Archive for the Eixample Category

Valencia – Eixample – more places to eat in El Pla del Remei

Posted in Eixample, El Pla del Remei, Spain, Valencia, Valenciana Comunidad with tags , on March 4, 2019 by gannet39

As previously mentioned, the Eixample is the residential area just to the south of the medieval old town. It has three sub-districts, Gran Via, Ruzafa (see separate posts) and this one; El Pla del Remei. The El Mercado de Colon is also in this zone but I’ve given its own post. My map is here.

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Other than Habitual in El Mercado de Colon, there are a couple of other places to eat round here…

Casa Vela (Intermediate A), 26 Carrer D’Isabel la Catolica, www.restaurantecasavela.com, closed Sundays

A small but high quality tapas bar and deli, since 1908. They can seat about twenty at tables in the back.

I came at lunchtime for a mixed tuna salad which I couldn’t fault (A).

There is an extensive wine selection available.

Palace Fesol (Intermediate C), 7 Calle Hernan Cortes, www.palacefesol.com

This restaurant began by serving Fesoles (lima beans) to the urban poor in 1909 but it’s now a relatively posh restaurant.

They are famous for their rice dishes but I didn’t have anyone to share one with so I ordered something smaller.

To begin I had the Crujiente Relleno (crispy stuffing) on the recommendation of the nice waitress but unfortunately it was virtually flavourless (C) so I’m not sure what it was supposed to be stuffed with.

Next I had the Corvina con Verduras a la Plancha (sea bass with grilled veg) which tasted and looked a bit oily and dirty from the grill (C).

The Hoya de Castillo 2016, a Macabeo Merseguera blend, made things a bit better though (B-).

I’d give them another try if I had no other choice as they have a good reputation, but this experience wasn’t special by any means. There’s plenty more fish in the sea though (see my other Valencia posts).

Valencia – Eixample – Ruzafa

Posted in Eixample, Ruzafa, Spain, Valencia, Valenciana Comunidad with tags , , , , , on October 7, 2015 by gannet39

Ruzafa, or Russafa, is the part of the Eixample to the east of the railway station. It’s very much an up and coming area with many new and trendy businesses locating here and in the evenings the night life is buzzing.

It has its own market, Mercat de Russafa, which while not as attractive as Mercat Central, has pretty much everything you would want. I noticed grilled pumpkin (sugared or unsugered) here for the first time.

My favourite chef in Valencia, Ricard Camarena, has two of his eateries located in the area, both just around the corner from each other.

Ricard Camarena Restaurant (Advanced A), 4 Carrer del Dr. Sumsi, www.ricardcamarenarestaurant.com

Three of us came here to celebrate my best friend Luke’s birthday by having the six dish tasting menu with wine matching (they also do nine and eleven dish menus).

I didn’t take any notes as I was too busy having fun but everything was A or A+, both visually and in terms of flavour. Below is what I think we had, but there’s a couple of photos I can’t remember. I’ll leave it to you to match the names to the pictures.

Juve & Camps Millesime Reserva Brut Cava 2010
Valencian Oyster in a “Horchata” of Galangal
Menestra of Bobby Beans (fat string beans)
Hake Cocochas (cheeks, tongues or barbels depending on who you talk to) in Coconut Milk
Marinated Sea Bass with Parsley and Tamarillo (a South American fruit)
Pie Franco Verdejo Blanco Nieva 2013
Roasted Kid in Coconut Milk
Furtiva Lagrima’ Moscatel Coshecha 2014

With a glass of champagne, two Negronis to start and three coffees, a glass of Luis Felipe Gran Reserva and two Fernando de Castilla Sol (all brandies) the bill came to €345, less than £100 each, which was great value.

And on another night I went with four friends to Camarena’s bistro just around the corner…

Canalla Bistro (Intermediate A), 5 Carrer del Mestre Josep Serrano, www.canallabistro.com

We had…

Croquetas de Pollo d’Ast (roast chicken croquettes)
Patatas con Salsa de Chorizo Tomate Valenciano y Hierbabuena (spearmint)
2013 Verdejo called ‘Quinta Apolonia’ from Belondrade
Bocata al Vapor con Cerdo Pekin (steamed bun with Beijing pork)
Tempura Melosa de Verduras Ligeramente Picante (slightly spicy mixed veg tempura)
‘Les Alcusses’ 2010, a red from Celler del Roure in the Valencia D.O.

And a creamy thing I don’t recall as I didn’t take notes again. However everything was very good if more down to earth than Camarena’s restaurant around the corner. The bistro has a very cozy atmosphere due to warm lighting and lots of wood. I’d definitely go again.

Afterwards we went for a drink to Ubik Café Cafeteria Libreria a 13 Calle del Literato Azorin, www.ubikcafe.blogpsot.com which is what’s known as a ‘bookshop bar’ although we didn’t do much reading! Café Tocado, at 44 Carrer de Cadis, is also an excellent cocktail bar with a Parisian feel.

And in May 2017…

La Tasqueta del Mercat (Intermediate B), 2 Calle Maestro Auguilar

I came here in when I couldn’t get into either Ricardo Camarena’s restaurant or Canella Bistro which were both fully booked on a Thursday night. It had been recommended by a reader in the comments section of the Conde Nast guide which is why it was on my radar.

It’s a bright modern spot with decent food that is good value. They have three set menus to choose from for €15, €22 and €30.

I wasn’t enormously hungry so I had the smaller one beginning with Ensaladilla Guitxan (a take on the ubiquitous Russian salad of which I’ve never been fond).

I continued with Coca de Cerveza con Pesto, Tomate y Anchoa del Cantabrico (toast with pesto, tomato and anchovy), Bunuelos de Bacalao (cod fritters), Croquetas de Jamon, Setas y Trufa (hame, mushroom and truffle croquet), Carrillera con Jugo de Manitas de Curry (pork cheeks in a trotter sauce with a touch of curry) and finally Brownie con Nueces Caramelizadas y Helado de Dulce de Leche (brownie with caremelised nuts and caremelised milk ice cream).

It was all the food was completely edible B/C if rather calorific. I tried a couple of local wines; Merseguera and Decalogo but they didn’t do much for me (all C+). So not a place I’ll willingly return to although it’s perfectly competent at what it does.

Valencia – Eixample – eating at Mercat Bar in Gran Via

Posted in Eixample, Gran Via, Spain, Valencia, Valenciana Comunidad with tags , on October 4, 2015 by gannet39

Gran Via is the subdistrict of the Eixample that lies to the south of Gran Via del Marques de Turia. There are heaps of restaurants around here, particularly along Carrer del Comte d’Altea. See also the following post on the Mercado de Colon. My map is here.

Mercatbar (High Intermediate B), 27 Carrer de Joaquin Costa, www.mercatbar.es

This is the flagship tapas bar of Quique Dacosta, a famous local chef who was the talk of the town when I was there.

The idea is to reinvent traditional classics in a modern style. Visually and conceptually the food is wonderful but sadly the flavours just weren’t there for me. A chef I met told me that the food is prepared in a central kitchen and then sent out to the restaurants in the chain (including Vuelva Catalina and El Poblet) where it’s heated up, which can’t be good for how it tastes when it finally reaches your plate.

The famous Souffle de Patata y Yema de Huevo, appears to be an egg ‘yolk’ in little mouth sized parcel. I now know that restaurants in Spain are not allowed to sell dishes made with fresh eggs and instead they use reconstituted powder to simulate egg dishes, which might explain how it’s possible to make this seemingly complex tapa. It was an interesting concept but not much more (B).

The Langostinos Crujientes Fritos were okay (B) but the Romescu sauce it served with was pretty horrible (D). I was intrigued by the Cubalibre de Foie Gras con Escarcha de Limon, or foie coated with a kind of coca cola jelly and lemon sorbet, It was an interesting combo that worked pretty well (B+) but there was too much of it. The potato crisps were fine (B) but the local wine left a bit to be desired (C).

To finish the Milojas Clasico de Crema Pastelera Caramelizada (millefoille) were good (B) and I loved the homemade no label muscatel (A+).

I was served by a very nice lady who if anything was a bit too attentive.

The décor is modern and bright with a TV showing how their dishes are made, which makes for addictive viewing. It’s an experience so go by all means but Camarena’s places are better. Arrive early or reserve.

I returned for lunch in May 2017 and was a little surprised to find it fairly empty when the terraces on nearby Carrer del Comte d’Altea were buzzing.

I had the €15 Menu del Dia for which I got some fresh broad beans to shell myself, along with Salpicon de Marisco (seafood salad), Arroz a Banda (rice cooked in fish stock) and Brownie y Helado (brownie with ice cream).
Everything was fine (B) but not out of this world.

To drink a glass of Puerto Alicanate (B) and with dessert a copa of disappointing Mistela Vall de Valo (C).

So still a good place, I’d happily go back.

Valencia – Eixample – El Pla del Remei – El Mercado de Colon

Posted in Eixample, El Pla del Remei, Spain, Valencia, Valenciana Comunidad with tags , on October 4, 2015 by gannet39

The Eixample and Extramurs are residential areas organised on a grid system which lie respectively to the south and west of the medieval old town and its winding streets. Eixample is known as ‘the rich widening’ as opposed to Extramurs which is ‘the poor widening’.

The Eixample is the area to the east of the train station, running along either side of Gran Via de los Germaines and its extension Gran Via del Marques de Turia. It has three sub-districts, Gran Via, El Pla del Remei and Ruzafa.

In El Pla del Remei, the subdistrict north of Gran Via, you can find the stunningly beautiful Mercado de Colon on Calle Jorge de Juan. It was designed by Francisco Mora Berenguer who studied at the Barcelona School of Architecture and you can see the influences of Catalan architects such as Gaudi and Montaner in the structure.

It’s no longer a fully functioning market but was restored in 2003 to house a cafe, a Camarena restaurant in the basement and a few small businesses.

I finally ate at Camarena’s place in May 2017…

Habitual (Advanced B), basement of the Mercado de Colon, 19 Calle Jorge Juan

Efficient service as ever, but the restaurant doesn’t have much atmosphere and feels a bit formal. I had the Bunelo Cremoso y Crujiente de Bacalao con Emulsion de Miso (a codfish croquette with an emulsion of miso sauce), Croqueta al Pesto de Albahaca (basil pesto croquette).

Also the Merluza a la Llama, Caponata de Verudras, Emulsion de Tomate y Habanero (flame-greilled hake with a veg caponata in an emulsion of tomato and chilli).

Also the Esparragos Verdes en Tempura, Ras El Hanout y Crema de Yogur Griego (green asparagus in tempura with greek yogurt cream and ras el hanout) which was tasty but the half portion was huge so it wore a bit thin after a while.

With a bottle of La Ola del Melillero, a PX and Moscatel blend, the final bill came to €51.

As you may know already I’m a big fan of Ricard Camarena and have raved about three of his other establishments elsewhere on this blog (see the Russafa and Mercat Central posts) but this experience wasn’t quite as good (all Bs) which was a little disappointing.

I’ll always love this building though.

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