Verdi Vent – Top of My List of Unique Restaurants on the Costa Blanca

If you are looking for a special but typically unique “old world” Spanish restaurant in a fantastic location, read on. Many Spanish restaurants have now lost what everyone expects from a typical Spanish country restaurant, but not Verdi Vent.

The husband and wife team of Loretta and Stephane (who are German and Belgian respectively) recognized this some 11 years ago and turned a 300 year old semi-abandoned Spanish farmhouse into probably the most successful and memorable dining experience to be found anywhere. . on the Costa Blanca – and it doesn’t cost a fortune!

So come with me on one of the most beautiful trips in the Valencian Region to the Jalon Valley and the typically Spanish little town of Jalón/Xaló (yes, like many towns in the Valencia area, the town has 2 names: normal Spanish and the other Valencian). From here, take the picturesquely impressive winding road in the direction of Bernia and its mountain range. The scenery is quite impressive and the drop to the side is a bit scary (if you choose to look over the edge!). After about 7 kilometers we come to the small hamlet of Maserof with only a few very old properties, the first of which is now a rural museum (whose history is a fascinating story in its own right, maybe I’ll tell you another day). . This area is rural with a capital R. There is no running water or electricity. But don’t be discouraged!

Almost next door, you might walk past this building without looking twice, as apart from a small insignificant sign saying “Verd i Vent” it looks a bit like a very old and not very welcoming farmhouse. Park in front of the building avoiding the rocks and walk up the steep steps with a chain rail and enter through a rather flimsy door. You are immediately transported back in time. This converted goat farm retains many of its original features. Once your eyes adjust to the gloom, there are barrels of wine; exposed stone walls; barrels supported on beams protruding from the wall presumably in bygone times for storing wine and olive oil; hooks in the old walls to tie up animals; an open log fire in the cooler months with a small cauldron of warm potato and herb salad; original handmade terracotta stone floors; a gallery of minstrels where the farmer and his family slept. It takes you back decades and you wonder what life was like then…

Having received a warm welcome from Loretta and shown to your table in one of several distinctly individual dining rooms, you’ll find there’s no menu as such, just an interesting 5-course meal that follows the same format every day with slight variations. The only option is with the main course, where you can have local lamb shoulder or leg, usually with herbs and honey from the surrounding mountains cooked in the oven, or the choice of another excellent main course that changes regularly. An intestine of peanuts will be on your table in their largest carafe/s of local Jalón red wine which are automatically refilled by the attentive staff as they are emptied, all included in the set price.

Not wanting to spoil the enjoyment of experiencing this great value meal, a typical meal would be warm potato and herb salad with local rustic bread; a large terrine of superb homemade vegetable soup to help yourself as many times as you like; an interesting mixed salad and dressing that changes periodically; herb-roasted lamb shoulder with vegetables; crepe with jam sauce and of course all the red wine you want. To finish, there is a glass of sweet muscatel dessert wine, also local. Extra coffee and mineral water. This excellent meal will set you back around €17 a head, really good value by anyone’s standards.

But before I leave another lovely touch that adds to the atmosphere: an excellent Spanish singing guitar duo originally from Colombia who roam the restaurant playing and singing a wide range of Spanish music (and taking orders).

If you are looking for a fancy, fancy, modern restaurant then this is not for you. However, if you’re looking for great, rustic food and quality wine in a setting that will take you back a century or two, then this is the place for you.

Homemade products are for sale and local artists display their artwork for sale.

Open all year for lunch only. Tuesday closed. This year they also open for the first time some afternoons in July and August.

Verdi Vent is just inland from Jávea, Moraira, Calpe and Denia. The area is excellent for walking or just enjoying the views; an interesting donkey sanctuary is nearby with many rare breeds of donkeys; the Museo del Campo is almost next door; On Saturdays, the famous El Rastro market stretches along the riverbank in nearby Jalón, below.

This restaurant is a must for anyone visiting this part.

All-inclusive meal costs around €17. Book ahead to reserve a table (and just have a small breakfast before you go!).

Telephone (+34) 96 597 3413.

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