Sollun Restaurante, Nerja, Spain

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Restaurants / Spain / Travels

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While researching for our first trip to Nerja, Spain in 2015 I found dozens of restaurants, but one stood out for me and that was Sollun.  We must have visited eight or nine times during the course of our time spent in Nerja over the past two years.  We returned on Monday evening last, after a twelve month hiatus.  Owned and run by Head Chef Juan Quintanilla,  it is a fine-dining restaurant with Michelin Bib Gourmand status, and a casual and friendly atmosphere.

His style of cooking is precise and refined with meticulous attention to flavour and detail.   The Menu Degustación (Tasting Menu) which we ordered, is simplistically described  –   Snacks, Bread and Olive Oil, Starter, Fish, Meat, Dessert.  It is far from simple!   When this is ordered, he checks with the diners regarding allergens and personal likes/dislikes, and presents a meal derived from the main menu and also a few tweaks and surprises. He takes the time to serve the dishes himself and explains each element on the plate.

Our meal, as ever, was a delight, and the following is an overview of what we enjoyed. Having said that, some of the items may not be to everyone’s taste, but each to their own.

Snack – “Paella” – a Prawn cracker, made from prawn heads, pea purée, and mussel purée –  A clever take on elements of Paella in Amuse Bouche form

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Bread and Olive oil – In-house made toasted sesame bread sticks, white rolls, sea salt and a delicious local olive oil

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Starter – Veal Sweetbreads, Artichokes and a Wild Mushroom Sauce

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Fish – Grouper, Fideua (Spanish pasta) with squid ink,  lobster sauce and pea purée, garnished with dehydrated carrot

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Meat – Lamb with polenta cubes, aubergine and pumpkin purée

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Dessert – Black Pepper Meringue, Vanilla Ice Cream, Raspberry sorbet, blueberries and a blackcurrant gel

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Petit Fours – Chocolates with passion fruit centre

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The Tasting menu we had costs €40, and an extra €16 with the wine paring (which my Husband opted for).  Our bill, with some Cava and a Double Espresso, came to €120. Exceptional value for what we had.  If you have a special occasion or a little room in your holiday budget, I would highly recommend a visit if you are in Nerja.

Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill, Bryanstown, Drogheda, Co. Louth

Drogheda / Restaurants

Well, I suppose it was inevitable that I would begin this blog with a post about my “go-to” restaurant.  If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you could not possibly have failed noticed that little fact!  I haven’t written a post regarding The Eastern Seaboard in a number of years, so what better place to start than with our favourite neighbourhood restaurant.

On Monday evening, last, after a necessary shopping trip to town, we were feeling a bit peckish and just not in the mood to cook at home.  As it was still rather early in the evening (and the week), not having a reservation wasn’t a problem.  However, the restaurant was quite busy by the time we left.

To ease ourselves in to the evening,  I ordered a simple bowl of Lucques Olives.  Grown in the Languedoc region of  France, they have a firm, slightly sweet flesh but not overly so. When I say simple, they may look simple, but are the most delicious olives you will ever taste….. trust me!  My dining companion (Hubs) chose a glass of Pinot Grigio to accompany his meal.

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For his starter, Hubs chose from the Specials menu – Potato, Spring Onion, Callaghan’s (Bettystown) Black Pudding croquette, topped with The Wooded Pig Charcuterie (Slane) Salami slices, shavings of fennel and a quail egg, served with  paprika mayonnaise.  This dish really must make another appearance on future Specials menus.  It was packed with flavour from each ingredient, and brought together beautifully with the creamy mayonnaise.

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When it came to ordering a main course, I opted for a starter-sized portion of Garlicky Crab Claws from the main menu, while Hubs chose a “Special” –  Rib-Eye steak served with split Langoustines. and a side of fries. The sweet, soft-as-butter Langoustines were excellent partners for the medium-rare steak.

The crab claws (as with everything else at The Eastern Seaboard) are consistently good, and are served with two unadorned Crostini. These are perfect for dipping into the tasty broth in which the claws are served. 20170116_182206

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For dessert, Hubs decided to order “Eric’s Creme Caramel”, again, from the Specials menu, which was gently spiced with some Togarashi Salt.  He doesn’t order dessert as a rule, but was curious to try it.  “A definite winner” he declared!  I chose the Bread & Butter Pudding, warm custard, chocolate sauce and  served with vanilla ice cream, both desserts equally appropriate for a cold January evening.  We finished our meal with a double espresso for himself,  a macchiato for me, and  made our way home…..until the next time!

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Booking is advisable, especially at  weekends, and can be made either through The Eastern Seaboard page on Facebook, or by calling the restaurant directly.

I hope you enjoy if you visit, and I have a feeling you will!

A New Start, A New blog…

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I decided a while back to leave my recipe blog “Cakesbakesandotherbits” behind me, as I haven’t added any posts there since November 2015. My blogging mojo left me, not surprisingly, after my Dad died that month and year, and with all that came after. I just didn’t have the time, interest, nor the energy for working on recipes and photographing same. I had a rough old year in 2016 with health issues, but managed to overcome them, and still getting there with other things, which are ongoing. Anyway, enough of that!

As most of you already know, I love eating out, and finding the good and the great that this country, and beyond, has to offer. It suits me better to visit, and perhaps, or perhaps not, as the mood takes me, write a blog post about places I find.

All I ask, at this stage, is that you will bear with me…. I have lots of plans and visits in mind, and cannot wait to discover new restaurants, cafés, etc., and hope you like what I find, as much as I do.

For now, this new blog is a “Work in Progress”…..