Bar Restaurante Donde Ricardo
Since coming to Spain we have been in search of, and making a list of our favorite Tapas bars and the restaurants offering the best value Menu Del Dia. Much of the menus tend to have similar offerings but vary in quality. Some have more courses, some only offer a glass of wine opposed to a whole bottle, some finish the meal with an after lunch drink. So when we find one where the food stands out, the price is low and the wine flows we make a note of it to come back. We found Donde Ricardo on our market day in La Mata.
We walked just a few blocks away from the tourist area of the promenade on the beach looking for an authentic Spanish restaurant. When we saw today’s Menu Del Dia, we had a feeling this might be it.
“Authentic” menus start with a mixed salad. On some of the pricier (tourist) menus the salad is only offered as a choice of a starter dish. So far so good. I have come to really like these very simple salads, just a bit of olive oil and red wine vinegar, not sure why but I actually look forward to it.
And sure enough when we ordered “Dos vino tintos” they brought out a liter carafe, oh and of course there was bread. Next up was the first dish.
We both enjoyed the first dish immensely! For some reason the white asparagus, though simple was just delicious and tender and my octopus dish was overflowing with meat and perfectly cooked. Ok, we’re full now. But there was still the main course to come.
So you can probably tell why we chose this place. When I saw Octopus as a starter and Rabbit as a main, of course I wanted to give it a try. Terri-Lynn usually orders the fish. She loved it and as you can see the portion is huge. I have become a big fan of merluza (hake) since coming to Spain, my new favorite white fish especially the loin, which this was not as it was a filet. My rabbit was in a garlic sauce, obviously as the name suggests and was absolutely delicious. Oh, and you’ll notice for some reason french fries seem to come with every main. Not exactly my favorite accompaniment but it is just the way it is in Spain. Next it was time for dessert.
I am trying to get used to this whole dessert thing. Terri-Lynn loves it as I rarely make sweets and we never order it out. So, she is very happy when it is included in the menu. Yes, I will admit they were both very good.
So there was no after lunch drink offered at this one. It is usually a liqueur of some sort such as Limoncello. They will often just bring a small carafe and you can help yourself to as much as you want. As you can see, $10 Euro for this entire 2 hour lunch experience is an amazing deal! It can be way too much food and most times they will allow 2 people to share one menu depending on the restaurant (however you will not get the full bottle of wine). For the most part the food in Spain is very simple and the list of ingredients small. The restaurants tend to have similar offerings and so what makes them different truly is in the preparation. The quality of the ingredients however is always high and the menus change daily as to what is fresh and in season.
I’ve been thinking about this place and I plan to go back. This Wednesday is market day in La Mata, I have a feeling I know where we will be having lunch. By the way, we have found two other restaurants in La Mata that also have excellent Menu Del Dias, more on that later.