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Sevilla / Seville Restaurants


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As Jan and Dean used to belt out, back in '63, "Help me Rhonda!"

The name is... Ronda.

Also, Granada, not Grenada - this is not in the Caribbean.

Tragabuches in Ronda is a must, La Ruta del Veleta outside Granada is a decent choice in a not-enthralling culinary area.

Edited by vserna (log)

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Granada... named after the Spanish word for Pomegranate.

Actually - no. (Despite what can be found on the Internet!)

Garnata was an outlying area (what is now known as the Albaicín hill) of the city of Elibyrge (its ancient Iberian name) or Iliberis (its Visigothic name), which became Ilbira after the early Muslim (Arab-Berber) occupation of the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. In 1010 Ilbira was destroyed and the population took refuge in what was then called Gharnatah-al-Yahud (Garnata of the Jews, since this was mostly a Jewish quarter) - hence the modern name of Granada. It was to be the last bastion of Muslim power in Spain - it was 'reconquered' in 1492, shortly before Christopher Columbus landed on Hispaniola. (Busy year, this 1492, for the Spanish royal couple, Ferdinand and Isabella...)

Granada does also mean pomegranate, but in this case it's from the past participle of the verb "granar", which means "to ripen", so a granada is a "fully ripened fruit". The coincidence is quite obvious, and indeed Christian Granada took the pomegranate as its symbol.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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The name is... Ronda.

I got it right once. :blush: It's that damn silent "h." I keep trying to see it when I don't hear it. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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It's true, Granada is not an especially fascinating culinary locale. Particularly during the summer when pizza and bad paella abound in bright laminated menus. Avoid restaurants on the plazas for the most part.

La Botana is sort of funky, with fairly interesting food and a nice wine by the glass selection-- cous cous, curries and other non-traditional food . . .

Chikito is solid, good traditional food, nothing jaw dropping.

Avoid El Carmen de San Miguel. Used to be interesting and tasty, but now is poorly executed Adriá worship.

For little bites (nighttime) and great atmosphere, try El Puerto del Vino at the very end of the bars on the Paseo de los Tristes. Great staff there, lots of fun.

Wander around the Albaicín and you should encounter some good stuff too. I remember a beautiful leg of kid at Bar Aliatar, perfect with a cañita or three underneath the open sky.

Also wander around the Moorish Quarter for some nice teahouses and chwarma.

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Granada is an odd city. I seem to remember that things closed early. Second the recommendation about wandering the Albaicin for good honest food. Had some of the best fried fish there, bunches of different kinds, tiny sole, squid, anchovies, etc. As good as anything in Cadiz or Sevilla. And what may count as the single strangest experience in Spain, while driving through the Albaicin we actually drove down a few stairs into a plaza. No, we hadn't been drinking, the stairs were very widely spaced and not steep, it was dark, and we could see streets leaving the plaza at the other side, in the general direction we wanted to go.

Once we realized we had actually driven down stairs, we paused to reconsider. The streets looked very narrow, even for Spain. From one of them emerged a person, so we thought we would ask. A Japanese person, who spoke no English and almost no Spanish. But we did manage through charades to find out that it would not be possible to drive through the street he had come from. We decided not to try the other one, instead turned the car around and drove back up the stairs.

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More Ronda pix: at an angle and across the gorge.

Not a great place to induce vertigo.

and an Andalucian avec chien shot on the job in Madrid :cool:

Chica, con perro n'est-ce pas? :raz:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Chica, con perro n'est-ce pas?  :raz:

Aren't you a Bunuel fan?

Edited by lissome (log)

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

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  • 8 months later...

Hello,

I am travelling to Granada and Sevilla from Bangkok in two weeks time for the first time and am looking for restaurant advice.

We are a small group of four real foodies ( for professional or passional reasons), will go to La Broche and El Bulli later during the trip.

Where to eat in Granda, Sevilla or even on the way or around those cities?

Any advice/suggestion is appreciated.

Pierre

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Check out the Hacienda Benazuza in San Lucar la Mayor about 25 k outside of Sevilla. Here are excerpts from a post advising me on where to eat in Andalucia.

+ La Alquería at Hacienda Benazuza is a fine restaurant in delightful surroundings, very well run by Ferran Adrià alum Rafael Morales and closely monitored by Adrià himself. The menu is somewhat more conservative than Ferran's own at El Bulli, but still first rate stuff.

+ In Seville, Poncio is a very interesting place for modern Andalusian cooking with traditional roots.

+ Except such places as Tragabuches or La Alquería, high creativity is not 'the thing' in Andalusia, but sometimes top-notch local traditions are (for instance: the great seafood, including fried fish, in Cádiz and Málaga provinces) can be culinarily exalting. Some of the produce ('langostinos' or striped shrimp, 'lenguados de estero' or soles from the salt-rich artificial coastal lagoons, and of course the great Iberian ham from Jabugo) cannot be topped anywhere in the world. Extra virgin olive oil is increasingly well-made.

By the way, while in Seville, El Espigón I is a great choice for all that extraordinary seafood without having to drive to the seaside!

How are you getting around and traveling from Granada to Sevilla? If you are driving, there was much more in that thread that was applicable. The best way to get the most out of eGullet is to do a search for old posts. It's rare that a member will answer the same question with as much detail the second time it's asked and this is hardly the first time people have asked about Granada or Sevilla. For all that, neither is a great restaurant town. Seville, however is a great place for tapas. It vies with the Pais Vasco perhaps.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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The next question might be how many days will you be on the road and how many restaurants will you have time to stop at? Although I don't have a good recommendation for either Granada or Sevilla, Tragabuches in Ronda is well worth a detour and I found Hacienda de Roselejo a gem near Arcos de la Frontera. They may be out of your way. Las Rejas in Las Pedroneras south of Cuenca was truly memorable for us. That was a stop on our way from Madrid to Andalucia. There should be mention of all of those places in posts of mine and others have posted on Tragabuches.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Pierre:

Looks like you'll be in Sevilla just around the same time as I (16th-20th for a medical congress). Have already made plans for Benazuza, and as most of my colleagues on this trip do not share my passion for gastronomy and oenology, it'd be great to meet any fellow gastronauts .

Feel free to drop me a PM.

Edited by The Viking (log)
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First, the disclaimer: I have never been to Andalucía, although I hope to remedy that in the very near future.

Still, I have a particularly good series of Spanish guide books (that is, books printed in Spain, in Spanish, for other Spaniards) that have never steered me wrong yet. Unfortunately, I do not own the one that covers Sevilla, and the one for Granada doesn't mention any one place that sounds especially exciting, food-wise. However, if you're driving, it sounds like stops in Baeza and Úbeda could be especially worth your while.

Baeza has a restaurant I've read about in more than one reliable source, and it is, by all reports, outstanding: Casa Juanito (Paseo Arca del Agua, s/n; Tel: 953 74 74 23 24, Closed Sun. eves. and Mon. eves.). "My Spaniards" say it has "the perfect team to create one of the best culinary options of our country", and, although expensive, has one of the best quality-to-price ratios in Spain. Some of the dishes it cites: alcachofas Luísa, paté de perdiz al aceite Viana, patatas a lo pobre con lomo de orza, bacalao estilo Baeza, pichón a la manera de mi madre, and, for dessert, gachas and empanadillas de cabello de ángel.

Úbeda sounds like quite the town for eating, from the more relaxed Gallo Rojo, El Seco and Mesón Gabino to the VERY interesting-sounding Museo Agrícola-Mesón Barbacoa. "My Spaniards" once again call it "an institution of good eating in Úbeda, while being one of the most surprising museums you can see in Spain." Try and find out more about this place--I assure you my information suggests that it's worthwhile.... personally, I'd go there this weekend if I could.

My restaurant blog: Mahlzeit!

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I have to say that Juanito was a disappointment for us. It came very highly recommended and judging by the crowds at Sunday dinner when we arrived in town, it's got to be exceptionally popular and well liked locally. We found the food heavy in a very old fashioned way that made it dull--pasty sauces. The kid was good, but the pork was dried out, although flavorful. It may have been that it was a mistake not to have had lunch rather than dinner, especially on a Sunday. What really put us off, I think, was the very fast service. We felt quite rushed. On the other hand, we felt that a lot in parts of Spain. This has been discussed in another thread with some comment about a chef who has instructed his wait staff to slow down the service when tending to a table of French diners. Count me in with the French when it comes to expecting a liesurely meal.

Condsider that I'm a minority voice on Juanito. It may have been an off-day, we may have ordered poorly, it may be our subjective taste or Sunday may be the day one should have one's big meal at lunch. Juanito seems favored by locals and professional critics alike. There was a wonderful description of lunch there on a travel site, then again, it was lunch.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I remember adding a reply to a similar thread asking about Seville around a year ago. In Seville itself I recommended a couple of restaurants that I have liked over the last few years. These were Salvador Rojo and Poncio, both of which I would still recommend. Recently, I also quite liked San Fernando, 27. If I had to go with just one it would be Poncio inspite of the decor! Their tasting menu of 5-6 dishes is well worth it. Their food is a modern interpretation of Andalusian cuisine with some very interesting touches. Seville, as has been pointed out on a number of occassions in this forum, is much more exciting for eating tapas than for more formal sit-down meals. It would be difficult to do justice to every good bar but some of the best places include: Casablanca, El Rinconcillo, Estrella, Paco Gongora, Taberna Las Coloniales, Yebra, Barbiana, Estrella and Infanta Sevilla.

I have been in Granada 3 times over the last six months and have not been overly impressed with the bars or restaurants that I visited and would be hard pressed to suggest somewhere that I really liked. I would, however, definitely agree that Ronda is worth a visit both on gronds of being a stunning place and to eat at Tragabuches. In fact, I will be eating there next Wednesday. I also agree with the comments concerning Hacienda La Rosaleja.

A trip to one of the coastal towns in the province of Cádiz would be also rewarding. El Puerto de Santamaría and Sanlúcar de Barrameda come to mind. You could combine a visit to one of the sherry wineries with some wonderful seafood. El Bigote in Sanlúcar has been mentioned in this forum on a number of occassions. The food is not elaborate but the freshness and quality is beyond reproach, and washed down with some great manzanilla would I think please the most demanding of gastronomes.

Anyway, if you would like more detailed information on places in Seville with addresses, phone nos. etc. and so as not to bore other people on the forum please send me an e-mail directly

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An American friend of mine and four of his kids will be in Seville and costa del sol areain Easter. I have family in Seville and they told me the place that has been delivering outstanding produce and quality in Seville is "La Isla", with superb fish and seafood, but also good meat. I guess it not very innovative, but it should be good.

In Ronda, how does Albacara compare to Tragabuches? My friend is probably not the best gourmet, so I have booked a table in Albacara with great views, but I can still change it to Tragabuches if anyone thinks it´s worth it.

In Marbella I booked La Meridiana; Does anyone know it? Some friends have recommended it.

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My friend is probably not the best gourmet, so I have booked a table in Albacara with great views,

It's one thing to rate restaurants in terms of relative quality, but food and preferred style of restaurant is a matter of very subjective taste. The most creative restaurants in Spain these days might just mystify some American guests and others may still leave them curious but unsatisfied. I constantly have to remind myself that when I'm off eGullet, the people asking for recommendations might well prefer a great view to a great meal, or rather that a memorable view might make a better meal for them than memorable food. We had our most disappointing meal on our last trip to Spain when we took someone's opinion based on the fact that she plans upscale trips for well educated American groups. The restaurant was particularly lovely and the service was good if too eager to give me an English menu, but the food was rather boring and the meal left us disappointed, but I'm ready to believe her clients offered great feedback about their meals there.

I certainly recommend Tragabuches on the basis of our meal there and from what I read, it would be a shame for anyone with a sincere interest in what's happening in gastronomy in Spain to miss it, if in the area, but my guess is that the average intelligent sophisticated diner may not miss the experience and may even prefer a great view. Unfortunately, Ronda was a one nignt stand for us and thus I can't comment on other restaurants in town. I shoudn't even say unfortunately, as the first meal we had the next day was at Hacienda Del Rosalejo (in Villamartin east of Arcos De La Frontera).

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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For some reason Egaña-Oriza gets lost in the shuffle when Seville restaurants are mentioned; even I left it out of the thread mentioned by Bux. I guess we take them for granted. But it should be pointed out that José Mari Egaña and his wife Mercedes, two Basques who have been working in Andalusia for two decades, do offer the very best restaurant experience, all elements included, in the Andalusian capital: from a wonderful, whimsical setting inside the old Moorish wall of the city, to the appetizing Andalusian/Basque menu, with such simply refined dishes as 'almejas a la sartén con láminas de gambas' (sautéed clams with shrimp slivers).

Poncio remains No. 1 for modern Andalusian cooking in Seville, and for an Egaña-Oriza-like experience outside Seville, go to the striking new Hacienda La Boticaria hotel in Sanlúcar La Mayor, just 10 miles out of town (the golf course hasn't been built yet, and the hotel itself is a work-in-progres) and taste Mikel Uria's superb neo-Andalusian cuisine with a Basque twist in the Molino Blanco dining room. (The owners, who make the Agua de Sevilla colognes and own the very fancy shops under the same name, obviously have good taste. Their horses and their horse carriage museum add to the fun...)

Granada is not the world's best gourmet city, but the tapas scene is attractive. The best restaurant, La Ruta del Veleta, is out of town, in the direction of the Sierra Nevada ski station. Not great, but good in its simpler preparations: fried Granada broad beans with Trevélez ham and mint, for instance.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Thank you all for advice given.

So it looks like a diet day in Granada, after La Broche and before Tragabuches.

We will also spend one night in Jaen, any advice?

Sevilla looks all set with two good choices.

Any seafood ideas on the coast around Malaga and/or Cadiz?

Pierre

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Two authentic, simple Andalusian seafood places around Málaga and Cádiz:

- El Roqueo, in the heart of La Carihuela, the old fishermen's quarter in Torremolinos.

- Ventorrillo del Chato, worth the visit for the place alone (an 18th-century post house on the isthmus road between Cádiz and San Fernando), good bay fish.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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