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Valencia Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


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I don't ever recall having undercooked shrimp or seafood in that part of Spain and certainly not at El Poblet. On the other hand, I don't know that I would recognize (or perhaps acknowledge) undercooking of such wonderful wonderful shellfish. They fare favorably with the prawns I've enjoyed raw and alive in Japan. As long as the chef knows what he's doing, I don't think it would be a mistake to serve these red shrimp raw, or almost raw.

I would not turn my back on C'a Sento to go to El Poblet, and perhaps the other way around as well. Both Denia and Valencia have destination restaurants and Valencia is the far more interesting place to be when not eating--especially when it's not beach season. Then again, I'm not a beach person and I've just returned from Puerto Rico where gettting undercooked seafood is never a problem. Hell for me, is a beach resort where the seafood is overcooked.

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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  • 1 month later...

Well i will give some comments on Valencia restaurants.

Ca Sento can be a wonderfull restaurant but Price/quality???? I think Sento thinks he's too smart and price is sometime a bit up to what you really get.

Casa Montaña is a wonderfull place and i think if you can eat in the table between the 2 spaces (old taberna and new and modern room) you will be delighted. Casa Montaña has one of the best wine list in Valencia.

Seu Xerea for me don't make points to be on a Valencia good restaurant list. Pretencious and sometimes even not so good (i went 2 weeks ago).

I will recomend Joaquin Schmitd in Visitacion 7, for me one of the best restaurants in Valencia BUT ... it will depend on the mood of Joaquin and how is the market. He makes a menu for every day so you will never know what you'll get, sometimes brilliant some others not but a restaurant to visit.

I will tell you also a small restaurant not snoby where you can have a good meal at a cheap price: LA CARAGOLA (Pza. Mosen Sorell,9) in front os Mosen Sorell small market Carmen will make some easy and simple meal with a good quality and a cheap price, nice for small budgets that look for price/quality

To finish 2 other nice and funny places:

MAIPI (Maestro Jose Serrano) near TORRIJOS. A place for simple food but good quality.

And in Cabanyal : CASA JOMI

Castell de Pop, 13 (In front of Guardia Civil) you will have their mojama and hueva the best of Valencia in a kitch place.

Hope to help you more and in 2 days i will be at la broche in Madrid.

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Well i will give some comments on Valencia restaurants.

Ca Sento can be a wonderfull restaurant but Price/quality???? I think Sento thinks he's too smart and price is sometime a bit up to what you really get.

Casa Montaña is a wonderfull place and i think if you can eat in the table between the 2 spaces (old taberna and new and modern room) you will be delighted. Casa Montaña has one of the best wine list in Valencia.

Seu Xerea for me don't make points to be on a Valencia good restaurant list. Pretencious and sometimes even not so good (i went 2 weeks ago).

I will recomend Joaquin Schmitd in Visitacion 7, for me one of the best restaurants in Valencia BUT ... it will depend on the mood of Joaquin and how is the market. He makes a menu for every day so you will never know what you'll get, sometimes brilliant some others not but a restaurant to visit.

I will tell you also a small restaurant not snoby where you can have a good meal at a cheap price: LA CARAGOLA (Pza. Mosen Sorell,9) in front os Mosen Sorell small market Carmen will make some easy and simple meal with a good quality and a cheap price, nice for small budgets that look for price/quality

To finish 2 other nice and funny places:

MAIPI (Maestro Jose Serrano) near TORRIJOS. A place for simple food but good quality.

And in Cabanyal : CASA JOMI

Castell de Pop, 13 (In front of Guardia Civil) you will have their mojama and hueva the best of Valencia in a kitch place.

Hope to help you more and in 2 days i will be at la broche in Madrid.

Thanks for the additions, La Caragola sounds good, I'll give it a try. I'm not that enthusiastic about Joaquin Schmidt, my experiences there haven't been very exciting.

By the way, wellcome to eGullet, we're looking forward for your comments about La Broche.

Edited by Rogelio (log)
Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Rogelio,

I would also suggest you to go to CASA JOMI, it's a place that could be in any Almodovar movie and they have a wonderfull wine list. The place is not trendy and not fashion but you will find many people from banks going there, it's not really to have dinner but more to have some "tapas" if we can call that "tapas" :huh:

Well i'm on the waiting list so i hope to be able to have a table, but i think it gonna be hard. Some other place to go to Madrid?

Edited by BlAuGrAnA (log)
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Well i'm on the waiting list so i hope to be able to have a table, but i think it gonna be hard. Some other place to go to Madrid?

It depends on what you're looking for. Viridiana, Antojo, Goizeko Wellington, Aldaba, Arce, Kabuki, El patio de Leo... Are among my personal favourites. There have been well reviewed here, try a search for this names on the search engine that apears at the top of the page.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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More Madrid places: Dantxari, Zaranda, El Fogón de Trifón, Sudestada, Imanol, Asador Ansorena, El Pescador, Combarro, La Castela.

And, in a simpler, cheaper vein, for food lovers who aren't into political correctness: Las Tortillas de Gabino, Alfredo's Barbacoa, Taquería del Alamillo, Maruzzella, The Wok, La Gorda, Gumbo, Don Lay.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Well at the end the person who is coming with me has decided to go to Kabuki so i will be able to give a brief impressions of my dinner.

I’m a proud fan of the Japanese cuisine and really waiting to see the result of this mix not in photos but in my mouth.

Still a pity that La Broche was fully booked for tonight.

Sorry for this OFF TOPIC with my madrid trip, so back to Valencia food. Please feel free to ask about restaurants in Valencia and i will try to give my opinion.

Regards

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  • 1 year later...

Any knowledge on the current state of the Mercado Central? Have all the renovations been finished?

What is the best time to visit there? El Cabanyal? How close is Casa Montaña to El Cabanyal?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Any knowledge on the current state of the Mercado Central? Have all the renovations been finished?

What is the best time to visit there? El Cabanyal? How close is Casa Montaña to El Cabanyal?

The renovations havent finished yet, but the market is working as always. The best time to visit it is in the mornings, the earlier the better.

El Cabanyal is within 5 minutes walking distance with Casa Montaña.

Edited by Rogelio (log)
Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Any knowledge on the current state of the Mercado Central? Have all the renovations been finished?

What is the best time to visit there? El Cabanyal? How close is Casa Montaña to El Cabanyal?

The renovations havent finished yet, but the market is working as always. The best time to visit it is in the mornings, the earlier the better.

El Cabanyal is within 5 minutes walking distance with Casa Montaña.

As always, Rogelio, thank you! Do the renovations make it difficult to get around? Any idea when they are expected to be completed? I have tried their website, but find it difficult to get around.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 3 weeks later...

I couldn't disagree more with your assessment of Can Roca. As 'de gustibus non est disputandum', so I will just stress here - in order to redress the balance - that to me and many others this is the best restaurant in Spain.

Possibly you should go more than once to such places as Can Roca, Ca' Sento or even Ca l'Isidre before making some sweeping generalizations...

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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I couldn't disagree more with your assessment of Can Roca. As 'de gustibus non est disputandum', so I will just stress here - in order to redress the balance - that to me and many others this is the best restaurant in Spain.

Possibly you should go more than once to such places as Can Roca, Ca' Sento or even Ca l'Isidre before making some sweeping generalizations...

I have been at Can Roca and Can Fabes 4 times. Presently Joan Roca seems ovewwhelmed. The new restaurant project, combined with catering business, combined with his teaching schedule and cook book projects seem to be taking a toll. The dishes are simply not well conceived or hastily conceived.

He is also letting his youngest brother Jordi cook main dishes. He may learn in time but the only dish by Jordi was a disaster.

Santi, on the other hand, has been better than ever. He has a certain rigor which in general is missing in top end Spanish restaurants.

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Santi is becoming the Ducasse of Spain. He doesn't cook anymore --not even in his base, Can Fabes--, yet his three restaurants maintain an excellent level all over the board, with a total of six stars.

That said, to me, Can Roca is right now the best restaurant in Spain if we look at their performance in the last three years. I'd keep an eye on Calima and, yes, Mugaritz.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I couldn't disagree more with your assessment of Can Roca. As 'de gustibus non est disputandum', so I will just stress here - in order to redress the balance - that to me and many others this is the best restaurant in Spain.

Possibly you should go more than once to such places as Can Roca, Ca' Sento or even Ca l'Isidre before making some sweeping generalizations...

I have been at Can Roca and Can Fabes 4 times. Presently Joan Roca seems ovewwhelmed. The new restaurant project, combined with catering business, combined with his teaching schedule and cook book projects seem to be taking a toll. The dishes are simply not well conceived or hastily conceived.

He is also letting his youngest brother Jordi cook main dishes. He may learn in time but the only dish by Jordi was a disaster.

Santi, on the other hand, has been better than ever. He has a certain rigor which in general is missing in top end Spanish restaurants.

i have also eaten at both can fabes and roca and their siblings, soon to return to roca for dinner in a few weeks and pop in for dinner at mr adria`s little place in rosas

but isnt santi also in the same boat with diluting to outside work, taking him away from evolving his cuisine like his books? evo in barcelona and madrid taking time and energy, perhaps its a safer fine dining experience at can fabes i grant you but for me its a little more exciting to eat at roca, in my own humble experiences,and the other great thing is roca has three people behind it.

this is like in paris in the sense that if you dine at ducasse the execution will be sublime, service without fault, but il be down the road sitting at gagnaires table to ride the rollercoaster :biggrin:

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He has a certain rigor which in general is missing in top end Spanish restaurants.

This is an oft-repeated (not just by you) generalization which, when contrasted with reality, isn't really true. Yes, kitchen organization in (a few of the) top French restaurants remains an example for the whole world to admire and to try to duplicate, but that said, the rigor of the culinary effort and the final results of what you get on your plate are not automatically derived from that apparently perfect, professional organization. Is there more rigor at Michel Bras' than at Mugaritz? Not really.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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He has a certain rigor which in general is missing in top end Spanish restaurants.

This is an oft-repeated (not just by you) generalization which, when contrasted with reality, isn't really true. Yes, kitchen organization in (a few of the) top French restaurants remains an example for the whole world to admire and to try to duplicate, but that said, the rigor of the culinary effort and the final results of what you get on your plate are not automatically derived from that apparently perfect, professional organization. Is there more rigor at Michel Bras' than at Mugaritz? Not really.

Actually the day we lunched there Santi was in the kitchen and literally working. We visited the kitchen, chatted with him (in French) but his attention was really focused on what was going on in the kitchen.

I agree with Victor that there is never a perfect match between abstract concepts and factual reality. One can take jabs at all generalizations with some fairness. What I meant by 'rigor" in Santi's cooking is that, he does show remarkable understanding of ingredients, what he has to work with, how to combine distinct tastes in the same dish, how much to transform a given product, and, most importantly, WHEN to stop transforming and WHEN to stop adding an extra element or taste component to a dish.

His dishes have extraordinary focus and clarity. So do some Roca or Aduriz dishes. Perhaps the reason I am calling Santi the best is because the sheer percentage of "really successful" dishes is higher there. Conversely, the less good dishes are still pretty good at Can Fabes whereas the other 2 chefs occassionally turn out dishes which are misconceived or conceptually interesting but not delicious.

Since I have never worked in a professional kitchen I can not say anything conclusive about it but Victor's point strike me as entirely plausible. It may be that, up to a certain point, the differentiation of tasks in the kitchen, I mean an increase in the division of labor, does help improve the overall quality. But, once a certain point or level of differentiation has been reached, further division imparts rigidity and a decline in quality (coordination becomes difficult. Dishes wait too long. Sauces get over reduced).

The other thing I never understand well is the following. Many celebrity chefs follow the Ducasse model but it seems that only Ducasse really pulling it off. I mean I ate there so many times when he was at the helm (early 90s) and sometimes we had 17/20 level meals but also 19/20 level. Cerrutti at Louis Quinze and Piege (when he was in paris) are also reaching similar levels. Worse meals are 3 stars level, but good ones are really upper end of 3 stars. Even the now defunct New York rest. of Ducasse was, in my opinion, the best Haute Cuisine rest. in the States. So why is it that Ducasse is succeeding in this model but others are not. Is he an organizational genius? Does he work twice as hard as others? I simply don't know.

As for Can Roca, I had liked him very much and sang praises for him in the past. I am crossing my fingers that what I have seen lately (and some others who may not want to say it publicly) is a temporary blip. After his visit, if Victor, whose taste and knowledge I admire, tells me so, I certainly will revisit them.

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I was only there once, and it was two years ago, but I still remember some of the dishes vividly. Santi was cooking when we were there and I was lucky enough to have the pulpitos.

Finally, Santi is a great saucier. Both the perigourdine sauce and the Burgundian winey sauce with the venison reminded me of the long gone days where, instead of squirting colorful but sterile liquids misleadingly called “sauce” from plastic bottles, chefs knew how to make a sauce and did not take shortcuts.

I totally agree about the sauces, I wiped each plate clean. One of the waiters caught me in the act, using my finger to clean up every drop on my plate. He laughed and said that Santi was delighted to see my plates coming back so clean. He later came out to say a quick hello.

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trip to hisop, this was my first time at this small restaurant hidden of diagonal and very much liked the subtle exterior, but on entering was a little less impressed, as it feels a little cold with such high ceilings and a long thin room, liitle distraction to break up the tunnel effect except roses on the far wall which didnt do much for me to the left is a serious red cabinet with sliding doors holding everything and i mean everything hoovers glasses the lot, nice tables and comfortable seats, and friendly front of house staff in a styled uniform that did make me wonder how they could cope with, in the heat of summer as its 3/4 length jackets,hey ho

onto the food which was offered in a menu written in english a nice touch( does make you wonder about the uk in that respect, im guilty of this too but with capital of culture on our doorstep here we do expect menus to be understood in english and nothing else or even poor english :biggrin: ) i will learn english one day

bouche avocado mousse, tomato seeds and roasted chicken shreds

fresh avocado, nice but nothing more

then a foie gras pan fried with mango tatin, balsamic ice cream and salad, a very generous portion i must say again nicely seared good foie, the ice cream didnt do anything for me as it didnt give enough to cut the richness of the liver

octopus with lemon grass had a nice stock and well balanced with the lemon grass kept well in check.

suckling pig confit with braised salsify and foie thickened cream sauce, had a lovely crisp top and very good salsify, one of my favourite veggies this one.

a good dish but god it was rich i couldnt finish it perhaps it was all that bubo financiers id been snacking earlier!

had pigeon with spiced skin and roast whole pear and anise sorbet, the bird was very good tasted a little like the coating you get at can fabes on his pigeon dish, though for me the combo didnt work so enjoying the sorbet as a cleanser before the bird was better and the jus again very deep and rich

pre dessert

quite acidic lime soup with a mint granite certainly made you sit up, on looking around the room the 2 tables close by didnt eat this as it was too much acidty for them

dessert

ok went for the pistachio cake with lime ice cream, got the feeling the milk was infused with the zest, the cake was light almost like a fondant style preperation executed well

petit fours and coffee and teas, well im sorry but they were rubbish

gin and tonic in a test tube with out the gin the waiter smiled whats the point??????

there was also a panna cotta with light cardamon jelly yuk!

and a truflle( dear hisop please buy these from bubo)

as for service was ok not great, had the feeling they needed one more on the floor to cope better as tables had long lapses before attention including our own and then the dreaded happened which drives me bonkers- the aliens come down and whisked away all the front of house staff to wash glasses in a little place left of mars

I just couldnt get anybody`s attention and trying to pay the bill became too long an affair, we began joking with another table in the same situation, my god runners would be so easy from here

so this tainted my view of hisop i must admit though it is good value for money and friendly place to dine with some nice ideas and good produce icouldnt choose to dine here over alkimia or moo or cent or even abac if on avery short stay

perhaps be a good lunch stop

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Hey guys, I wondered if I might pick your brains RE my planned trip to Valencia.

I'll be travelling with my partner and two kids (3 1/2 and 6 months old), probably in early September and we have been yearning to find a holiday destination which ticks the following boxes:

Direct air flight from manchester (transfers and airport delays with children are awful).

Relaxed family atmosphere with is good for kids.

Good weather, but not too hot.

Parks and ideally a beach to let said kids run wild for extended periods.

Wonderful food which is accesible to people with, yes, kids.

A city which is cosmopolitan and is accessible to visitors but without being too touristy.

You know it's scary to note almost all those points above revolve around children. I guess you realise when you become a parent that you being happy depends on making sure they are happy...

Anyway, I had really wanted to take my girlfriend to Italy but couldn't get easy flights to the places I wanted to visit (Bolgna etc) and I checked out Valencia because my mum is due to visit soon, and because an old friend lived out there for several years.

I was delighted to see that not only does the city have a beach nearby and some fantastic parks (and a world-class aquarium!) but it also seems to be making a name for itself in gastromic terms. Result! Against all the criteria listed above it seems it could be the perfect place.

My question to you good folk of eGullet though would be where should we go to sample the best culinary delights of the city but with kids in tow?

Our youngest will sleep anywhere so no problem. Our eldest is generally pretty well behaved but I would prefer places that welcome having kids in there rather than just tolerating them (that goes for fellow diners as well as the staff) and generally that rules out formal stuffy places.

Also, we have to get the kids down for around 7-ish so we will probably just remain in the hotel to eat and drink in the evening. The key therefore is places for lunch or informal daytime eating. We would like to feel that we had maybe found places only locals no, and eaten the "proper" cuisine of Valencia.

I'm not one for ticking "must-do" places off a list so I'm happy to avoid the big names and "talked about" places if someone can steer me to the hidden gems.

Thanks in advance for all your help on this. I hope I can return the favour if any of you should decide to visit Manchester!

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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I think Valencia is the perfect choice for your needs. My wie and I frequently saw and walked past things that made us wish we had our children with us. The Gulliver playground in the Turia Park should be do not miss.

One place in Valencia that should be a great lunch option for you is Casa Montaña. The food is superb. I would also strongly suggest at least one paella lunch. I wrote about Levante here. It is an excellent option if you should have access to a car. If not, there are a number of paella restaurants near the beach. While I can't personally recommend any, I'm sure that others here can.

Speaking of the L'Oceanografic, there is a restaurant in there that is actually pretty well regarded. The diners are surrounded by the denizens of the deep. It might be perfect for you and your children.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Spanish restaurants are usually children friendly, and in Valencia this is more obvious on the paella specialized ones.

The best paellas in Valencia city are found on Casa Roberto, but there are lots of popular places in La Malvarrosa beach area.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Off topic food-wise, but most Spanish hotels can easily arrange babysitting if you give them a little notice.

If you were able to do that I would say that Ca Sento is a must. Our meal there was one of the best I've ever had.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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