In the touristic little city of Roses there are good restaurants. You will find them easily in any of those famous touristic megawebsites that get all the touristic megatraffic of the Internet. But you are not in a touristic megawebsite now; you are in a friend’s blog, looking for some local advice. Hence, I’ll recommend to you where to have lunch here as happy locals do.
But first, a glimpse of Roses. Here it is: an old charming fishing village transformed in the last few decades into a not so charming overdeveloped touristic spot. The good news is that Roses continues to harbor a nice beach, friendly villagers, skilled fishermen and outstanding chefs.
Like most of the Mediterranean cities, Roses’ history is long. Consequently, it has its share of ancient ruins, kindly grouped in one spot by passing civilizations, just for the tourist´s convenience. I guess.
That spot is known here as “Ciutadella de Roses”. You mix a defensive wall of the Renaissance, some Greek and Roman remains, a Romanesque church and the headquarters of King Charles I, you destroy it all, and the result is this. There are also some trees. It is a nice place to walk and meditate about the pros and cons of the human condition, but first, let’s have lunch. Let`s go to Restaurant Cal Campaner. Follow me; finding it is a little tricky.
Cal Campaner is not in the beachfront of Roses, nor in the very center of the touristic zone, but not far away. It is in Street Mossèn Carles Feliu, 23; Tel. 972 25 69 54. Reserve in advance, as they prepare outstanding food in a not too large place, usually full of local people and some neighbors. As you can see, its façade is not a romantic one, but take my word for granted: its food is superb. And its ambience is very “Mediterranean” (which means noisy, happy and prone to singing).
What to choose? Whatever they recommend to you. There is a “carta”, of course, but as far as their specialty is fish, it is better if you ask for fish of the day (the fishing harbor is very near and remember: Roses has skilled fishermen and outstanding chefs). Anchovies (home prepared with extravirgin olive oil) are superb for starters, and shrimps or prawns of the Roses Bay “a la planxa”, and “carpaccio” of shrimps, and “xipirons” (little octopuses). Then, the fish of the day “a la plancha” (“a la plancha” in Spanish or “a la planxa” in Catalan mean “grilled”).
It is difficult to photograph a shrimps carpaccio. I did my best here.
Accompany your meal with a white wine. Don’t be fool, ask for a local wine, of course (D. O. Empordà).
Little octopuses or “xipirons a la planxa”. Mediterráneo puro.
This fish is “rape” or “rap”; I guess “black bellied angler” in English, but am not very sure. Fresh and delicious.
Desserts are superb too. You can feel the neighboring El Bulli’s influences here.
UPDATED INFORMATION ABOUT CAL CAMPANER HERE (and better pictures than those above):
- Restaurant Cal Campaner revisited (covetotop.wordpress.com)