Jun 102016
 
CASTELL DʹINĒS,   CASTELL DE CASTELLS           627972726

 ★★★★★ 

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Castell de Castells is a long way from the coast in the interior of the Marina Alta. It is a town of ancient streets and some of the houses are bedecked with flowers.

 

 

 

In the Calle Mayor, which actually is quite narrow, at no.6, close by the church, is a rusty façade behind which is the amazing restaurant, Castell dʹInés.    DSC01237

 

Mirco the chef is Italian and he is ably aided by Paula who is Spanish.

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Together they offer a wonderful tasting menu of five dishes and dessert for €20, drinks not included. It is essential to have a reservation as the food is specifically prepared for the number of guests that have booked and the restaurant does not cater for a passing trade.

 

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Our lunch commenced with a plate of fresh figs, tomatoes, goat´s cheese and salmon. The fusion of flavours was divine. Talking of wine, our host selected a Valdeorras from Galicia called Rua (€15) and a 2011 Rioja called Gavanza (€17) and both complemented the courses that followed.

The next course was beautifully presented raw Monkfish with diced avocado, apple and red peppers.

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For some of us the third course was the outstanding one in terms of flavour; foie gras served with fresh apple.DSC01224

 

 

This was followed by carpaccio with stilton, onions and pine nuts and the final tasting course was beef cheek.

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The dessert was sweetbread with ice cream, and as with all the other courses attractively presented and delicious.

 

 

 

 

Castell dʹInés fully deserves our five star ranking. Cost p.p. €36.63

MR 81scan buscard d'Ines

Apr 292016
 
SERGIO CLASICO,           MASCARAT      659468231

 ★★★★★ 

Classic Belgian cuisine sergio classico 004

 

The pleasure port of Mascarat is located at the eastern end of the mountain range, Sierra Bernia, that separates the Marina Alta from the Marina Baixa. Sergio Clasico looks onto the marinas that are home to many millions of Euros worth of luxury yachts and gin palaces.

 

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The restaurant provides linen table service which emphasizes the elegant ambiance. The menu del día is priced at €18 and offers a choice of three starters and two main courses but not drinks.

We tried all three starters and they were deceptively simple but outstanding in flavour; homemade cheese croquettes, an apple and bacon salad and smoked salmon on toast.

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The house wines were both excellent, the white, a Rueda Verdejo called  Analivia (€ 14) and the red from Rioja, Lopez de Haro crianza (€ 15).

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For main course we tried both options; a brace of quails and a fish casserole. Both delicious.

 

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Together with coffees and generously provided brandies, our wonderful lunch on the edge of the Mediterranean cost €30.08 p.p.

PD 82               Sergio Buscard 001             Sergio Buscard 2 001

Sep 182015
 
CASA TONI,        MORAIRA       965745411

 ★★★★★ 

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Toni is tops!

Casa Toni is located on the coast road from Moraira towards Calpe near the Malonda garden center at Calle Cabo San Antonio. There was a restaurant called DaVinci´s on the same site before.

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Although the restaurant is elegant and spacious inside, we chose to dine al fresco outside under a stylish awning. The menu del día costs €18.75 for three courses and a half bottle of wine.

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For starters we chose gratinated mussels which were delicious, wonderfully presented avocado and prawns and an unusual dish of figs and cheese packaged in edible little bags. The standard of presentation of all dishes at Casa Toni was simply outstanding.
The house wines were a Rueda Verdejo called Campustauru and the red, a Rioja crianza, called Castezo –both very pleasant.

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The main courses included chicken supreme filled with foie, pork tenderloin, small but meaty sole a la Meunière and cod with an avocado cream sauce.

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Desserts were apple strudel, crepes with forest fruits and ice cream and chocolate brownie with white chocolate sauce.
Together with coffees and brandies our stylish lunch cost €24.32 p.p.

PH 81                            Buscard Toni 001

Apr 242015
 
LES FOUGES, MORAIRA 678745109

 ★★★★★ 

Les Fouges for fresh fish 025

 

This French fish restaurant was originally located in Teulada but has moved down to the coast overlooking the Mediterranean on the road from Moraira to Calpe, and this is where it belongs.006
There is no menu del día and indeed the process of ordering lunch is somewhat unusual in that everyone is invited by the server to visit a room adjacent to the dining area where the starters, main courses –both fish and meat, and the desserts are displayed. And what a display!

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Although we focussed on fish, one of our colleagues could not resist ordering a dozen escargots (€7.80) for his starter. 012

 

 

Other starters included lobster bisque, grilled giant gambas (€4.80 per unit), scallops and peeled shrimps – all wonderfully fresh and flavoursome.

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Our host ordered the house white which was a Muscadet sur Lie, reasonably priced at €6.80, to accompany these dishes.  010
For our main courses we selected monkfish (€14.95), tuna (€12.95) and salmon (€9.80) which were cut into steaks before being served up grilled to perfection. Our host stayed with French wine selecting a Montagne St Emillion from Bordeaux (€12.80).023

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Finally our desserts included tarte tatin, raspberry tart, apple tart and coffee eclairs –all delicious.At over €35 p.p. including coffees and brandy this was not a cheap lunch, but was it worth it?     OUI!
PH 82   Buscard 1 001 Buscard2 001

MASENA, JAVEA

 Javea  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Nov 212014
 
MASENA,        JAVEA             965793764

 ★★★★★ 

Masterful

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Masena is long established restaurant in a substantial freestanding building on the road from Javea to Benitachell.

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It has a rustic but comfortable interior with table linen service and an extensive outdoor patio for al fresco dining.

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The menu del día costs €18 for a three course lunch and includes a glass of wine. A complimentary taster of a couple of prawns on a skewer got our lunch off to a good start.DSC00836[1]

This was followed by a delicious fish soup and a plate of scrambled eggs with chorizo. Our host ordered a bottle of Crianza Rioja called Campillo (€21.85) which proved to be an excellent accompaniment to our main courses.

After a lemon sorbet prepared our palates, we continued our lunch with lamb shoulder and a wild boar stew, both most enjoyable although the portion of vegetables were rather modest in size. The desserts were both homemade and rich – crema catalan and tarta de chocolate. Along with coffees and brandies this     elegant lunch cost €28.40 p.p.DSC00835[1]

 

 

 

 

SL 81 buscards 001

 

LA SEU, DENIA

 Denia  No Responses »  Tagged with:
Oct 182013
 

LA SEU,            DENIA   966424478

 ★★★★★ 

Sooo good…DSC00001

Another visit to Calle Loreto in Denia, this time to number 59 where Restaurante La Seu is to be found, a few doors away from its sister Ca la Pepa Teresa. Indeed the layout of the two is very similar with a long courtyard enclosed by high walls and an awning to keep out any inclement weather or low flying eggs.

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Unusually however, the kitchen is in full view of the diners behind a glass wall and one can clearly see that everything is produced from scratch and the freshness of the dishes shines through the whole meal.DSC00017

 

La Seu´s menu del dia costs €18 and includes an array of tapas followed by one of three rice main courses and a dessert.  Some of us preferred to select a main course from the à la carte menu and this was achieved by a supplement of €6.

 

The starter dishes included freshly baked bread and toast with garlic and olive oil. There followed carpaccio of red tuna, again really fresh. The cocas of grilled vegetable and sliced mackerel were particularly tasty as were the other tapas of sliced veal with herbs and sautéed calamari with artichokes.DSC00006DSC00007

 

As the menu del día does not include drinks our host selected a really excellent Rueda Vedejo called Gorgorito (€14) and a Ribero del Duero called Viridiana (€16) to accompany our meal.DSC00004

 

The main courses were rice with cuttlefish, rice with meat and vegetables and arroz abanda and all three were given the thumbs up by our experts. Those of us that went “off piste” selected fillet of Angus beef and a rock fish called Sargo, both good.

 

Together with coffees and brandy this delicious meal cost €38.25 p.p. 

JB 81            la seu 001     la seu 002

 

 

Sep 132013
 

DSC01161CA LA PEPA TERESA,         DENIA     965784547

 ★★★★★ 

Eggciting!

It´s not often that we have eggs dropping out of the sky next to our table whilst enjoying lunch, but it happened at Ca La Pepa Teresa which is to be found at Calle Loreto no. 23 in Denia.

We were seated in the courtyard in the back of the restaurant and for most of the meal the staff had the awning in operation lest the cloudy day turned rainy. In fact the sun came out and so the awning was drawn back, and some ten minutes later two raw eggs came flying in and splattered on the ground next to our table, glancing a guest nearby on the shoulder. Needless to say the awning was speedily put back in place and our lunch continued without further drama.

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Ca La Pepa Teresa has a really excellent menu del día consisting of 5 plates of tapas, a main course and dessert for €16. Drinks are extra. 

 

We started with a wonderful loaf of fresh bread combined with tomato and alioli. The tomato was so good we asked for more. There followed a plate of cigales/langoustines on a bed of ice and thereafter a salad with a delicious balsamic dressing. 

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 Next were patatas bravas and finally a plate of deep fried fish and crabs.DSC01166

For our main course most of us chose grilled Angus fillet but two of our table shared  a meat and vegetable paella.

The house wines cost €15 a bottle and were a refreshing Rueda Verdejo called Nebla and a Ribero del Duero Roble called Viridiana.DSC01164

 

Desserts included Tiramisú, ice cream and mousse au chocolate. Together with coffees and brandies this memorable meal cost €34.37 p.p.

 

JB 81    

cards 001 (4)  cards 002         

Apr 122013
 
LE GOURMAND, CARRETERA JESUS POBRE, JAVEA   96 628 96 86

 ★★★★★ 

Four gourmets at Le Gourmand!

A while back, Le Gourmand decided to make a move inland, perhaps wishing to distance itself from its next-door neighbour  (Scallops). A wise move! It now occupies a lovely position immediately below the sheer wall of the side of Montgo, half way to Jesus Pobre. Elegant al fresco dining on a lovely sunny day enhanced the experience – all purple-and-white.

The restaurant offers a menu del dia (three courses) for  €15 to include red or white vino de la casa. Our canny host stayed with the house wine – a wise move because both were particularly good. The white was a Nuviano 2012 (chardonnay) and the 2011 spicy red, from the same stable, combined Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo grapes to a most pleasing effect. A second bottle followed, at a very reasonable  €10.80.

For starters we were offered three choices, and all were selected. The courgette and tomato quiche was moist, tasty and without the mind-numbing blandness which is so often found with this particular type of starter! The roasted goat cheese on a bed of lettuce might have been better with a little more garnish, but was otherwise well-received, and the chicken liver salad was pronounced “good”.

For the main course we all passed on the offer of poussin with brandy and grapes, two of us opting for a most excellent lamb tajine with crystallized lemon. This gave the (Moroccan) dish a flavour which was downright delicious! The French cut of beef called an onglet, served with shallots was also especially tasty, while our host polished off a dish of clams and prawns, pan-fried with vegetables.

The menu offered us  dessert of the day or ice cream or sorbet, but most of us opted for a three euro surcharge which gave us a medley of half a dozen “tasters” to go with our coffee – a mouthful of fruit salad, a spot of ice cream, a miniature slice of chocolate cake, a macaroon and a snifter of strawberry puree. Delicious!

It has to be said: this is not a restaurant to go to if you are in a rush – service is sedate but very friendly. It made  for a delightful afternoon under the shade of a large umbrella, and regrettably we never even ventured inside the building to be able to comment on the interior!

The total cost of this gourmet experience was  €24.24  per head.

RH  83                                                           Le gourmand 001

Nov 162012
 
EL CHAMIZO   MORAIRA   965743090

 ★★★★★ 

Moraira on the rocks

 

Chamizo in Spanish means thatched hut or shack, and perhaps this restaurant started life as such, but now it is quite the opposite. El Chamizo is a chic glass and chrome structure perched on the rocks overlooking the Mediterranean at Km 1.3 on the Moraira to Calpe road.

The menu del día is priced at €15 and includes a starter, main course, a glass of wine and a choice of dessert or coffee. The starter was a delicious chicken based salad or there was a soup on offer too. The main course changes each day and being Friday it was a rich creamy pasta with prawns.

 

Some of our members opted to go á la carte and so the menu del día stalwarts were able to try some of their starters, specifically the Carpaccio of beef and wonderful baby broad beans with bacon pieces. For main course the off piste selection was chicken with mushrooms and a brandy sauce.

Our host selected a Sauvignon blanc from Rueda called Menade (€14) which was a perfect accompaniment for this really delicious lunch.                                                                                                                                    Although the day was overcast, the views onto the Mediterranean were spectacular, and we left in good form with our spirits uplifted. Cost €34 p.p.

PH 80                                                                           

Nov 092012
 
L´ ÉCHALOTE   JAVEA   966473364

 ★★★★★ 

Stylish dining

Our host had originally promised to bring us to a restaurant on the coast at Granadella at Cap de Nau, but because it was cloudy, he decided we would dine in a restaurant called L´Échalote en route to our original destination.

L´Échalote is a housed in a modern building on Crta. La Guardia in the Costa Nueva district of Jávea. The building itself is nothing special from the outside, but on entering the impressions are all positive, with stylish modern décor, linen table service and uniformed waitresses.

 

The menu del día is priced at €15, wine not included. Well, there was a free glass of cava whilst we deliberated over our lunch choices. Snails smothered in garlic were produced followed by cheese croquettes before we even launched into our starters. These were peppers stuffed with cod and crabmeat and crab with vegetables.

There followed a quite peppery vegetable soup and a sorbet.For our main course most of us selected Guinea Fowl wrapped around spinach and one of our group had grilled salmon and hake.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

Our host pushed the boat out when it came to the selection of wines and in turn this impacted on the overall cost of the meal. The white was a stunning Montenovo from Valdeorras in Galicia (€19). Both of the reds came from Utiel Requena, a Nodus Summon Reserva 2003 (€25.50) and a 2004 wine called Generación 1 (€25).

 

For dessert we chose Tiramisu and chocolate & vanilla ice cream and these were followed by coffees and Magno brandy. An outstanding menu del día for the price, but with our generous host´s expensive taste in wine the cost of our lunch rose to €39.91 p.p.

JB  82