You’re on holiday and you love trying local food and drink. Are there any restaurants in Restábal? Yes, there are two, not bad for a population of just over 400, is it? The great thing is that both are quite different one from the other.
Mesón Despensa del Valle
Despensa del Valle, eldest son José and his Mum, the chef
This restaurant is just 200 metres from Casa Tagomago on Calle Santa Ana. Run by a charming family, it’s a traditional eatery serving local dishes with the accent on home-cooked. Daily menu at 9 euros a head and 11 euros at weekends. Typical starters such as Remojón – Orange Salad, soups, gazpacho, salads or migas (see below) followed by grilled meats or delicious local stews or hotpots with pulses and vegetable. The Puchero de Hinojos (Fennel Stew) is a firm favourite that you’ll find in most local restaurants. Puddings are simple, mousses come in 3 flavours, lemon, mandarine and persimmon. For something sweeter still, try the Tarta de la Abuela – Grandmother’s Cake. Remember that many of these dishes are seasonal, they only make the orange salad with local oranges when in season, for example.
For a special occasion, order a leg of lamb or a suckling pig cooked in the wood-burning oven. Eat in or take out to enjoy on the patio at Casa Tagomago.
Succulent roast lamb. Eat in or take out. We took out to Casa Tagomago
The family also run the Bar Jovi upstairs. A typical village bar, lively and sometimes noisy but always welcoming. This is where they serve the best taps in the area, many prepared behind the bar by youngest son, Christian. A tapa of locally made, char-grilled chorizo with a good glass of Rioja or Ribera del Duero makes for a memorable moment.
Kitchen is open from 13.00 to 16.00 and 20.00 to 23.00. The bar is open all day. Restaurant and bar closed on Tuesdays. Be sure to book a table on Saturdays , Sundays and Fiestas.
Tasty dishes at La Marquesina, Photo credit La Marquesina on Facebook
La Marquesina is also a family concern about 5 minutes walk from Casa Tagomago, next to the new school. The restaurant offers “traditional cuisine with new flavours”. An excellent description. Fernando, the owner and chef, has worked in many prestigious hotels and restaurants around the country. Together with his wife and daughters, he opened this new venture not quite a year ago. The menu is imaginative and innovative. Starters include Garlic Prawns and Grandmother’s Croquettes. Mains of roast meat, grilled on holm oak charcoal, such as lamb from the north of Granada and T-bone steaks. They do a wonderful dish of cod too. To order, rice dishes and the traditional Migas – fried breadcrumbs with garlic, peppers and chorizo. Puddings are most tempting! See their menu here
Delicious cod gratin with roasted spinach
La Marquesina opens at weekends from 13.00 to 16.30 and 20.00 to 23.00. Booking advisable. They open by appointment for groups of more than ten.
Enjoying the views and the food on the terrace at Los Naranjos del Valle
Los Naranjos del Valle
, also family run, in the neighbouring village of Melegís, is only 1.2 kms from Restábal, so work up an appetite by walking there. Apart from the good food and friendly atmosphere, the big attraction of this mesón is its terrace. Such a pleasure to enjoy a leisurely lunch, whilst contemplating the views over the Valley. A plate of Remojón-Orange Salad, a fresh salad, soups, migas and a succulent roast pork knuckle really do have a special taste eaten alfresco. They have special “seasons”, fresh fish from the coast or a season of original rice dishes. As well as the stews mentioned above, their winter speciality is the tasty Olla de San Anton, a filling stew made with a mix of pork meat and local sausages with kidney beans and potatoes. Served on and around Saint Anthony’s feast in January, the Olla de San Anton attracts visitors from all over Granada in the winter. Dates vary. Like the other two restaurants, they base their menus on traditional recipes using local produce. They also sell sacks of oranges or lemons when their own trees are laden with the fruit.
Cardoon and Fennel Stew, sitting on the terrace at Los Naranjos, Melegís
Los Naranjos is open daily except Wednesdays. Make sure to book a table on Saturdays , Sundays and Fiestas.