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

Apr 122019
 
RTE. PEDRAMALA,          PEDRAMALA          642014515

 ★★★★★ 

Stunning!

This restaurant is in a stunning location overlooking the Peñon de Ifach on the Carretera la Fustera between Benissa and Calpe.

 

 

It recently closed for several months but thankfully has reopened under some of the former team who had been operating a restaurant in Jalon and it is better than ever!

Although the patio area has wonderful views we chose to eat inside in the very comfortable dining room.

There is a menu del día priced at €22 and we started with individual portions of pan alioli & tomate. This was followed by pate or beef consommé.

 

 

The house wines were a red from Toledo called Acantus and a Verdejo from the Felix Solis stable called Orquestra, both pleasant and priced at €9.90.

 

 

The main courses included lamb shank, pork tenderloin and a fish called Corvina (or Croaker in English) all beautifully presented and delicious.

 

Desserts included chocolate brownie, ice cream and pannacota. A convivial time was had by all and this restaurant is highly recommended.

 

Cost p.p. €31.40.

PH 80

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 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

 

 

Jun 012018
 
FINCA LINDI,                   LLIBER             965731125

 ★★★★★ 

What a culinary adventure!

On the road from Senija to Llíber (CV745) just before entering the village of Llíber is a turnoff to the right, which is the road to Gata de Gorgos. Here at the junction you will find Finca Lindi.

It is a lovely old house, which is run as a B&B, but from the outside you would have no idea that, by appointment only, Gerard, the Owner/Masterchef  will prepare an outstanding lunch for you. Between the months of September and June up to 20 guests at a time will be served a 7-course lunch on two days each month.  In our case Gerard prepared a special 5-course lunch just for our members at a special price of €25.

 

 

We started our lunch with amuse bouche of crispy mussels tempura served with pickled cream.

Our second course was smoked salmon on a carpaccio of cucumber and capers and this delicious dish was followed by a white and green asparagus soup complete with quails eggs, fine slices of ham and dried chorizo.

 

The fourth course was medallion of pork tenderloin with gambas, served with vegetables, a scoop of rice, mushrooms and a wonderful garlic sauce with herbs.

The wines selected by our host to accompany our exotic dishes were a Palacio de Bornos 2017 verdejo (€5.65) and a 2015 Palacio de Bornos that had been aged in oak (€8.75).  The red was a delicious Bozeto 2016 from Rioja (€7.99)

For dessert we enjoyed a panacota with meringue, vanilla ice cream and warm cherries. This special lunch concluded with coffee, friandises and brandy and cost €34.90 p.p.

LdD       

Apr 272018
 
MAÑET,          MORAIRA     966490181

 ★★★★★ 

Delightful experience

 

 

Located at Avenida del Portet 126, in the Portet area of Moraira,  Mañet is a guesthouse with a restaurant and a substantial outdoor area complete with bars and al fresco dining overlooking the Mediterranean.

The buildings are modern and understated.

We opted for eating indoors as the weather outside was a bit misty. The head waiter advised us that the menu del día cost €18.  For this we would each receive three starters, a main course and dessert.

The starters were Carpaccio, baked potato with goats cheese and a lamb pasta envelope. All delicious and stylishly presented.

 

 

 

Our host selected Marques de Griñon Rueda Verdejo (€18) and Viña Salceda 2015 Crianza from Rioja (€14.50) and they certainly complemented the dishes.

We were served an orange and cava sorbet before continuing on to our main course. The choices were Bonito, rice with noodles or Cerdo Iberico and we all chose this latter dish which was tasty and most enjoyable.

 

 

 

Finally our dessert was chocolate cake with ice cream and served with a glass of Pedro Ximénez sherry. Together with coffees our elegant lunch by the seaside in Moraira cost €31.56 p.p.

 

SL 84  

YAHO, DENIA

 Denia  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Apr 132018
 
YAHO,               DENIA          966432665

 ★★★★★ 

Outstanding!

This restaurant opened at the beginning of March 2018 in the building that once housed the Tourist Office on Calle Dr Manuel Lattur no.1 near the waterfront in Denia. It is close by the railway station which means there is ample parking nearby.

The owners have clearly invested in the transformation of the interior which is divided up into well designed elegant areas.

 

 

 

We were advised that there are other Yaho restaurants down the coast in Murcia  and in common with this one offer a mixture of Chinese, Thai and Japanese dishes.

The Monday to Friday menu del día costs a remarkable €10. There is an à la carte menu for evening diners which offers a menu for two persons at €36. Our lunch started with a delicious crispy salad served with a Thai sauce.

 

There followed a choice of spring roll, skewer of pork with Mongolian marinade or deep-fried cheese all of which were outstanding.

 

There were 8 dishes on offer for the main course and we chose spicy chicken Gon-bao, duck à la orange, fillet of tuna and tempura vegetable.

 

Accompanying the main course were delicious Chinese noodles, rice or potatoes.

Our host selected wines from the Tarragona region, the red called Armonica Reserva and the white Verdejo Faustino Rivera were both priced at a modest €6.95.

Finally for dessert we all had vanilla ice cream deep fried in batter. This outstanding four course lunch, including coffees and brandy cost just €15.60 p.p.

PM 84  

 

Nov 172017
 
EL NOU CAVALL VERD,  FLEIX        645527300

 ★★★★★ 

Stunning in every way

Inland from Orba lies the beautiful Val de Laguar and the villages of Campbell, Fleix and Benimaurell. Overlooking Campbell and on the edge of Fleix is the restaurant known for years as Cavall Verd or Green Horse, but since it was taken over by a traiteur from Pego called El Bollit it has been renamed El Nou Cavall Verd. El Bollit´s owner is Evarist Miralles, a top Valencian chef and his influence on the cuisine in his new restaurant is outstanding.

 

The menu del día costs €23.20 excluding bread and drinks. We got off to a good start when we were served a tasty croquette with a puchero filling on the house.

We enjoyed our freshly baked bread with slices of black pudding and lard.

 

For starters we were able to select three courses to share. These were artichoke tortilla with shrimps and pancetta iberica, vegetable cocas and a papillotte filled with herbs, ham and little sausages. Wonderful!

Our host selected a José Pariente Verdejo from Rueda (€15.40) and Bobal en Calma from Utiel Requena (€12.40) and these supported our courses perfectly.

Our main course selections included baby ribs lacquered in honey, meloso of lamb with eggplant and carrillera de ternera melosa with its sauce and vegetables. All excellent.

The chef decided on our desserts and they were terrific. Apfelstrudel with vanilla, a pear confit, and creamy chocolate with strawberries in a chocolate pot.

Our wonderful lunch served in a stunning setting looking down to the Mediterranean coast cost €40.50 p.p. including coffees and brandies and was worth every cent.

LdD 84    

 

Nov 102017
 
CASA LILI,        TEULADA          965744568

 ★★★★★ 

Oriental delights in a sophisticated setting.

Casa Lili is technically in Teulada although it is actually closer to Moriara.  It is to be found at the bottom of the hill from Teulada just off the final roundabout in the direction of Benitachell. It was formally Asador el Andaluz, but in the meantime the new Chinese owners have completely redecorated the restaurant and when we arrived for our lunch the car park was already full.

The menu del día is priced at just €9.95 for four courses and a glass of wine and there is a Japanese menu at €13.95. Most of us opted for the former menu whilst some decided to go à la carte.

 

 

The menu del día selection included sweet & sour soup or salad for the starter. Thereafter we moved on to a spring roll or a Mongolian pincho –both delicious.

 

 

For main course we chose Thai beef which was also excellent although the lemongrass was a little tough.

The house wines accompanying our lunch were a white Rioja called Marques de Vitoria and a red Ribero del Duero called Vegazar – both very much in tune with the cuisine and priced at €8.95.

Our off piste members selected dumplings and a typically Spanish dish of garlic prawns for their starters, following these up with two different curries. The main courses were all served with fried rice.

One of our group opted for ice cream for dessert, but the rest of us were already replete and settled for coffees and brandies. The cost of this oriental delight in sophisticated surroundings was a modest €23 p.p..

SL 81