Regulars of my blog will be thrilled to know that I have decided to knuckle down and test out my theory that “it’s cheaper to eat out then stay in”. So, after allowing the fridge to empty we spruced ourselves up (well, she did), buckled up and popped down to Mojacar Playa for a spot of dinner.
The original intention was to go to 22 in the Parque Comercial, but it was closed for a private function. Not for the first time either, the last 2 times I’ve tried to go there it’s been closed. So we went for a potter around the shops instead. Many bargains to be had there as the credit crunch bites harder, for example 30% off a €450 handbag, or 15% off a pair of €250 shoes. Obviously Mojacars hippy past has now truly died.
Having passed lightly over these temptations, we hopped in the car and started to drive along the playa. Ah ha! I thought. Let’s try Le Bistrot. So we did.
Le Bistrot is the end of a row of four small restaurants, in what I will always think of as “Solos”. Old timers (you know who you are) will recognise where this is. For the newcomer, it’s right at the beginning of the last block on Mojacar Playa, near Badgers. Next to Galas. OK? Right, let’s continue.
We were lucky in that we got the last table there; Le Bistrot has a large outside terrace, seating about 35 in all, plus a small indoor seating area that was empty. All nicely decorated and sparkling clean. A half open kitchen, so you could see the three chefs fight over the pans. While the seats at first glance seemed uncomfortable, they weren’t as bad as I feared. Lots of Spanish there, including a large table of 10 presided over by an elderly grandmother of 80 in black who looked delighted to have been included in the dinner plans. The children were loud, but not unpleasantly so, and when the older son (10ish?) started misbehaving he got two warnings then a clout round the ear from the grandmother. Rightly so.
The menu, pleasantly presented in an attractive cover, was simple and attractive. Complex dishes, but few of them. Which of course means that the chef can devote his attention to them without being bogged down. Bit of something for everyone, fish meat and salads. Also a large crepe menu. We like crepes.
The pleasant waitress came out, we gave our orders, and settled back. 20 minutes later, they turned up. Both delicious. L had the foie gras de Canard, I had the soupe de poissons, which came, surprisingly, with some sort of ali oli on the side. Not enough onions for my taste, but went down a treat.
The plates were cleared away and we spotted that a nice table at the front of the terrace had opened up, so we moved over there. I always enjoy watching the tattooed shaven sunburnt drunks stagger along the beachfront shouting “Engeeeeeeeeerland”.
55 minutes later the main courses turned up. A Filet Mignon de porc and a bergere, or crepe with goats cheese and salad. Again, both went down a treat. Since it was by now 11.30 we skipped dessert.
All in all, a pleasant dining experience spoilt only by the awful wait between courses. I don’t know why this should be, it was fairly full but there were two waiters and three chefs so they should be able to manage. But the food was good enough to paste over this problem and make me want to revisit again in the near future. But I’ll probably call up first to book the good table. And I really want to try their French cider, which I love.
44€ for two (no wine, but 5 canas).
As an aside, looking at the bill, I just noticed that they are charging 16% IVA (or TVA, as the bill is in French). IVA in restaurants should be 7%, so that’s 9% on top of the bill that’s not necessary – in my case, over €3. A word should be had in their shell like.