No doubt El Poblet* is one of the best restaurants in Valencia. The visionary approach of founding father Quique Dacosta combined with the vibrant city vibes and the competent team creates magical moments for foodies. We just can’t imagine a better start to discover Valencia than by having lunch at El Poblet*. Continue reading to discover the story.
Restaurant El Poblet*, Valencia
It’s unlikely that founding father of El Poblet Quique Dacosta needs an introduction to our readers, as he’s one of the most famous and respected chefs in Spain. His main restaurant Quique Dacosta in Denia has been awarded with the most renowned prizes like Michelin*** and a top ranking in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. His cooking style could be described as highly creative and refined, with great respect for top quality produce. Such a signature style is suited to create spin-offs, that have their own personality. So that’s what you see in Quique Dacosta’s other culinary concepts Mercatbar, Vuelve Carolina en El Poblet.* All those restaurants have their own personality, but it’s clear that Quique Dacosta leaves his mark on all of them in a unique way.
The concept of El Poblet in Valencia
El Poblet opened in Valencia in 2012. It takes its name from the original Denia restaurant, now Quique Dacosta Restaurante. Quique Dacosta has selected a top team to implement the masters vision, which is to bring his cuisine closer to the capital through a new haute cuisine proposal. The kitchen of El Poblet is lead by Head Chef Luís Valls Rozalén and Executive Chef Ángel Garcia Martínez.
The restaurant develops a market cuisine that is innovative and committed, always faithful to the philosophy of its mother house, the 3 Michelin stars in Denia.
Dining at El Poblet is all about experience. That’s why they provide you with really cool postcards when you enter the restaurant. And if you’d like to share your experience with friends or family, the restaurant is so kind to send out the postcards you’ve carefully written during the lunch or dinner. If you’re not into writing anymore and if you’d prefer to create social postings, that’s of course also fine. You can use the hashtags #therealfoodporn and #underpleasure to share your experiences online.
Creative and stylish interior design
El Poblet is hidden behind a facade with impressive artistic white doors. Once you’ve found the entrance, you go up the stairs and enter the cozy, classy and fun atmosphere of the restaurant. Immediately we get a warm welcome by the vibrant and professional team.
The interior design bursts creativity, but is in the same time in perfect harmony, using a combination of bright colors, black and white and some funky details. Even the tableware fits both the interior and the food perfectly.
Very charming is the small patio and the fancy bar, and even the toilets are worth a visit as they make you feel you’re in a a luxurious kind of jungle.
The Menu at El Poblet
Now we can definitely say all the elements for the perfect fine dining experience are present (great team, top-notch interior design and a nice atmosphere), we’re certainly ready to try some amazing food. As it’s lunch time we choose to try the smaller “El Poblet” menu, that consists of 9 courses. There’s also the extensive “Menú Ciutat Vella” of 12 courses available, as well as a la carte dishes.
We start with a sequence of unique snacks. This dish is built up around the concept of Vermouth Time. It refers to the Valencian tradition of enjoying a glass of vermouth and a snack like olives. First we are served a cocktail made with orange juice, vermouth and mango. That drink is just perfect to accompany the next couple of mini courses.
The first dish is all about black olives, combined with a touch of horseradish and green olives.
Then we taste an almond mousse, tender almond and fried almond.
This is served in a combination with nougat, prawn and edible paper.
We continue with smoked mackerel.
The next appetizer is pickled tomato.
Cuttlefish is up next.
We can also try different structures and textures of sardines.
Last but not least there’s sea urchin on the plate.
We continue with green tomato soup, emulsified with fresh herbs and ‘pato prawn’.
Cuba Libre of foie gras, what a name for a dish. It tastes just as pleasant and fun as it sounds, as we are surprised with cream of foie gras and gelatin, made of cola. It’s topped off with frozen lemon. So yes, that’s why it’s called cuba libre of course. 🙂 The creation is served with tasty brioche bread.
A famous classic of Quique Dacosta is the Red King prawn from Denia, combined with swiss chard tea. The latter is a flavorful soup to drink after you enjoy the subtle taste of the prawns.
We go on with grilled red mullet with citrus juice, pumpkin and panko with dried tomato. To accompany this dish we are served little cups with tiger milk – a variety on horchata, the famous local specialty – which softens the feeling in your mouth.
Another classic on the menu is ‘The Haze’. Before the dish is brought to the table, a box with herbs is presented. By pouring hot water on the dry ice, steam is created and the fantastic smell really tickles the taste buds. Then it’s time to taste the creation of young and ripe green peas, pine nuts, cured pork lardons, mushrooms and ham stock.
Of course Valencia is well-known for its rice and the creation of senia rice with seaweed and baby cuttlefish, sea nettle emulsion and its ‘socarrat’ might be the best you’ve ever tasted. Socarrat is by the way the rice that is on the bottom of the pan and that’s just a little burned. People would kill just to get that part of the paella. So at El Poblet everybody is lucky as we all get a piece of socarrat. 🙂
Save the best for last? The mean course is caramelized ‘Guirra’ ewe sweetbreads, roasted onion and Chufa (tiger nuts) milk. Again… Full of flavor and refinement.
Pumpkin might not be an ordinary ingredient for a desserts, but at El Poblet it works perfectly. The dessert is soft, creamy and subtle in taste.
Too end the lunch we are spoiled with tea, coffee and petit fours.
We were also pleasantly surprised by the selection of wines of the sommelier, so please see the line-up below.
If you like fine dining and creative gastronomy, restaurant El Poblet should be on your list with must visit places in Valencia. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is very pleasant and the design is also interesting.
More about Valencia
Want to know more about Valencia and where foodies should go? Read our reviews on the One Shot Palacio Reina Victoria 04 Hotel or the Caro Hotel in Valencia. More gourmet inspiration can be found in the article about must visit gourmet places in Valencia. We can’t wait till we get the chance to visit the city again.
Restaurant El Poblet, C/Correos nº8 planta 1, Valencia, Spain | (+34) 961 111 106 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.elpobletrestaurante.com | facebook.com/elpobletrestaurante/ | instagram.com/elpoblet_qd/