.00) and patatas bravas (€3.50). All good and no one went hungry.

 

Our host opted for a white Faustino Rivero Macabeo (€11), which was deemed thin and so we traded up to a Chardonnay (€14) also from Faustino and this was acceptable. The Faustino Tempranillo (€11) was also acceptable.

Desserts included Tiramisu, cheesecake and ice creams. Together with coffees and mistella offered by the house, our agreeable outing cost €23.07 p.p.

PD 69

Apr 202018
 
OCEANA CLUB,                 BENISSA COSTA       634313924

 ★★★☆☆ 

Slim pickings

Formerly known as Restaurante Timon,  Oceana Club is located at one of the most stunning sites on the Costa Blanca.

 

 

It is to be found at Les Bassetes, which is a tiny harbour on the Moraira to Calpe road, and is located on the top floor of the harbour complex with wonderful views onto the Peñon de Ifach.

We chose to lunch indoors as there was quite a strong wind blowing outside; the new owners have refurbished the restaurant in a tasteful style.

The menu del día is priced at €17.50 for three courses and a drink.

For starters the choice was mixed salad, carpaccio of tuna or courgette soup, all acceptable but not very exciting.

Our host selected Mantel Rueda Verdejo (€19) and the house red from Ribero del Duero called La Planta.

For main course we selected chicken brochettes, fresh salmon and paella. The portions were not particularly generous.

 

 

Finally for desserts we had ice cream and sliced melon and pineapple.

 

After lunch we enjoyed some live music on the terrace and including coffees, our lunch overlooking the Mediterranean cost €28.24 p.p.

PH 70    

Apr 062018
 
PEPA PIZZA,         JAVEA      965792572

 ★★★☆☆ 

Much more than pizza

Pizzeria Pepa is one of the longest established (1983) restaurants on the Arenal in Javea and is under the same ownership as El Gaucho, also of Javea. Always busy, it is characterized by a wide selection of quality dishes, not just pizza, and a friendly, efficient service.

 

The menu del día ranges in price from €16 to €22 according to the main course selected.

The starters selected included baked camembert with a delicious cranberry salsa, beef carpaccio, albondigas and chicken salad, all well appreciated.

 

For main course most of our table chose spare ribs (€17) whereas some of our party opted for hamburger (€16) and Tagliatelle (€17.50).  The ribs though tasty were found to be a bit on the  chewy side and this undoubtedly affected the overall evaluation. The hamburger was excellent and the pasta though good, was excessive in quantity.

The meal was accompanied by, in the first place a house white from Jalon, but our host decided to trade up with a Rueda Verdejo (€12.50) called Centrum. The house red, also from Jalon was the well known Marnes brand.

For desserts the choice was three chocolates cake or tiramisu – both enjoyable.

We completed our pleasant lunch on the seafront with coffees and brandy and there is no reason to suppose that Pepa will not be around for another 45 years. Cost p.p. €24.80.

RH 71                                                                              

 

 

Mar 232018
 
BAR L´ ESTUFA              PARCENT      966405236

 ★★★☆☆ 

Hunger staved at the Stove Bar

 

A welcome port of call on a rather unsettled March day, Bar L´Estufa is situated at Avenida de Alicante 13, which is on the corner opposite the renowned Restaurante L´Era in Parcent at the western end of the Vall del Pop. Bar L´Estufa is an unassuming Spanish restaurant with a substantial outdoor patio area in a courtyard at the rear.

They offer a tapas menu at €9.90 or three menus del día priced at €10, €12 or €14. Most of us opted for the €12 menu but we also experienced the tapas offer and the highest priced menu. The menus included bread, a half bottle of wine and dessert.

For starters we had a chicken salad that was more than enough for two. Other starters chosen were stuffed aubergines, mussels and a substantial fish soup.

 

Main courses selected were pork fillet cooked à la plancha and which was tender and succulent, and a generous entrecote. The house wines were from Utiel-Requena both branded Monumento and whilst a bit light were palatable.

There was a large choice of desserts to choose from and together with coffees and brandy our hearty lunch cost €15.26 p.p.

MH 70    

 

Mar 162018
 
CA DORA,            GATA DE GORGOS          965757405/636225894

 ★★★☆☆ 

Simple cuisine, exceptional value

This family run restaurant is located at 97 Avenida Marina Alta, which is the main street running through Gata de Gorgos.

The dining area is notable for its high ceiling and simple furnishing; there is a patio courtyard which would be a pleasant option for dining in summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu del dia is priced at just €10 including a half bottle of wine. We started off with a salad with chicken and bacon, macaroni with tomato and cheese and entremesas which turned out to be a rather disappointing plate of mixed cold meats straight from the packet.

 

 

 

 

 

The wines, both red and white, were from Alicante and branded Plaza de la Reina and priced at €6.

For main course we enjoyed grilled liver served with vegetables and roast chicken. One of our number had a homemade flan whilst the rest of us opted for coffees with either brandy or Baileys.

Cost per person for this simple lunch was a modest €13.12

RM 68

 

Mar 092018
 
MONROES CARVERY,             MORAIRA      965744114

 ★★★☆☆ 

Comfort food for ex pats

Monroes Carvery has been in the business of feeding an expatriate clientele for many years, and is currently run by a daughter of the founder. Pictures and photographs of the famous Marilyn abound, although the connection with the film star would appear to be tenuous.

There are three restaurants in this group, two called Munroes Cavery, one in Pedreguer and the other in Moraira and the Nags Head in Benidorm makes up the chain. We visited Munroes Carvery at 7 Calle Mar Negro which is just off the main road leading into the centre of Moraira. Ample shaded parking was available.

Munroes clearly catered for many patrons at a time, given the volume of tables and place settings, many of them outdoors. It would appear that it was geared more to the self- service cavery model rather waiter service. At summertime Monroes would probably come into its own with visiting expatriates from the U.K. seeking a refuge from Spanish cuisine.

The menu is slightly overwhelming because of its sheer size. There are two menus del día priced at €9.95 and €12.50, the latter includes a half bottle of wine.

For starters many of our group selected prawn cocktail and found it to be innocuous. Smoked mackerel accompanied by brown bread and the Caesar salad were both pronounced good.

 

The main course selection was a lot more varied. Two of our group opted for steak strips, one was tender the other less so.  

The traditional cod and chips were acceptable but the bacon burger was dry and required added sauce. A homemade steak and kidney pudding looked suspiciously like it had come from a tin, but tasted fine.

 

 

Our host selected an agreeable Verdejo Viura from Rioja called Azabache (€7.95) and a red from Cariñina called Monasterio de las Vinas (€9.95). This was found to be wanting so we switched to a Rioja red called 1000 Mojas (€7.95) and it was a definite improvement.

Desserts included a delicious meringue dish and our lunch concluded with the usual coffees and brandies and our bill worked out at just €18.74 p.p.

PD 69    

 

Feb 232018
 
THE BLACK APPLE,              JALON        966480324 & 610298190

 ★★★☆☆ 

What a buzz!

The Black Apple opened its doors just three weeks before our visit and is a welcome culinary addition to Jalon. It is located in the back of the landmark shop, Heidi´s Flowers, at the bottom of Avenida San Domenec where it meets Avenida Ray Juan Carlos.

After passing through the flower shop one enters the restaurant area which is tastefully decorated and there is an outside patio that will become a useful overflow area after the winter is over.

The owner and chef, Tom Francis has put together an innovative concept that is neither tapas or menu del día, but gives one the opportunity of going solo or sharing. There is a large blackboard displaying some six starter options ranging in price from €4.50 to €6.95 and three main courses at €9.95 each.

We selected two hearty vegetable soups, and shared baked Camembert with garlic, delicious fish cakes and potatoes stuffed with tuna, sun dried tomatoes and spring onions, but which were found to be on the heavy side.

Four of party selected a traditional ploughman´s lunch which was presented on a large wooden platter and included Scotch egg, cheddar cheese, ham, pickle and chutney.

 

The remainder of our group shared beautifully presented fisherman´s platters which were comprised of chilli prawns, shredded crab, mackerel pate, tuna, salmon and mussels.  Not knowing the size in advance most found both dishes too plentiful, but next time we will know better.

Our host chose the house wines (€8.50) to accompany our food, the white was a Rueda called Monasterio de Palazuelos and the red was a Navarra called Torrecilla – both enjoyable.

 

Despite having only recently opened its doors, The Black Apple was full of customers and was really buzzing; it should do very well. Total cost  €23.12 p.p.

RH  72

CANDE, JAVEA

 Javea  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Jan 262018
 
CANDE,                JAVEA       965795990

 ★★★☆☆ 

Good food let down by house wines

Restaurante Cande is located at Cristo del Mar, 20 in the old port of Javea. The façade is modest enough but the restaurant inside, which has been run by three Spanish sisters for over 20 years, is comfortable and homely. There are some interesting photographs on the walls of the Javea coast before the area was developed.

The menus del día are featured on publicity boards outside the entrance and are priced at €12 and €15; we tried both.

 

 

 

 

For starters we chose soup, steamed mussels and entremeses – a selection of cold meats. All were enjoyable. However the accompanying house wines were decidedly disappointing. The white called Rioblanca was thin at just 11.5% and the red called El Primar was equally sad but perhaps the price of just €3.50 should have warned us. Fortunately our host traded up to a verdejo from Tierra del Castilla called Mataespesa (€12.50) and a Rioja Crianza from the Torres stable called Altos Ibéricos (€14) were much more acceptable.

 

Our main course selections were grilled sole, pork chops with a pepper sauce and stuffed loin of pork with prune sauce. All good.

Desserts were limited to sliced orange in a Cointreau sauce or flan. The cost of our lunch in Cande, including coffees and brandies, amounted to €22.33.

 

KK 68              

Jan 052018
 
GUANTANAMERA,             DENIA        966431483

 ★★★☆☆ 

Cubano or Mexicana ?

Guantamera is one of many restaurants driving north from Denia on the carretera Las Marinas and is to be found at km 2.6. It proclaims it has authentic “Cocina Cubano-Mexicana” .

One enters Guantanamera via a rather anonymous enclosed terrace where surprisingly smoking is permitted. We chose to lunch in the small restaurant inside which can only accomodate about 30 guests but is smoke free.

 

 

There is an extensive á la carte menu of both Mexican and Cuban dishes or you can opt for their menu del día which costs a modest €8.50, including a half bottle of wine.  

One of our group chose from the á la carte option and had a substantial quesadilla de gambas, a mexican style tortilla which he shared amongst the rest of us. He followed up with Mexican chicken tacos. The cost of these two tasty dishes amounted to €15.45 not including any wine.

From the menu del día our group selected cold prawns, fresh sardines and steamed mussels. These were followed by a beef broth or gazpacho.

For main course we chose lamb chops, pork chops and swordfish all served with puréed potatoes or rice.

 

The house wines were Adelum, a Sauvignon blanc from Alicante, and Senorio de Los Llanos, the well-known Tempranillo from Valdepeñas.  Together with coffees and brandy our taste of Cuba/Mexico cost just €18.87 p.p.

MH 74                    

 

Dec 152017
 
BON VENT,              SIERRA DE BERNIA       969659554

 ★★★☆☆ 

Rustic lunch in the mountains

Bon Vent is located at km11.5 on the CV-749 which is the road that climbs from Jalon towards the spectacular Sierra Bernia mountain range. The restaurant has only recently reopened after being closed for two years.

 

Bon Vent is a typical rural Spanish restaurant with a spacious interior and an exterior dining/drinking area with wonderful views of Sierra Bernia. There is plenty of parking space and during fine weather the restaurant attracts groups of walkers. It was a chilly December day when we visited and only one other table was occupied, however the dining area was kept surprisingly warm by a wood-burning stove and an open fire in the kitchen.

The price of the menu is dependent on the main course chosen, and consists of tapas, a main course, dessert and a half bottle of wine.

 

 

We chose the substantial lamb chops (€20) and grilled rabbit and garlic (€18) which would benefited from the rabbit being cooked in the garlic rather than alongside it.

The improving Marnes wine from the Jalon cooperative accompanied our meal.

 

Our honest rustic lunch in a beautiful setting, high in the mountains cost €23.66 p.p. including coffee and brandy.

JS 69