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Jun 1, 2011 10:11 AM

Arroz Negro in Valencia

does anyone have suggestions for some great Arroz Negro in Valencia? I've read some bad things about L'Estimat and La Pepica, so I'm having trouble deciding. I'm debating the a la carte menu at Ca Sento but am curious if there are other options.

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  1. Ca Sento's arroz a la plancha dish, which uses arroz negro, is out of this world. Served with a red prawn from Denia, this was one of the most outstanding dishes I had in a recent visit to Spain that was filled with superb food at almost every turn.

    I wrote a short report about food I sampled during a trip several months ago. I had very disappointing paella at La Matandeta and have also read the (less than good) reports about the two places you mention.

    1. From Spain With Love is a new TV series that premieres tomorrow in Canada. It may have started last week in the US.

      In one episode entitled, "Paella: Tradition In a Pan", the hostess travels to Alicante to meet the “Queen of Saffron,” chef Maria José San Román.

      Two bad Alicante is almost 2 hrs away by car, although if I had a car, I might justify the drive. The rice dishes listed on the menu sound pretty good!

      8 Replies
      1. re: Aleta

        THE "destination" rice restaurant in the Alicante area is, I believe, Casa Paco, in Pinoso. If your plans take you to that area.....please report back!

        1. re: erica

          I think it's the restaurant I linked above, Monastrell. Here's another article about the lady chef and it also names Monastrell.

          1. re: Aleta

            The restaurant I am talking about is Casa Paco in Pinoso. The link from El Pais is a list of good restaurants in various categories.

            There are a couple of well-known female rice chefs in the area. Maria Jose San Roman is at Monastrell and Mari Carmen Velez is, as far as I know, still at La Sirena in Petrer, Alicante.


            One thing people should keep in mind is that Paella is but one of several classic rice dishes of that coast. There are also meloso rices, caldoso rices, arrozes al horno, or baked rices, etc etc. Just a little info, not totallly off topic!

            Aleta, I have no doubt that you will get to that area in the not-too distant future. And when you do, you will have to stay a while to sample the various types! But for the moment, I will be looking forward to reading about your coming trip to Madrid!

            1. re: erica

              Oh, I see. We are talking about different things. I'm only talking about the lady chef who will be featured in the new TV series, From Spain With Love.

              My Madrid trip will be very short but I WILL be spending 1 wk + in San Sebastian!

              1. re: Aleta

                Sounds like an interesting series. I hope we can see it on US tv.

                You have lots of good eating in store, as I think you already know! Will look forward to reading about any and all food-related topics in great detail!

                1. re: erica

                  I watched the 1st episode yesterday and enjoyed it very much. It starts out in San Sebastian, so you see all the usual suspects (Arzak, Mugaritz etc) but also there's time spent in the kitchen and at a cider house.

                  Of all the food shows I've seen on Spain, I don't recall seeing one in which they filmed the whole hake fish (rather ugly!) and showed the removal of the kokotxa. That gave me a better appreciation for this traditional Basque delicacy.

                  Looks like it will be televised in the US tomorrow (Saturday) on the Cooking Channel.

                  1. re: Aleta

                    Good news about the show being shown in the US. Thanks for the tip, Aleta.
                    Related subject: I think you will be interested in the new book, The Food of Spain, by the very well-respected author, Claudia Roden, who will speak here in NYC this week.

                    1. re: erica

                      Thanks for the link to the new book, Erica. Are you going to hear her speak?