In one previous post I introduced bars in Valencia to you. I argued it’s pretty hard to get one’s bearings in a city that is now the Biggest Bar Jungle in Spain, and suggested one conservative but infallible alternative: stick to the oldest survivors in city thanks to basic time-proof drinks and meals. In this post I want to press the topic on but suggesting quite the opposite alternative and stick to the newborns in town: gastrobars.
Gastrobars: Evolution or Revolution?
Gastrobars are newborn both in time and concept, then polemical. Conservatives say they’re some unnecessary snob evolution of traditional bars that inflate the bill while deflate your stomach. Hipsters say they’re a much needed chic revolution against traditional bars while are pretty ready to let the bill inflate and stomach deflate for it.
To my mind, however, proper gastrobars are neither evolution nor revolution at all: they are just the popular arm of top innovative restaurants, bringing to you the perfect chance of enjoying an open degustation menu of their very own fortes in informal but chic places at prices that –all in all– are much more affordable than prices at their original restaurants –take a third as average.
Anyway, gastrobars are trendy all over the world and Valencia –leader in many things, bars included– couldn’t fail to have its pretty owns, as the four ones I’m introducing to you next: they don’t have the settled credentials of tradition but they have some innate pedigree indeed, as they come from the hands and heads of some of the most creative and consolidated cooks in town and far beyond.
Valencia’s Popular Arms
Madrid-Fusión-awarded chef Vicente Patiño opened -oleo in 2008, a promising top restaurant with an autonomous spacious anteroom in which you may enjoy his delicious niceties –half renewed tapas, half nouvelle cuisine proposals– in company of quality beers and selected cups of wine; add warm service and affordable prices, and you have an irresistible chance at hand, especially if you’re next to Valencia’s Seaport and the Formula-one Circuitry.
Michelin-Star-awarded chef Raúl Aleixandre has been leading his family restaurant Ca’Sento for the last years of fame, then widened his offer with Trenca Dish last year at a renewed two-floor house right behind the Serrano Towers. As the place holds now many different spaces at different heights, you can enjoy Raúl’s brand new proposal –a sea-culture menu made of a wide degustation of niceties, a main innovative dish and delicious chic deserts– while truly relaxing or taking care of your very own business.
Multi-awarded-all-over-the-world chef Quique Dacosta commands a pretty small holding over here under the Daco&Co trademark since he decided to widen his offer beyond his now legendary restaurant at Denia, that include two gastrobars at the core of Valencia: MercatBar right next Canovas Square and Vuelve Carolina right in front the Town Council.
Both offer, either piece by piece or as increasing menus, a wide selection of Dacosta’s Team classics –as the five freshly made ones above– as well as brand new proposals but, all in all, Vuelve Carolina seems a little bit more at first line than MercatBar, both in cook concept and setting –then you may choose according to your whims.
If you’re seriously into wine, then you’ll love to know that Vuelve Carolina’s sommelier is the Multi-awarded Manuela Romeralo, below, one of the top Spanish ones in wine and the first woman winning the World Habanosommelier Championship in Cuba, 2006 –a chance worth the visit to a gastrobar itself!