Barra Monastrell

Price guide: Mid-range

Calle Raphael Altamira 7 , Alicante, 03002

Price guide: Mid-range

Recommended for:
Couples, Foodies, Mature travellers, Singles, Relaxation

Expert review of Barra Monastrell

A stylish tapas bar near the port of Alicante.

The Barra is an off-shoot of the highly regarded Restaurante Monastrell, both part of the small family-owned restaurant group presided by self-taught but highly regarded María José San Roman (styled the Queen of Saffron because of her love and promotion of the delicate spice). Her travels and work experience world-wide have highly influenced her individualistic style. The contemporary design of aluminium, black slate and pale cream, with an open aspect behind the bar creates an idea of spaciousness.

Food and drink: 

Part of the tapas menu is adapted from the more traditional menu of the restaurant, such as the wonderful Calamari Sandwich ‘Monastrell’, but much of its stand-alone ideas are the result of a highly inventive mind and an awful lot of world-wide sampling. The menu wanders from the modestly simple patatas bravas with saffron, to the sublime Duo de Hamburguesitas, one American-style hamburger and a second of foie and black truffle, by way of lamb brochette with saffron marsala and yoghurt dressing,
Monkfish livers and sea urchin, and a host of other delicacies. My gastronomic wandering started with fideua, a fine vermacelli-like pasta that replaces paella in a similar dish that originated further up the coast in Gandia. In this case though, it was dressed with baby prawns and calamari, a delicious combination, which I could quite happily have had seconds of. I had been tempted by scallops with aubergine cream and turrón, a local sweet that is invariably – and totally incorrectly – translated a ‘nougat’, which does not do it justice. I shared an excellent Thai chicken curry with jasmine rice, and fought bravely to try and hold on to all of plate of ‘artisan’ cheese – which give the lie to the idea that cheese in Spain is simply Manchego, Manchego and even more Manchego. For pudding, the Saffron Queen waved her magic wand and, instead of sprinkling fairy dust, created a gorgeous banana tarte tatin with saffron toffee – which I did keep to myself. There is a wonderful selection of teas on offer, but I stuck to a good old café cortado to finish.


Bright, modern and lively, the ambience changes as the day progresses.


White jacketed, as on a fancy cruise ship and – usually pretty attentive.


Next to the five-star Hospedes Amerigo, just along from the Town Hall.

Price advice: 

Not especially easy on the pocket, but there is a menu at 29euros per person (minimum two people) that includes a good range of samplings.

More information on Barra Monastrell:

Price guide:
Restaurant, Tapas bar
Mediterranean, Modern, Seafood, Spanish, Tapas
Calle Raphael Altamira 7 , Alicante, 03002
+34 965 146 575
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Noon-midnight, closed Sunday and Monday
Accepts Credit Cards:
Not necessary

Have you been to Barra Monastrell? Would you recommended it?