Friday, March 8, 2013

El Faro de El Puerto

It's been a bit of a slow week - the rain has kept everyone indoors and cabin casa fever has set in. My riding lessons were cancelled, but I did have sevillanas (feria dancing) lessons and I started a conversation language class, so those are keeping me busy and feeling sufficiently Spanish. The sun has finally come out and I'm hoping that it stays for the weekend, or better yet, until next winter. I know I've said it before, but I am more than ready for summer. 

Graham and I don't have any big plans for tonight, probably just a walk with the dogs (they desperately need a trip to the playa to run off some of the crazy) then dinner at the casa, maybe a bottle of vino, and a movie or catching up on some tv shows. We're not always so boring...

Last Friday night, we went out to celebrate a friend's birthday. Since it was a special occasion, we put on our fancy pants (actually, a dress for me) and hit one of the classiest restaurants in town, El Faro de El Puerto. If you are in the area and you want to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or just indulge, this is the place.

The restaurant is surrounded by a gorgeous garden, but since our reservation was for 9 (early by Spanish standards), it was dark and I have no pictures. Good excuse to come back this summer, when the sun will still be out at 10 pm. Oh, summer, where are you?!

Not to worry, the inside was just as lovely. The decor - elegant and sophisticated. The service - topnotch. Waiters in tuxedos, attentive and friendly, were quick to visit our white-linened table when needed and quietly out of the way when not. Perfect. They were happy to answer questions, make suggestions, accommodate one of our friend's gluten-free diet, and even heated up baby food for another friend's child. 

That would be considered excellent customer service in the States, in España, it's almost unheard of. 

El Faro means "the lighthouse".

For starters, our table shared a terrine of octopus, a platter of warm vegetables, a selection of Spanish cheeses, and of course, jamón. 

My main dish was cod in a light sauce with asparagus and artichokes. All of the food was fresh, regional, but not your typical Andalucian fare. Complex sauces, interesting flavor combinations, pretty presentation, and not a piece of fried seafood or french fry in sight. 

Our group was seated in the main dining room near a live olive tree, but there were several different areas, including a (slightly) more casual bar, and a tasting room called "La Bodega". What a fabulous area for a private party. And very conveniently located next to the cheese selection...

For anyone in El Puerto, the restaurant is easy to get to (on one of the main roads), and they even have a website. The menu is modern, but not avant-garde like Aponiente, and has options for almost any palette. Keep in mind it's a splurge, but this is no simple venta, and trust me, it's worth it. 

Where do you go to celebrate? 


  1. Never went there when I lived in puerto, but often passed it and wondered what it was like inside so good job! Looks lovely. But I have a question – how does that olive tree stay alive without the sun?

    And my favourite eatery puerto side had to be el horno pizzeria opposite el centro inglés. Good god the pizzas were good!

    1. I'm not positive about the olive tree - maybe a skylight? Or some sort of fancy magic? And El Horno is one of my faves! I always order a pizza, tell myself I'll have leftovers, then proceed to eat the entire thing because it is so dang tasty.

      Loved your post on Ronda, by the way. Great town!



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