Wednesday 27 August 2014

Restaurant La Cantonada, C/Del Bisbe, la Bisbal d'Emporda

Pretty much off the tourist trail and not open every evening, Restaurant La Cantonada serves superb, beautifully-presented Catalan food. This unpretentious eatery with unremarkable decor offers a three-course menu for 20 euros (includes desert/coffee and water), with supplements for certain dishes. Before you tuck into your starters, the gruff, but helpful, waiter will bring you some appetisers, such as a crostinis, topped with a tapenade, and a thick creamy soup in a small glass.  Among the starters, the gorgonzola ravoili with feta cheese, pesto and tomatoes is both excellent and filling. There is also a rich, thick and delicious, gazpacho-style dish, served with a big dollop of cream. It is quite sweet. The humous and parsley salad and the parmesan salad are both fresh and large.

For a main course, fish lovers will enjoy the suquet - a big chunk of monkfish and a fat king prawn doused in garlic, juice, sliced potatoes, olive oil. The flavours are great, but it is quite salty, so you will be craving water. Another good bet is the cod with apple sauce - a large piece of expertly-cooked, succulent white fish with a sweet sauce. The moussaka also gets good reviews. The deserts may not quite reach the same high standards as the rest of the meal, but are still very good. They include ice cream in a warm rich chocolate sauce, coconut and mango sorbet with cream and dates, almonds and bananas in cream. Each dish looks impeccable, is made with fresh ingredients and features an imaginative mix of flavours.  There is a selection of five local wines by the glass (between two and three euros each). These include a respectable dry white, which makes a good complement to fish. Although La Cantonada is a fine restaurant offering amazing value, it can lack buzz. 8/10