San Julian is the north-easternmost barrio in the Casco Antiguo. Map of barrios here and a Google map of the city here.
It has a slightly edgy feel and there’s not a lot going on in terms of nightlife but there is one very good restaurant in the area, located opposite the busy facade of the Iglesia San Luis De los Franceses.
ConTenedor (Intermediate A), 50 Calle San Luis, restaurantecontenedor.com
This is an excellent restaurant with a modern, innovative attitude and great food, although some locals like my friend John feel it’s a bit overpriced. The décor is quite bohemian and the staff are multilingual.
They do tapas at lunch time but in the evening they only serve mains and raciones, so ideally you should go with a few friends you can share the food with.
I had the Arroz con Pato y Setas, duck with rice and mushrooms, which was top notch (A). The waitress told me it was one of only a few dishes that has remained on the menu since they opened, due to its enduring popularity.
ConTenedor is also a good place to sample hard-to-find wines and I thoroughly enjoyed all the local reds I was given. They were slightly expensive at around €3 or €3.50 a glass, but it was worth it to try them.
First ‘Zancua’, a young, fruity Tempranillo/Syrah blend from Constantina in Seville province (B+).
Then ‘Overo’, another softer Tempranillo/Syrah blend from Lebrija, again in Seville province (B+).
And moving slightly further afield, the amusingly labelled ‘La Cabra & La Bota’, a Tempranillo/Syrah/Cab Sauv blend from Ribera del Andarax in Almeria province (B+).
I sidestepped the tempting dessert menu and went instead for some local cheeses (all A and A+).
To finish I had a glass of one of the best Pedro Jimenez wines I’ve ever tasted; Antique PX by Fernando de Castilla (A).
The lady proprietor told me they are an artisanal producer and very hard to find. I wrote to them but sadly didn’t get a reply. I did find it however on Gourmet Hunters for about £32 a bottle.
Total cost €39 for a highly enjoyable food experience, complemented by atmospheric surroundings and efficient friendly service. Definitely somewhere I’d like to return to.