Llum del Mar, Villa Venecia Hotel

Price guide: Expensive

Plaza San Jaime 1 03500 Benidorm, Benidorm, Alicante, 03500

Price guide: Expensive

Recommended for:
Couples, Foodies, Romance, Special occasions

Expert review of Llum del Mar, Villa Venecia Hotel

Beautiful views with a menu to match at this cosy hotel restaurant.

Sitting alongside a great window, watching the sea gently rolling in and the seagulls skittering below you sets you in a relaxed mood to enjoy this lovely small restaurant. Chef Victor Conus Cervantes had to step into a well-established set of shoes when he took over the kitchen from Gemma Penalva, voted one of the region’s best young chefs, in March 2011, but he’s done it masterfully. Reveling in the quality of the fresh local produce, he has added a Menu Degustación, which he cleverly uses to try out new dishes, as well as offering samples from the carta.

Food and drink: 

One of the things I like about a menu degustación is that you get to try so many different flavours, and occasionally re-visit some from the past that you weren’t particularly overwhelmed with elsewhere. I’ve never been a big fan of croquettas, but this one struck the right note, with a wonderfully deep flavour of red prawn, which I am a fan of, and a crispy without being crunchy exterior. The foie with caramelised onions and a Moscatel gelatin, tiny squares of reduced wine that looked like beautifully tinted marmalade, was excellent, especially when eaten with the wonderful selection of home-made breads. The samplings went on and on…sea bass with creamy garlic ice-cream and arroz meloso, a ‘soggy’ rice cooked in a stock made from the heads of red prawns – superb – Galician sirloin steak with wild mushrooms and a moscatel reduction on a bed of potatoes and tiny onion chips, the meat lustrously deep red on the inside and seared dark brown outside – perfectly done. I’ve never had a pudding that was also a musical accompaniment, but the Explosion de Citricos Valencianos, was a chilled jelly of orange, lemon and grapefruit that had something within it that popped as you ate it. The citric semi-tartness was wonderfully offset by a creamy vanilla ice-cream. I tried a Chardonnay from Bodegas Enrique Mendoza, not a twenty-minute drive from the restaurant, and one of the best young producers in Spain, and a red, Peña Cadiella, from Vins de Comtat Cocentaina, both excellent.

Ambience: 

The restaurant has some of the kitschest chairs I’ve come across, but they took the edge off the restaurant being too ‘posh’. It’s small enough to be cosy, but big enough so that you can feel part of an elegant dining experience. The wonderful views over the bay to the mountains behind Benidorm add impact; you could almost feel that you are dining in a private salon on a fancy yacht.

Service: 

Very attentive, and the waiters will explain your dishes if you would like them to. The single white glove – a la Michael Jackson – amused me when it was put on each time the silver was changed.

Location: 

Beside the mirador in Benidorm old town.

More information on Llum del Mar, Villa Venecia Hotel :

Price guide:
Expensive
Type:
Restaurant
Food:
Mediterranean, Spanish
Address:
Plaza San Jaime 1 03500 Benidorm, Benidorm, Alicante, 03500
Telephone:
965 855 466
Website:
http://www.hotelvillavenecia.com
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Suggested

Have you been to Llum del Mar, Villa Venecia Hotel? Would you recommended it?