Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Spain)
Quique Dacosta Restaurante opened its doors in 1981 under the name of elPoblet and slowly developed into one of the world’s most creative restaurants. The chef and owner Quique Dacosta arrived in 1989 and took over the restaurant 10 years later.
Pictures in cooperation with Shoot That Food.
The restaurant is located in a street facing the beach of Dénia, a small beach town near Valencia. The white building with its church-shaped tower oozes mystery and after entering the doors, a subtle loungy atmosphere welcomes the diners. Modern art is combined with humorous accents and the traditional Spanish atmosphere is well kept on the whole property.
Guests start with the aperitif on the sunny terrace or in the veranda, where the first nibbles are served. Once inside the dining rooms, you will be welcomed by empty tables which are slowly build during the meal. All unnecessary items are removed to optimize the dining experience.
Quique Dacosta was born in Caceres, but has lived in Dénia since the age of fourteen and considers this area of Valencia as his hometown. Quite remarkable and unlike many top chefs, Quique is completely self-taught. The chef is known for his innovations, his modern cooking style, his ecological research, his creativity and his business talent. Besides Quique Dacosta Restaurante, Quique also manages three restaurants in Valencia (Mercatbar, Vuelve Carolina & El Poblet Restaurante). The chef only uses ingredients from within 75 km of his restaurant and focuses on minimalistic, high flavoured dishes – often featuring only two or three ingredients in one dish.
The team at Quique Dacosta exists out of 35-40 persons and all of them are highly passionate about gastronomy. The dining rooms are managed by the charming restaurant manager Didier Fertilati, who welcomes guests as friends and is assisted by the maitre Giovanni Mastromarino. The wines are selected by head sommelier Jose Antonio Navarrete, who will surprise you with his excellent wine choices and his broad knowledge of wines and liquors. The kitchen is managed by Quique Dacosta himself, Ricardo Tobella (head chef), Juan Valiente (head chef of the creativity department) and 4 ‘Jefe de partida’ chefs. An impressive team that will guide you through one of the most remarkable gastronomical experiences in the world.
The chef and his team offers guests an extensive dining journey and it is highly recommended to order one of the menus. At the time of writing, two menus where available: ‘Local Univers’, a menu that consists of dishes that have been consolidated over time and represent the restaurant’s baggage in the form of tradition, evolution and modernity, and ‘Made in the Moon’, which offers a view on the chef’s current innovations, his culinary vision, his research and his passion for creativity. Both menus consist of around 30 snacks which are served in 5 or 6 ‘acts’ and these menus tell a story that is provocative, surprisingly creative and mainly based on the local terroir kitchen.
The passion for creativity is reflected in snacks such as the ‘Petals of roses’, which are in fact red dyed apple slices; ‘Stones of Parmesan cheese’, which are edible stones with parmesan cheese; and the ‘Hot Ice Cream’, where Quique plays with deceptive flavours, textures and temperatures (the ice cream is scooped from an ice trolley and seems cold but is hot, the vanilla tastes like potato, caramel is a chicken broth and the ‘ice cream’ is finished with a real cone). When proceeding throughout the menu, the dishes become more complex: ‘Protein of oyster’ exists of oysters in their own protein emulsion, spicy seaweed sticks and edible sand; the rice dish “Carnarolli” offers squab rice with beetroot foam and hazelnuts, squab liver and consommé. Beautiful!
Menu “Made in the Moon”
Modern Spanish cooking
1° Act: Snacks
Gin tonic of apple / Petals of roses
Roots of boletus
Dry leaf of sweet corn
Leaf of herbs in vinegar
Kalanchoe leaf with muslin of orange
Stones of parmesan cheese
Tomato in vinegar
Tomato in dry vinegar
Raïm del pastor
2° Act: Tapas
Crêpe of strawberries
Hot ice cream
Ravioli of cuttlefish
Coca of sweet corn
3° Act: Mains
Kefil of celery, dill and vodka
Protein of oyster
Red king of prawns from Dénia: boiled – tea of prawns and chards
4° Act: Meat
Rice “carnaroli” of duck beetroot and hazelnut
5° Act: desserts
Granite of yoghurt and blood orange
Cinnamon branch – Prunes
6° Act: The magic box
Crocante of almonds, Trufle of rum, Gold stones
The sommelier Jose Antonio Navarrete is one of Spain’s best sommeliers and demands respect with his excellent wine choices. A lot of Spanish wines, cavas and liquors are served, but there’s also a great selection of other international wines.
The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience
Quique Dacosta’s kitchen offers an amazing experience and surprise after surprise, guests become more and more astonished. Just like the famous El Bulli or El Celler de Can Roca, this restaurant offers one of the best retakes on the Spanish tapas kitchen and guarantees one of the best culinary experiences in the world.
Belgian Taste Buds:
– Food Buds 9/10
– Wine Pairing Buds 9/10
– Price/Quality Buds 8.5/10
– Service Buds 8.5/10
– Experience Buds 9/10
Quique Dacosta Restaurante
Ctra. Las Marinas, Km. 3. Urb. El Poblet
Phone +34 965 784 179
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