Roses/Cap de Creus Park
Anyone out there who has been to this stretch of the Costa Brava recently? Most interested in marisquería-style simply prepared local sea critters. Is Rafa's still good? Any good chiringuitos?
I'll respond to my own post, since Roses is a very, very popular Costa Brava resort town with a lot of mediocre food. We tried both Cal Campaner and Rafa's--two spots that have always gotten good reviews on Spanish forums. Both fall into the same-day, Mediterranean"materia prima" sort of seafood restaurant category.
We preferred the homier Cal Campaner, which seemed to have the "a la plancha" grill technique down to a science. We enjoyed the whole fish just a bit more there, but it may have just been a function of our ordering strategy.
Roses is known all over Spain for its delicious cured anchovies, which are even better in situ. I need to find a better source for these in Madrid. Other summer fish that were available: monkfish, red scorpionfish (which we saw all over the place while snorkeling), flounder, turbot, John Dory… Also sea cucumbers, small squid, cuttlefish, octopus, coquinas, clams, cockles, mussels, little shrimp, etc.
For next time, the chiringuito on the beach at Cala Joncols looks like a nice spot--especially given its remote location in the middle of the national park--but we didn't get a chance to try it.
You can't beat the lighthouse on Cap de Creus for a sunset drink with 360 degree views of the calas, Mediterranean, French coastline, and Pyrenees.