Quique Dacosta Restaurante – inventive
There is something about the Spanish restaurant scene that keeps us returning over and over again. Is it the tapas-infused philosophy, the Mediterranean flavours, the creativity, the delicious local wines or the terroir-based cuisine? Or all of these together?
Spanish restaurants have conquered a firm spot among the best restaurants in the world and keep surprising with a cooking style that never gets boring. Quique Dacosta Restaurante is one of them.
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. Chef Patron Quique Dacosta arrived in 1989 and took over the restaurant ten years later. Quique 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).
Quique Dacosta Restaurante 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 apéritif 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 built during the meal. All unnecessary items are removed to optimise the dining experience.
The Chef and his team offer guests an extensive dining journey and it is highly recommended to order one of the set menus. Two menus are 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 five or six ‘acts’ and these menus tell a story that is provocative, surprisingly creative and mainly based on the local terroir kitchen. Quique only uses ingredients from within 75 kilometers of his restaurant and focuses on minimalistic, high flavoured dishes - often featuring only two or three ingredients in one dish.
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!
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 Maître d’hôtel 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 four ‘Jefe de Partida’ chefs. An impressive team that will guide you through one of the most remarkable gastronomical experiences in the world.
It is truly impressive to experience the journey throughout Quique Dacosta’s kitchen and surprise after surprise, guests become more and more astonished. Just like the legendary 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.
Quique Dacosta Restaurante scored 89 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
By Sven & Adriaan
Quique Dacosta Restaurante
Carretera Las Marinas, Kilometers. 3. Urb. El Poblet
Phone +34 965 784 179