Andalusian cuisine on the Valencian coast
One of the best values that the Valencian Community can offer to the visitor is the one that combines gastronomy and a very privileged location on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Among the most beautiful beaches washed by the Mare Nostrum, we can highlight the beautiful Calpe Beach. This place, located in the shadow of the majestic rock Peñón de Ifach, is filled with numerous restaurants, which must have been little cafés back in the day, and with the construction of the seafront promenade have been transformed into restaurants with a very inconsistent gastronomic diversity.
Fortunately, there exist professionals who, thanks to their experience, successful career and talent, are constantly rising the standard of quality and hospitality in the restaurants. One of these places is the Andalucía Restaurant, just a few meters away from the Mediterranean beach. Sitting on its terrace, one can enjoy the sea breeze since early morning.
The director and owner of the restaurant is Antonio Cáceres. He moved here from Granada when he was very young and found a job in the hospitality industry. His experience and desire to triumph have pushed him further. Soon he gained prestige among local entrepreneurs, and one of them transferred to him the restaurant. Antonio had just bought a car and provided it as a guarantee for the business, although there was no need of such – he was encouraged by a personal commitment to this restaurant. He had lived up to the trust placed in him and his family and had proven that real professionals rarely lose. In just a couple of months the Andalucía Restaurant has gained renowned prestige and has conquered clients that keep coming to the restaurant these days, attracted by the quality of products and raw materials, and perfect recipe elaborations.
The name of the restaurant and the Granadian roots of its owner indicate that the dishes here are proud of their Andalusian “accent”, that implies market cuisine and a lot of seafood.
Naturally, one of its specialties is fritura, or fried fish, that deserves an applause, because it keeps up with the level of the best Andalusian style frituras. There are three keys to success when making a great fried fish. Firstly, the quality of the product: Antonio offers a wide range of fresh fish, such as squid, baby cuttle fish, anchovies and small hake. Secondly, the quality of oil. Thirdly, the change of the oil: in Antonio´s kitchen it is changed every second time, so it stays clean and doesn´t produce an unpleasant smell when overused. The result can´t be better- fried fish has a perfectly defined taste and an ideal texture.
The variety of dishes is impressive, especially local fish and crustaceans, which can be tasted in the wide range of mariscadas, typical seafood platters.
The following dish of our meal is grilled cuttlefish, known as “castanets” because of their similarity with the instrument. This mollusc is quickly cooked through on a grill so that its keeps its succulence and a delicate sea flavour. It is worth mentioning that the product has been thoroughly cleaned, and as a result, not a single grain of sand can separate us from the joy of tasting this dish.
Next stop, grilled prawns, a lip-smacking choice because of the tender and fresh tails, and some loud sounds when enjoying the juicy heads.
Finally, brothy rice with anglerfish and boletus – recommendation of Iván Aragonés, husband of Antonio´s daughter Monica. Transparent broth with rockfish flavour nourishes perfectly cooked rice with anglerfish bites and delicious boletus. This is a wonderful choice of main course.
Mónica is in charge of desserts, and again her husband Iván highlights three recommendations: a dessert cup called “La copa Mónica”, tiramisu and cheesecake. Although a priori it might seem to be too much even for a sweet tooth, it results to have a well-balanced taste where all the sweetness is overshadowed by other ingredients, and the fruits that are used in the recipies create a sweet harmony in all these desserts.
Extra point for a varied and rich wine selection, and perfection in pouring beer- which is much appreciated for quenching thirst on the beach.
Antonio and his team deserve applause for all their professionalism and perfectionism in every detail. This place is a rare find in the restaurant business because of its owner, who is completely dedicated to his job and passionate about it, that is why his guests keep coming back to the Andalucía Restaurant for gastronomical adventures.
Pedro G. Mocholí
Ctra. Puerto, s/n
+34 965 83 40 78