Habitus Restaurante, Birthday Sail & Dolphins on Christmas Eve


The week leading up to Terri-Lynn’s 53rd Birthday was a constant wind storm. So no sailing and very cold. We noticed there would be a nice break in the weather, 21 degrees (about 70 in Fahrenheit) with light winds so we planned a short getaway to Cabo Roig.

We enjoy dining out in Cabo Roig (they have especially good Indian Food) but the overall selection is casual especially at this time of year and we were looking for something in the category of fine dining. It is also by no means a Spanish town and it annoys me when I walk into a bar or restaurant in Cabo Roig speaking Spanish and they reply in English.

So we decided to celebrate her special Birthday dinner a few days early before the trip here in Torrevieja. Torrevieja has a much better selection of restaurants and is a true Spanish town. We have our favorite restaurants here but there are still a few new ones on the list to try. One of those is Restaurante Habitus.

Terri-Lynn had only one main request and that was a good steak. Steak here in Spain has been a bit, challenging. Frankly it tends to just be too lean. Coming from the States we are used to fat cows with lots of delicious marble providing flavor and tenderness. Also, often times the Spanish restaurants serve what we call “flat meat”. Most meats are sliced paper thin and grilled so it is impossible to get a properly cooked rare to medium rare steak. So I had my task. Find Terri-Lynn a perfect steak. She prefers what we used to call Filet Mignon which here is called Solomillo. I started looking at Instagram pages, trip advisor reviews, google photos and of course web sites. We have been wanting to try Habitus for over a year and the photos of the steak they have on offer looked perfect. Very Grueso! Or, thick.

Walking down the Promenade of Torrevieja to dinner. (We took our masks off for the photo)

We arrived to a very beautiful and elegant restaurant and were greeted with perfectly attentive service. We liked the upside down Christmas Trees hanging from the ceiling. Tonight I informed Terri-Lynn she would not have to look at the menu as I already had chosen the entire meal. She liked that, and she had no idea what was coming.

Our server brought over a complimentary glass of Cava, that was a very nice touch. For the wine I asked him to recommend something with “Grandes aromas, de final largo y mucho Duero!” Basically a big nose with a long finish and strong. He nailed it, it was perfect.

This reminded us of the Big Reds we would find in Walla Walla Washington which is not always typical here. $29 euros.

We started with a cold appetizer of goat cheese balls filled with nougat. Absolutely stunning presentation and with very delicious complex unique flavors. The night is looking good.

Goat Cheese Balls filled with nougat – $12 euros

Our next dish to share would be a hot appetizer. We like long multi-course meals and sharing a few dishes is a great way to enjoy a variety of flavors while not getting overly full and of course saving money. This dish was shredded duck coated in panko deep fried and placed atop dices of caramelized Rennete apples which is basically an applesauce and also a cherry demiglaze. It was amazing! We both really thought this is a winner.

“Semiesferas de pato desmigado” Shredded duck in panko bread served with dices caramelized rennet apple and a demiglaze of cherry. $12 euro

Now it was on to the main courses. As I mentioned Terri-Lynn’s only request was a ‘perfect’ steak. No pressure but she is very picky especially with how it is cooked which for her is medium rare. They did a fantastic job and we were quite impressed with the size. It was a solomillo of veal and a side of Bearnaise. It was served over roasted potatoes and a few grilled padrons. The salt flakes on top provided the perfect accent to each bite. She was very happy and at $21 euros I thought it was a very good value. It had a deep rich flavor and was very tender. She said every bite was perfect and she talked about it the entire walk home. The next morning she woke up saying that she had dreamed about it, it was one of the best steaks we have had so far in Torrevieja.

Solomillo de añojo. $21 euros

I wasn’t too excited about the main courses as I often find the starters to be a bit more creative and well presented. I like pretty food. There were a few fish dishes, some that seemed lighter then others and two lobster dishes. I discovered recently I am just not that big on lobster as it tends to be kind of boring. I also like exciting food! There is a very large steak called a Chuleton on the menu that might have appealed to me at one point in my life but these days I have not been too interested in eating that much meat. There was also a rack of lamb prepared the traditional way but I have had that dish so many times in my life that these days it too just seems kind of uninteresting. So I did something I almost never do, I ordered the chicken. It was a confit of half a bird and I loved it. Slow low heat roasted and finished on the grill. Maybe one of the best chickens I have had.

“Pollo Confitado” Low heat glazed free range chicken finished on the grill. $12 euros

As you can see the prices here are excellent. Which I really appreciate. Good quality food at a reasonable price. This will allow us to return more often.

They new it was Terri-Lynn’s Birthday so they surprised us both by bringing out a complimentary dessert. It was the Black Beer cake with cream cheese and it arrived with a firework blazing on top. I wasn’t expecting this so I was not able to get a picture of the sparkles but the cake was very nice though we immediately had it packed to go as we by this time were quite full.

The beginning of the evening with the complimentary cava

And that is the end to a perfect evening. The next day we would set sail for Cabo Roig to continue Terri-Lynn’s Birthday celebration.

Below are few other photos of our walk to dinner.

Torrevieja does a very nice job with lights during the Holidays

It was time to sail off for Terri-Lynn’s Birthday sail. We are going to Cabo Roig, it is lovely and quite romantic walking the promenade on the cliffs to dinner.

The promenade between the Marina and the “strip” of restaurants in Cabo Roig

It might be quite hilarious to see us walking towards the boat. It is like going between two homes. We carry a lot of stuff.

It was not much of a sail, no wind. So we used the engine the entire time and made it there in one hour and 15 minutes.

Obligatory arrival beer

The marina at Cabo Roig has a small private beach that Bisque Kitt loves to play on as there are always these small seaweed balls he likes to chase.

Seaweed Balls!!!!!!

That evening we walked to town and went to one of our favorite Indian restaurants, Shakira. It is an amazing value at $25 euro for two people. It starts with Pappadams and chutneys, any 2 starters, any 2 mains, any 2 rice and nan and a full bottle of wine. I blogged about it before so you can see the photos and better food descriptions here.

The next morning I woke up early to decorate the boat before Terri-Lynn got out of bed. This is appropriate too as last year Smiler, our sailboat was Terri-Lynn’s Birthday present.

I always do something special with the gift wrapping and there usually is a theme. This years theme is seahorses. During our 3 month quarantine we were not allowed to leave the house or go to the beach. When they let us out we walked the beach for the first time and found a dead seahorse which is very special. Recently, we found another one too. So I was able to find seahorse wrapping paper at a local print shop.

We eat most of our meals on the boat as there is a full kitchen. I knew dinner would be heavy, and last night was the Indian feast so we opted for a light shrimp avocado salad.

The other theme this year seems to be steak. Terri-Lynn was so concerned about having a good steak that she requested I purchase a back up in case the restaurant did not work out. I tried a new gourmet carneceria here and found a very nice piece of solomillo at a decent price. This is her actual Birthday night and tomorrow we would be sailing home so we brought in all the decorations from outside and redecorated the interior of the boat.

The next morning it was time to set off. It looked as if there was not much wind so I considered not even rigging the head sail.

It was Christmas eve and a beautiful day. Terri-Lynn brought a Christmas eve present on board.

We were almost back but there was still one final gift and this one was for both of us. We saw in the distance some very large fish jumping out of the water. It turned out they were not fish but dolphins. We have Christmas Eve Dolphins!

As usual it was an epic Birthday week for Terri-Lynn. We are loving the exploration of the Costa Blanca on our sailboat.

We arrived back in Torrevieja and if we had not had enough fun we took advantage of the beautiful weather on Christmas Eve and took a picnic out to our beach. (shhhh…. picnics are not currently allowed under the current COVID restrictions) It was bathing suit weather on December 24th.

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About XPLORE FILM and Sip & Stay

The Art of Life

Tony and Terri-Lynn met in 1987 as teenagers. In 1991 they were married.  Tony has been a professional musician his entire life and spent the 90’s touring and releasing albums.  In 2001 the couple left the cities and moved to a small community on the Oregon coast. This is where they fell into television production and film making. In 2004 Makai Ohana Productions was founded and the couple produced advertising and creative content for hundreds of tourism related businesses and government entities in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Realizing the industry was evolving towards the internet they re-branded the business in 2012 to Xplore Film.  This company would now be an international business producing films world wide as well as an NGO in West Africa where the couple provides clean water boreholes, scholarships and even a prosthetic hand project.

In 2018 Tony and Terri-Lynn with their dog Bisque Kitt packed the belongings they could carry on their backs and flew to Spain. They bought a home and planned to spend equal time between the two countries running the business.  Then Covid hit and the world closed.  By 2020 they realized Spain, and specifically Torrevieja was now home.  They bought a sailboat and started to create a life on the Costa Blanca of music, film, events and community.


Music from Xplore Film

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