BaQvs


BaQvs is Luis Gutiérrez’s new restaurant located in the Hotel Casas de la Judería, one of Seville’s most historic and fascinating architectural ensembles. The restaurant occupies three spaces in the hotel – a walk-in restaurant/tapas bar at the front, a second dining room inside, and a gorgeous colonnaded patio with a marble fountain and potted greenery – one of the prettiest patios in town. The front room is divided between the restaurant section (tables with tablecloths etc) and a more basic tapas section with tall tables and chairs. Wooden floors, beamed ceilings and padded wall coverings produce an ambiance that is both picturesque and luxurious.

Cuisine is Spanish/Mediterranean and ranges from simple traditional dishes such as ensaladilla and croquetas to more modern and elaborate dishes, either as plates for sharing or smaller tapas. The standout dish for us was a timbal of Jamón Ibérico de Bellota – definitely worth going back for. There is also an excellent wine list, including a wide range of sherries.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Santa Maria La Blanca 5
Tel 657 539 132
Open 12.00 – midnight
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 9 | Ambiance 8

bric-wrapped prawns with hierbabuena and tartar sauce

buñuelos de pescado (fish fritters)

timbal of jamón Ibérico with seasonal veg

the timbal opened up

chipirones (small squid)

the patio

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Zoko Sevilla

Zoko in Sevilla, opened in November 2016, is the latest venture of Argentinian chef Peter Alexander, expanding his group of restaurants (the original Zoko, el Vermut, and Zocarrá) in Zahara de los Atunes. The Sevilla restaurant provides a fusion of their typical local specialities (tuna and rice dishes respectively) together with Japanese and Peruvian influences.

Decor is typical hipster, with chalkboard walls, mismatched tables and chairs, but refreshingly with very helpful and friendly young wait staff. Be sure to check out the daily specials. We loved the tortillita de camarones – we were instructed to fold it in half and eat it like a taco. Tuna and coconut milk croquetas were lovely, topped with a sliver of cured tuna heart. Not everyone’s cup of tea (the tuna heart), but I love it. It’s really a nice casual spot and I hope to be back soon.

Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Marqués de Paradas 55
Tel 954 963 149
Open 13.00 – 17.00 / 20.00 – midnight
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

tuna & coconut milk croquettes topped with cured tuna heart

tortillita de camarones “taco”with guacamole, red onion, spicy mayo

Thai red chicken curry with couscous

char-grilled tuna ribs with bbq sauce

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Cruo Reyes Católicos

This is one of two new slightly upmarket bar-restaurants recently opened  by the Cruo group (the other is on the south side of the Alameda de Hércules), and which take them in something of a new direction. The locale is light and spacious – big windows, high ceilings, lots of exposed brick, and light wood floors and tables. The effect is both classy and comfortable.

The menu is quite extensive, with a lot of quality charcuterie a mix of traditional and more modern mainly large plates and some tapas. The best dish we sampled was a carpaccio of presa Ibérica with a strawberry vinaigrette, celery and wasabi. Definitely something to go back for. Service gave the impression of being a little bit inexperienced, but polite and helpful, and actually quite efficient. I like that they are open all day, making it a nice spot to stop for a late afternoon drink or snack.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€

Reyes Católicos 14
Tel 955 648 822
Open 13.00 – midnight Monday – Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 9 | Service 8 | Ambiance 9

ensaladilla with prawns, toasted garlic, carabinero mayo, red onion, pickle

presa Ibérica carpaccio, with strawberry vinaigrette, celery, wasabi

flamenquín XXL

beef and pork burger

the green-eyes cocktail: orange wine, PX, vermouth

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Bartolomea

Almost exactly five years after opening the very popular La Brunilda, husband and wife team Diego & Esperanza now have a second restaurant with a completely new menu, just around the corner next to the Arenal Market. Bartolomea Resto & Grill does feel more like a restaurant than Brunilda, but has the same attention to quality and detail. It’s pleasantly light and airy inside, with big windows and light wood furnishings.

We resisted going on opening day (went the next day instead) and had a very enjoyable lunch. Favourite dishes were the sea bass ceviche, the croquetas del día (in this case cabrales cheese and apple) and the perfectly grilled pluma Ibérica.  It’s a shortish menu, with starters, fish & seafood and meat dishes offered as either tapas or raciones (small or big plates).  Although we were too full to try the desserts this time, I was happy to see the revival of one of my faves from La Brunilda’s early days – the watermelon granita with stawberries, basil gelée and passion fruit ice cream. Next time!

Bread Charge: 0.80€ per person

Arenal 1
(next to Mercado Arenal)
Tel 955 234 370
Open: 13.00 – 16.00 / 20.30 – 23.30
Closed: Sunday evening and Monday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 9 | Service 9 | Ambiance 9

croquetas del día (these were cabrales cheese and apple)

sea bass ceviche with yucca chips

“fish & chips”
breaded marinated rosada with adobo mayo and yucca chips

prawn burger with avocado alioli and tempura onions

chargrilled presa Ibérica with apple purée and pistachio pesto

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El Bacalao

El Bacalao, which currently has two restaurants in Sevilla (one in Plaza Ponce de León, the other in Calle Tarifa), has been a fixture in city for as long as anyone can remember. They have recently renovated both the restaurant and menu at their Ponce de León location, and I was invited to sample this new menu with a group of other lucky food writers, bloggers, etc. I like what they’ve done with the place. It looks fresher and more welcoming, with a long bar as you enter and a few dining rooms both on the main floor and upstairs, though I would always opt to sit at the bar.

Our meal was served in a dining room at the back of the restaurant, and took the form of a tasting of thirteen menu items – four starters, seven main courses and two desserts, with either manzanilla sherry or white wine. And as you might expect given the name of the restaurant, bacalao (salt cod) figured prominently in the menu, from the signature bacalao al ajo confitado, through pavias and croquetas to an excellent bacalao tartare, though one of the dishes – the bacalao dorada – was too much salty for me (and that almost never happens, I love salty food). Other personal favourites included a lovely fresh spinach salad and the milhojas de cola de toro (oxtail).

And so a disclaimer here: my rating of the bar is based only on this one occasion, which overall was a very good experience. I shall try to pop in again soon as a “regular customer” at the bar, to see how things go during regular service. The good thing is I actually want to go back! So many thanks to El Bacalao for such a pleasant – and delicious – afternoon.

Bread/Service Charge: 0.90€ PER PERSON

Ponce de León 15
Tel 954 21 66 70
Open 8.00 – 12.00 for breakfast
12.00 – midnight Monday – Saturday for tapas
8.00 – 16.30 Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8| Service 8 | Ambiance 8

Cantabrian anchovies on toast with courgette alioli and lime foam

ensaladilla with king prawns, dried cherry toms, mayo foam

salt cod tartare, confit tomato, fresh chives, wasabi and balsamic vinegar spheres

spinach salad with walnuts, pine nuts and goat cheese ice cream

bacalao pavía with squid ink mayo, bacalao, spinach & pine nut croqueta

bacalao dorada

bacalao with confit garlic and tomato

bacalao loin with creamy leek brandada

bacalao cocochas “pil pil” with toasted garlic and chilis

oxtail in red wine with wonton pastry and slow-cooked egg yolk

selection of desserts

a lovely new rosé wine by Delgado Zuleta

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Taberna del Alabardero

The Alabardero is in some ways a slightly unusual creature, part boutique hotel (7 rooms), part catering school, part bistro/cafeteria/tapas bar, and part restaurant, all housed in a classic 19th century “casa palacio” with lots of beautiful tiles and antique style furniture. It all seems to work well together, though, and since opening its doors in 1992 the Alabardero has become one of the pillars of Sevillano gastronomy.

The cafeteria and tapas bar area can be found in in the main courtyard as you enter, with the bistro off to one side (which offers an excellent set menu). The restaurant is upstairs, specializing in high quality Andalusian dishes. We opted for tapas this visit and other than one slight blip – the croquetas could have been tastier – we loved every dish. Service is very attentive and, although perhaps a bit formal, it’s in keeping with the elegant surroundings and it’s actually refreshing to find such well-trained staff.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Zaragoza 20
Tel 954 502 721
Open 13.00 – 16.30 / 20.00 – 23.30
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 9

two kinds of croquettes: mushroom and seafood

marinated salmon

foie micuit with ginger toast

grilled octopus with potato purée and smoked paprika

grilled beef tenderloin with carrot and beet purées

pear tatin with chocolate ice cream

Azabache cake, chocolate, sable Breton, apple créme, saffron brûlée

the bistro

central courtyard

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Papirusa

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Sister to La Jarana (which I still haven’t been to because it’s half-way to the airport), Papirusa is newly opened in the barrio El Arenal, between the Cathedral and the bullring. More restaurant than tapas bar, and clearly geared for an upscale market, it still has the feel of a local bar. The long narrow space has a small “indoor-outdoor” patio area as you walk in, and there is also a small sidewalk terraza. Inside it’s cosy and comfortable, all soft blues and browns.

The menu is also small and comfortable, and there is an impressive wine list, though while there are several nice white wines by the glass there are only a couple of reds. By far my favourite “I have to come back for this” dish is the breaded artichokes filled with gambas al ajillo. And for the first time ever I have tasted cuttlefish “meatballs” that I actually like. But stay away from the patatas-not-very-bravas, topped with ketchup and some sort of egg-white “mayo”. Char-grilled meats are a specialty here, though I found both dishes we tried (presa Ibérica, lamb kidneys) a bit too charred, almost burnt. But overall, above-average cooking, great service and a very pleasant atmosphere. Fab desserts by Gollerías.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Antonia Díaz 9
Tel 954 22 53 85
Open 13.00 – midnight
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

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papirusa-tuna-tatakytuna tataky with ginger and wakame

papirusa-croquetas-rabocola de toro de Lidia croquetas

papirusa-artichokesbreaded artichokes filled with gambas al ajillo, squid ink mayo

papirusa-albondigas-chocosalbóndigas de chocos

papirusa-chocoschocos fritos

papirusa-papas-bravaspapas not so bravas

papirusa-morcillagrilled morcilla de Burgos with panko migas

papirusa-lamb-kidneyschar-grilled lamb kidneys

papirusa-presachar-grilled presa Ibérida

papirusa-banoffeebanoffee pie

papirusa-13bathroom mirrors

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Cañabota

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Cañabota is the name of a small grey shark that inhabits the deep waters off the Galician coast. It is also the name of the latest project by Juanlu Fernández (previously of Binomio and La Pepona fame) and even at first glance it’s easy to see that this is his dream come true. The clean bright space brings to mind a stylish white-tiled “pescadería” with an eye-catching seafood display, a long bar facing the open kitchen, and tall tables with stools running along a wall of windows. For me, the bar is the place to be 1) because it has comfortable low chairs and 2) to watch “the show” (of course).

Seafood is the star attraction here and the attention to quality is obvious. The menu starts off with hand-packed preserved fish and seafood items from the Real Conservera Española (Royal Spanish Cannery) which works exclusively with products from the Galician Ras, Atlantic Ocean and Cantabric Sea. Next up is a very well-thought out selection of seafood tapas and daily specials (the latter sold by weight), and meat lovers can choose between two char-grilled beef dishes. A short dessert list completes the menu. The wine list is still a “work in progress” but knowing Juanlu it will be one of the more interesting lists in town, and he also plans to offer full (150ml) and half (75ml) servings, the better to pair with different dishes.

I was VERY happy to see the return of Juanlu’s famous marinated sardines – nobody does them better. Also especially liked the sea bass with black trumpet mushrooms, char-grilled squid (a daily special), and the little onion crackers topped with larded tuna and parmesan. But the dish that really blew me away was the seafood-stuffed chipirones, so delicate and flavourful… can’t wait to try them again.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Orfila 3
Tel 954 870 298 / 690 876 523
Open 13.00 – 16.00 / 19.30 – midnight
Monday – Saturday
€ € € €

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Food 9 | Wine 9 | Service 9 | Ambiance 9

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canabota-fino
canabota-cutlery

canabota-cocktail“solid cocktail” Hidalgo fino, Lustau vermouth, trout roe, orange zest

canabota-ostrasgrilled oysters with toasted butter and artemia

canabota-sardinasTHOSE sardines

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canabota-higadoscod liver salad on mushroom slivers, baby spinach and lettuce,
fish emulsion and spicy vinegar

canabota-tostaonion cracker topped with larded tuna, grated manteca

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canabota-navajasrazor clams topped with pancetta and warm salsa verde

canabota-parmentiersquid ink potato parmentier with cuttlefish roe and chipirón

canabota-chipi-parrillachar-grilled squid

canabota-chipi-rellenoseafood-stuffed chipirones

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canabota-gambonGAMBÓN wrapped in seaweed, topped with pig trotter sauce

canabota-corvinasea bass with confit black trumpet mushrooms and fish emulsion

canabota-limonclever lemon meringue “pie”

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canabota-teamAngelica, Diego, Miguel, Marcos (head chef),
Juanlu (owner, front of house), Rafa (sous chef) Adrián

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Tradevo Centro

Updated September 2016
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Tradevo Centro – completing chef Gonzalo Jurado’s culinary hat trick (along with Tradevo, Luz de Mar) –  is the latest occupant of a location that has seen a number of bars come and go in recent years. This is one I hope will stay. The interior has been completely redecorated in a fairly minimalist “industrial” style with plenty of space, some nice faux-concertina wood panelling, and unusual bamboo acoustic absorbers. There’s also a big terrace outside in the busy Plaza de la Pescadería for watching the world go by. Although the food is very good (and at times excellent) we are still finding it a bit inconsistent in terms of value for money. Service also remains inconsistent, ranging to helpful and friendly to super slow and, at times, almost non-existent. These last two considerations are why I can’t bump Tradevo Centro up to 4 oranges – it’s a tough call to make.

But back to the food. As at the other two locations, the menu is short and some items appear at all three places, such as the Frito Triptych (chicken, aubergines, boquerones – which can also be ordered separately) and the marinated sardines. Personally I’d go with the filetted boquerones al limón every time. The octopus and pork jowl was tasty enough, but I didn’t feel the scant serving warranted a 7.50€ charge. For the same price you can get chef Gonzalo’s clever take on ceviche – same scantiness as the octopus dish but so delicious I honestly didn’t care. Then there’s the massive sous vide (oven-finished) beef rib at 16€ which is, well, massive. As well as being super-tender and flavourful, served with crazy good buttery mash. Worth every penny. But the fried whole fish – great presentation but not much to it – seemed overpriced at 18€. I’m intrigued by the pork jowl chicharrones (usually made with belly) and have to have those ribs again at some point, so I will be back. I’m also happy that Tradevo Centro is close to home and open every day. But make sure you book a table – one time I stopped in at 1.30 for a quick lunch with a friend and ALL the tables were booked,  with many of them left empty until 3.30, so we had to perch at the small bar.

Bread/Service Charge: 1.25€ PER PERSON

Cuesta del Rosario 15
Tel 854 807 424
Open every day 13.15 – 16.30 / 21.00 – 23.30
€ € € € €

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Food 7 | Wine 8 | Service 5 | Ambiance 7

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tradevo centro breadfresh hot crusty bread and olive oil

tradevo centro chicharronespork jowl scratchings

tradevo centro boqueronesboquerones al limón

tradevo centro auberginesfried aubergines with mojo picón

tradevo centro trypticthe frito triptych: chicken, boquerones, aubergines

tradevo centro presashaved roast presa Ibérica “coca” with romesco sauce

tradevo centro pulpogrilled octopus and pork jowl, with apple-celery puré

tradevo-centro-cevichered prawn “ceviche” with avocado salmorejo and tomato gelée

tradevo-centro-crabsoft-shell crab in tempura

tradevo-centro-fried-fish18€ fried fish

tradevo centro beef ribtender oven-finished sous vide beef rib with buttery mashed potatoes

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Updated September 2016

Sea Market

sea market
As I walk into Sea Market the words “business model” come to mind. Having taken over from the defunct Romerijo (a seafood chain from Sanlúcar de Barrameda) I wondered if this is why they went with the seafood concept. The layout is the same as before with the take-away section to the left and a long bar with two dining areas on the right (though not sure if the back dining area existed during the Romerijo phase). The most notable difference was the décor, which is attractive and minimalist, with warm neutral tones. And the menu. But first I must address the service. I was meeting a friend, who was running late, and so after a quick look around I chose a comfy spot in the back dining area. And I sat there watching all kinds of wait staff pass me by, even after I seriously WAVED at a some of them. Even after a table just over from me got served drinks and handed menus. I sat there for more than 10 minutes before I did something I almost never do, which was to tweet a complaint about a place while I was still there. A few minutes later (coincidence?) I was suddenly “noticed” – the lone “probably a tourist” female diner – and was finally acknowledged. Then I was told they were out of the wine I wanted, and the only other option by the glass was frankly crap, but that was the only choice I was given. Though after my (male) companion arrived and we mentioned the wine issue again, suddenly a nice albariño was opened for me to enjoy by the glass. Clearly things didn’t get off to a great start, but I tried not to let that cloud my experience (honest!).

We started off with some fab mojama and then tried one of the sushi options. Okay, but very pricey at 6€ for two bites (basically two tiny strips of octopus on rice). Grilled scallops actually came swimming in a creamy cheesy sauce, not what we’d expected from reading the menu. Excellent grilled artichokes with jamón though, and a very tasty squid ink seafood risotto. But overall… overall it wasn’t a satisfying experience. I was told that it was still early days (though they opened over two months ago) but somehow it just felt like the place lacked heart. And seriously, do not bring me a lovely plate of olives, only to charge me 2€ for them later PLUS an extra euro-per-person “service” charge.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON (olives an extra 2€)

Eduardo Dato 23
Tel 954 10 56 84
Open 12.30 – midnight
€ € € € €

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Food 6 | Wine 7 | Service 4 | Ambiance 6

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sea market oliveswatch out – these “complimentary” olives will cost you 2€

sea market mojamaexcellent mojama de atún

sea market musselshouse “tinned” marinated mussels

sea market sushiroasted octopus sushi with unagi sauce

sea market scallopsscallops in cheesy-leek sauce

sea market artichokesgrilled artichokes topped with jamón and grated cheese

sea market prawn pastriesprawn-filled pastries with soy sauce

sea market arroz negrosquid ink seafood risotto with alioli

sea market pineapple dessertpineapple and rum dessert

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