What’s the story? The man behind the eponymous restaurant is the ever-dapper Quique Dacosta, a chef with more than 30 years’ experience leading the charge of Valencia’s increasingly dazzling culinary scene. He became obsessed with French cookbooks as a teenager and set about educating himself in the culinary arts. Today, his cooking pays homage to the fish, seafood and rice dishes of the levant to create tasting menus that artfully combine the traditional with the modern.
Culinary influences: Highly influenced by art and architecture, Dacosta’s food has always been sensational to look at, and his tasting menus come together in a series of theatrical tapas-inspired courses that elevate Spain’s edible ecosystem with clever innovation and advanced technique. In 2022, Dacosta embarked on a journey titled ‘For the Love of Art’, divided into four acts – one dedicated to his local area, one to the sea, one to tradition, and the final one to ‘sweet beauty’.
Menu highlights: A golden saffron fideua with razor clams, served cold and dotted with white petals; lobster roe salad elevated by an intense bisque poured from an iridescent sea snail shell; a meltingly tender blue fin tuna kombucha; and duck and smoked eel fragrant with rosemary – a nod to the nearby Albufera rice paddies and traditional paellas that remain close to his heart.
What’s the room like? An elegant, brilliantly white villa with marble floors, a glassed-in library and gardens growing the restaurants’ produce that still manage to exude Dacosta’s famous warmth and passion for his subject.