Thursday 28 August 2014

Lunch at Castell d’Empordà, near La Bisbal d'Empordà, Catalonia

 A historic castle-turned-hotel, Castell d’Empordà serves a fairly lavish lunch with a view for just under 20 euros before water and other drinks. The tables are laid out on a broad spacious terrace in the shadow of the medieval keep shaded by a modernist roof constructed from interlocking rusted iron discs. The set menu offers a choice of three dishes per course. For a starter, the salmon tartar is fresh, nicely dressed with lime and dill, and served with crisp radish, but the portion can be meagre. Among the main courses, the paella-like rice casserole contains generous chunks of fish and black sausage. It can be a little salty and some might find it bitter. Alternatively, the entrecôte steak, served with potatoes, is a big helping of juicy meat, typically cooked rarer than you ask for. For deserts, the creme brûlée is sweet, creamy and satisfying. Leaning heavily on Spain, the wine list is fairly priced For example, a bottle of Ruchel Godello Valdeorras - a crisp, clean, dry white wine - is good value at 17.7 euros.  Castell d’Empordà's good value lunch deservedly attracts plenty of punters and you'll enjoy the buzz, the history and the views across the surrounding fields. 8/10