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Verdi Vent – Top of My List of Unique Costa Blanca Restaurants
If you are looking for a special but typically unique “old world” Spanish restaurant in a fantastic location, read on. So many Spanish restaurants have now lost what everyone expects from a typical Spanish rustic restaurant – but not Verdi Vent.
It took the husband and wife team of Loretta and Stephane (who are German and Belgian respectively) to recognize this about 11 years ago and turn a semi-abandoned 300-year-old Spanish farmhouse into perhaps the most successful and memorable experience of dining that can be found anywhere. on the Costa Blanca – and it doesn’t cost a fortune!
So come with me on one of the most beautiful trips of the Valencia Region to the Jalon Valley and the small typical Spanish town of Jalon/Xalo (yes, like many towns in the Valencia area, the town has 2 names – normal Spanish and the other Valenciano) . From here take the scenically stunning winding road towards Bernia and its mountain range. The scenery is quite breathtaking and the drop off to one side a little scary (if you decide to look over the edge!). After about 7 kilometers we reach the small village of Maserof with only a few very old properties – the first of which is now a country museum (whose history is a fascinating story in itself – maybe I’ll tell you about it another day. ). This area is rural with capital R. There is no water or electricity. But don’t be put off!
Almost next door you could pass this building without a second glance as apart from a small insignificant sign saying ‘Verd i Vent’ it looks a bit like a very old unattractive farmhouse. Park in front of the building avoiding the rocks and climb the steep stairs with a chain handrail and enter through a rather flimsy gate. You are transported right back in time. This converted goat farm house retains many of its original features. As soon as the eyes are accustomed to the darkness, there are casks of wine; exposed stone walls; barrels supported on beams protruding from the wall apparently in times past for the storage of wine and olive oil; hooks on old walls for tethering animals; an open log fire in the colder months with a small pot of warm potato and herb salad; original handmade terracotta stone floors; a minstrel gallery where the farmer and his family slept. Takes you back decades and makes you wonder what life was like back then…
After being warmly welcomed by Loretta and shown to your table in one of several distinctly individual dining rooms, you’ll find there’s no menu as such – just an interesting 5-course meal that follows pretty much the same format every days with minor changes. The only choice is with the main course where you can have shoulder or leg of local lamb usually with herbs and honey from the surrounding mountains cooked in the oven or the choice of another excellent main course that changes regularly. On your table will be a casing of peanuts in their shell plus large carafe(s) of the local Jalon red wine, which are automatically refilled by the attentive staff when empty – all included in the set price.
Without wanting to spoil the fun of experiencing this great value meal, a typical meal would be warm potato and herb salad with local rustic bread; a huge grounds of excellent home-made vegetable soup, to serve yourself whenever you want; an interesting mixed salad and dressing that changes regularly; herb-roasted lamb shoulder; crepe with marmalade sauce and of course as much red wine as you want. To finish there is a complimentary glass of Muscatel sweet dessert wine also local. Complimentary coffee and mineral water. This excellent meal will set you back around €17 per head – really good value by anyone’s standards.
But before we leave another nice touch that adds to the atmosphere – an excellent Spanish guitar duo originally from Colombia who roam the restaurant playing and singing a wide range of Spanish music (and taking requests).
If you are looking for a chic, stylish and modern restaurant then this is not for you. However, if you what is excellent, quality country food and wine in a setting that will take you back a century or two, then this is your place.
Homemade products are for sale and local artists display their artwork for sale.
Open all year round for lunch only. Closed on Tuesdays. This year they open for the first time several evenings in July and August.
Verdi Vent is just inland of Javea, Moraira, Calpe and Denia. The area is great for walking or just taking in the sights; an interesting donkey sanctuary is nearby with many rare breeds of donkeys; The Country Museum is almost nearby; on Saturdays the famous rastro market stretches along the riverbank in Jalon nearby.
This restaurant is a must for anyone visiting this area.
Costs for the all inclusive meal around €17. Book early to secure a table (and just have a small breakfast before you go!).
Phone number (+34) 96 597 3413.
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