Jaen – Ciudad Nueva – Paseo de la Estacion – Casa Antonio
I like this restaurant so much that it gets a post to itself. It is the best place in town.
Casa Antonio (Advanced A), 3 Calle Fermin Palma, Tel. 953 270 262, www.casantonio.es, closed Sunday evening and Monday
Chef Pedro Sánchez uses high quality local and international ingredients for innovative presentations. I like to treat myself to the Menú Degustación which includes two appetizers, five entrees, a fish and a meat course and two desserts. The current price is €52, less than €5 a dish, which is great value given what you get.
In 2015 I started with a chilled glass of Oloroso and some fantastic olives (A).
And I tried a couple of their wonderful local olive oils (A) with the bread.
I followed this with Pan, Aciete y Chocolate (bread, oil and chocolate), a mainstay of the menu (B+).
I told the owner I wanted to try local wines and he suggested a bottle of Eclo which was very good (B+).
This was followed by a couple of dishes utilizing I think the famous prawns from nearby Huelva. First prawns with yellow chilli (A).
And then a red prawn in a broth (B).
Then Ajo Blanco de Coco, Pina, Albahaca; an innovative take on a classic local soup, another mainstay (A).
The asparagus in a mayonnaise based sauce with trout roe was very subtle (C).
The Presa Iberica, smoked pork with a caper sauce, had heaps of flavor (A).
Then I think some roast suckling pig.
Then a tasty segment of Butifarra de Pichón (pigeon?) sausage. I love this Catalan sausage, just wish there’d been more of it (B+).
Melon with sorbet and crystalised basil was a good cleanser but didn’t have much flavor (C).
On the other hand the delicate bread-pudding like dessert was fantastic (A).
It went very well with a glass of excellent Malaga Muscat (A).
Also a complementary flask of very lemony homemade limocello, which was nice but not as strong as the Italian version (B).
They have quite a collection of Spanish brandies here, about thirty in all, about ten of which I hadn’t tried. I took pot luck and went for the 1885 Gran Reserva Malaga which was fine but not amazing (B).
As always, I left a very happy bunny.
And here is my review from 2013:
The tasting menu was only €47 for about 12 different plates, not including a couple of little extras not pictured. These were:
Pan, Aciete y Chocolate (bread, oil and chocolate); an unusual combination that works.
Trufas de Perdiz Escabechada, Foie Tartufo (truffles of pickled partridge and foie) and Croqueta de Trufa y Parmesano (truffle and Parmesan croquette), served with root vegetable crisps.
Ajo Blanco de Coco, Pina, Albahaca (a local cold almond soup, not garlic as you might think, with coconut milk, pineapple and basil).
Yema, Trufa, Patata (a whole poached egg rather than just a yolk and grated white truffle, I think on a bed of potato puree). So delicious.
Ensalada de Perdiz de Campo y su Escabeche Emulsionado (country partridge salad with a marinade emulsion). In Spain escabeche is a vinegar marinade which I’m not particularly fond of but I didn’t notice it here.
Morrococo, Cocido Mareao. I know the former is a local chickpea mash sometimes referred to as Jaen hummus! Cocido is a stew but I’m not sure what ‘mareao’ refers to. Either it’s leftover stew that in this case has been mashed into the chickpeas, or it’s the stock from boiling the stew ingredients which is sometimes eaten as a separate soup, as is probably what they’ve done here.
Papada, Anguila, Mango-Pasion (possible pork jowl with Anguilla eel and mango something).
El Pez (Segun Lonja) or fish of the day depending on market availability. Not sure what fish it was but it looks like bream or bass.
Cordero Segureño, Naranja, Cardamomo (local Segureña lamb with orange and cardamom).
This might be Melon, Ginebra, Manzanilla al Limon (melon, ginger and apple with lemon) as per menu but the photo doesn’t really match the description.
There was definitely apple in this dessert though.
Last of all I was given some complimentary chocs at the end and this strange milky digestif which was nice but again I don’t recall what it was exactly.
All the wines I had here were excellent. I sampled two Ribera del Duero reds (the Matarromera crizanza and a young wine by AC), a Rioja (Bai Gorri 2007) and a local red Marcelino Serrano from the Sierra de la Sur de Jaen IGP.
With a dessert I also had a glass of Moscatel de Alejandria, an ancient grape.
An excellent meal at a very reasonable price.
And a couple of other reviews of my first meals at Casa Antonio:
One of the highlights for me is trying their local olive oils. The flavours are unlike any oils I’d tasted before and a couple are luminous green in colour!
On my first ever visit I started with a small bowl of salmorejo, my favourite cold soup.
After this I had Espaldilla de Cordero Segureno con Pure de Patata y Ajo Morado (Shoulder of Segureño Lamb with Potato Puree and Purple Garlic).
And to finish some aged Manchego cheese. It could have done with some membrillo but it was still good.
On the next occasion, Arroz Negro de Calamares su Alioli (rice made with squid and its ink with an accompanying sauce of emulsified garlic and oil).
Can’t remember all the wines I tried, but they were very good.
Followed by Cochinillo Lechal en Dos Tiempos, Cebolleta a la Naranja y Cardamomo (twice-cooked (?) suckling piglet with chives, orange and cardamom).
Not quite sure what this apple and cream creation was called but it was very nice.
Suffice to say my stomach is always singing when I leave this place!