Quique Dacosta, Dinner

For a number of years I had wanted to visit Quique Dacosta’s eponymous restaurant(formerly El Poblet), but sadly, I had to scratch it from a few different itineraries for a few different reasons. So when I started piecing together Rocky’s and my euro-dining-trip this past fall, I made it one of the prime pivot points. And as long as we were making our way to Denia, Spain, I figured we may as well double-up. This post covers dinner from our first night in Denia. Click here for the next day’s lunch at Quique.

We drove into town after a few days in Valencia, played in the sea for bit, then walked along beach to dinner. We were encouraged to ‘start with the MENU “LOCAL UNIVERS” tonight then have the MENU “MEDITERANIAN FLAVOR” for lunch tomorrow’. We started our meal on the restaurant’s patio. It was a little humid, but overall beautiful.

Act 1: Appetizer.

quique dacosta cheese stick

Stick of smoked and fried cheese. These cheese sticks had an impressively delicate casing. The flavor was great, though a little sweet for a first bite.

quique dacosta marinated pancetta

Marinated Pancetta. Beautifully thin cuts of pancetta draped over steamed buns. Rocky exclaimed ‘Knocks the socks off David Chang’s’.

quique dacosta oak rind broth

Broth of oak barrel and Barceló “Imperial” Rum. Oak Rind. The oak rinds were light and crisp with a nice toasty smoke flavor. They were set off by an amazing savory consommé.

quique dacosta purple murex snail

Purple Dye Murex (sea snail)A very meaty sea snail served in a shell with a sweet broth to finish.

quique dacosta sea currant

Currant of the sea at moment. The broth had a strong sea/salt water flavor. The ‘sea currants’ had a great snap and were fun to eat.

quique dacosta blood orange endive

Mini endive and blood orange. Wonderful pairing of bitter flavors and acid. Brilliant use of citrus.

quique dacosta rain of pastor

Raïm of Pastor. Raïm of Pastor, which is found throughout the Valencian region, lightly pickled. These had a good crunch and nice briny taste.

quique dacosta seafood chips

Star Fish. Sea Urchin. Parsley and garlic Sea weed. Three different sea themed rice crisps, each flavored with their respective inspirations. The stars had a savory powder that made me think of SpongeBob Doritos. The sauce on the urchins was great. The parsley chips tasted like a snack an old roommate of mine used to have shipped from Japan. Sadly, the crisps weren’t terribly crispy, likely due to the humidity they were served in.

That concluded ‘Act 1’, and we moved inside for the remainder of the meal.

Act 2: Table of cured fish.

quique dacosta delicatessens

Delicatessens. (Bonito, ling fish, sea bass, dry octopus) A plate of salt-cured and dried sea fare. The bonito was like a fish jerky. The ling fish, or mullet, roe had a good gummy chew with a bitter finish. The sea bass roe was delightfully salty. The cured and flamed octopus had a nice strong char.

quique dacosta cereal paper

Paper of Cereals. A thin cracker of grains to accompany the cured plate.

quique dacosta pickled onion

Pickled onion. Acidic allium bites were great between the dense salty fish and roe.

quique dacosta fig

Fig. Dehydrated fig crumbles in rice paper packets. They tasted like fig flavored Lucky Charms marshmallows.

Act 3: Tapas.

quique dacosta bloody mary

Mary. Though I don’t like the taste of Bloody Marys, this little dish was impressive. An amazing thin shell holding in remarkable Bloody Mary flavor. Alongside a lovely slice of celery.

quique dacosta pepperwort

Pepperwort. We were instructed to first eat the leaf and the fish together, but to save a piece of the leaf to eat alone. On its own, the leaf had a crazy horseradish/wasabi type spice. Though with the mackerel, the spice was neutralized by the fish’s oil.

quique dacosta dove nest

Dove nest. Faux eggs set in nests. Based with yolks and flavored with truffle and olive. The smooth texture of the eggs were great against the crispy nests.

quique dacosta campari apple tart

Apple tart and Campari. The apple cake had a fun disappearing quality. The small flower gave a pleasant mellowing chew to balance the in-your-face bitterness of the Campari granite.

quique dacosta paprika pork jowls

Pork jowls and Paprika. The crisps underneath had a little sweet that was good with the melt-away fattiness of the pork jowls.

quique dacosta red pepper

Red pepper. ‘Piquillo peppers’. My first comment after trying this was ‘It tastes like watermelon’. When we were asked what we thought it was, I nailed it. Dehydrated watermelon with mustard seeds.

quique dacosta cococha

Cococha of Iberian ham and pilpil sauce. I wish I had been familiar with Cococha(a fleshy part of the jaw of cod) before trying this faux version so I would have had more appreciation for it.

quique dacosta smoked bread

Smoked bread. To accompany the ‘Cococha’.

Act 4: Mains.

quique dacosta tomato water

quique dacosta dried tomato water

The water of dried tomatoes. Fantastic ice flavored with sun dried tomato. Great restrained savory taste.

quique dacosta cuba libre

Cubalibre of Foie Gras, lemon, rocket salad with Rum Barceló Imperial. A gel of Coke, rum, and lemon, emulsified with foie gras. This was a big, rich wow. I think the acid from the Coke kept it from being too over the top.

quique dacosta haze

quique dacosta the haze

The haze. A striking compilation of peas, pork, and mushroom served over aromatic moss and pine. The ‘fog’ added the to the idea of a walk in the forest.

quique dacosta prawns

quique dacosta king prawns

Denia Red king prawns. This was our first encounter with Denia’s famous prawns. Since we were going to have the menu preparation of prawns the next day, they were served to us very simply: boiled in seawater, accompanied by sea salt. Meaty, sweet, exquisite.

quique dacosta mullet

quique dacosta red mullet

Red mullet with incrustation of its guts with eucalyptus. A very meaty piece of red mullet dressed with a killer sea urchin sauce. Topped with flat beans tossed in eucalyptus oil.

quique dacosta rice senia ashes

Rice Sénia, ashes. Black Senia rice with black truffle and braised pigeon liver. Holy smokes. This was intense; probably the hardest hitting dish of the trip.

quique dacosta bread service

Bread service with Act 4. Five flavors of breadsticks: traditional, parmesan, pesto, white truffle, and soppressata.

Act 5: Desserts.

quique dacosta citrus fields

Citrus field. Various local citrus treated and presented in various ways. Lovely variations of tastes and textures.

quique dacosta milk

quique dacosta milk dessert

Milk. A solid milk skin served over gelato and pastry.

quique dacosta the tree

The Tree. Pompon of dry fruit, chocolate caviar, both served in rice packets. Red fruit crystal.

quique dacosta magic box

The Magic Box. Soft chocolate macaron. Chocolate and passionfruit marshmallow. Chocolate Rocher with nice crispies inside.

Quite an amazing first meal we had at the hands of Quique Dacosta and his team. To see what they served us for lunch the next day, click here.

Some wines we were served:

quique dacosta winequique dacosta winequique dacosta winequique dacosta winequique dacosta winequique dacosta winequique dacosta winequique dacosta winequique dacosta wine

And Rocky wants to make sure anyone that actually finds this page and scrolls this far down knows that she caught a small lizard on our walk back to the hotel.

quique dacosta lizard

Date of visit: September 18th, 2012

Quique Dacosta. Ctra. Las Marinas, Km. 3. Dénia, Spain. +34 965 784 179.  http://www.quiquedacosta.es/

1 Response to “Quique Dacosta, Dinner”


  1. 1 Steve Plotnicki December 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm

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Nice to stop off in LFK. I have always loved this city. Great lunch at @portfondalawrence with @thischickrocky

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