Wintertime in Spain – Meliá and Cookbook Hotel

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Hotel and restaurant stories by Jens Hoffmann.

Restaurant Beat by José Manuel Miguel

Today: Melia & Cookbook Hotel Calpe.

If you speak in the hotel industry of a hideaway, it is mostly a romantic hotel in an idyllic location.

The Meliá Villaitana Hotel is located in Benidorm near Alicante, based on a mountain, truly a seafront hideaway.

The “Beat” is a gourmet restaurant, which is not (yet) decorated with a star, but the Chef de Cuisine José is an experienced 2-star cook on the stove.

Lovely to be here, 20 degrees and bright sunshine.

A bright mediterranean space, the ambience is managed by Spanish casualness, the team and the chef de cuisine José Manuel Miguel is quite relaxed. He gives us a quick insight into kitchen and restaurant, the cooks work in separate areas and everything is transparent and open.
The tables are white, designer tableware is on the table, all of which does not look like a contrast to the mediterranean “Savoir Vivre”, but rather a harmonious installation.

The restaurant manager will guide us in the following hours – accompanied by excellent, very special wines – through the menu.

Here we are – in the restaurant “Beat”.
We start with a glass of champagne, then fine warm bread with homemade butter and excellent sea salt.

In “tapas style” small, delicate things are served as welcome canapés.

Paired with a great Ximénez wine.

Mochi with guacamole and eel, macaron with black sesame, beef tartar.
As an “amuse bouche” fennel pannacotta with vermouth foam from the Vall de Xaló with orange juice and fish fry. Very interesting, varied and enjoyable.

Then goose liver crème brûlée with granny smith apple foam. The wine pairing is perfect. A Ximénez-Spínola 2015. The winery from Jerez de la Fontera has dedicated itself to the Ximénez grape.

The wines, sherrys and brandies are successful and well known all over the world.

The Exceptional Harvest 2015 is special, the wine ripens in old oak barrels and the result is an intense wine, the bouquet smells of figs, raisins and prunes.

The mouth feel is creamy and at the same time pleasantly fresh.

Everything was very tasty, small and avant-garde. A Spanish style menu.

The focus on my menu was fish. We are by the sea, the sea contains much joy and the kitchen of José contains lots of fish. For me it was boiled “San Pedro”. San Pedro with algae butter, white beans, sausage, zucchini and fennel. Wonderful.
This was accompanied by a beautiful white wine with a lot of depth and length, which combined mineral flavor with fruit.

After that beef. José has prepared the meat with black root puree, blue potato and cauliflower.

Delicate, light and natural aromas, in the glass we had a nice Spanish, heavy red wine.
Perfect pairing, a regional Spanish wine called La Garnaca de Mustiguillo.

The sweet final, chocolate filled with green apple-ginger sorbet.

Then espresso and another glass of champagne.
A perfect lunch.

Total: The exquisite dishes of Chefkoch José are for gourmets.

The press trip was supported by AR Diamond Hotels (Spain).

Living in style.