El Limonero, previously based on the edge of Órgiva has moved to the lovely Taray Botanico Hotel 1km outside of town to the south. It’s had a slight name change too. The menu is simpler and you have a choice of sitting on the terrace, in the garden or in the airy dining room. It’s still run by the affable Argentinian, Claudio, and his team.
It’s the summer so we sat in the shade on the charming terrace, complete with bubbling fountain. At 1pm we were almost the first people there so enjoyed a glass of wine, which came with some olives, and ordered a bottle of Cava. By 2pm the terrace was busy, with a few tables taken in the garden. A mix of locals and tourists.
The €10 menú del día (which includes a glass of wine) is available Monday to Friday and changes every day – you can ask them to email it to you each Monday. There are three starters and main dishes to choose from; vegetarian, fish and meat.
We speculated over what we might have chosen on other days – Carpaccio de limo confitado con gremolata (Pork loin confit carpaccio with gremalota); Calabaza frita con chorizo alpujarreño (Fried pumpkin and alpujarran chorizo); and perhaps the world’s longest dish title, Bacalao asado a fuego lento acompañado de zanahorias glaseadas, mantequilla de limón y alcaparras (Slow-roasted black cod, glazed carrots, lemon butter and caper).
There’s a choice of homemade bread rolls – olive or tomato – and you get your own bottle of local olive oil to dip it into.
Highlights of our meal were Croquetas de bacalao con salsa tártara (crispy cod croquets with tartar sauce) – and a deliciously mushroomy leek and mushroom pie with a light pastry lid.
Tiramisu and profiteroles followed which were fine. The pears in red wine may have been a better choice.
If you’re looking for huge portions, forget it – but it’s great for lunch. Simple, delicious, well-cooked food that’s perfect for a hot day.
We’ve not stayed in the hotel itself but have heard good things. For starters, it’s set in handsome grounds and has two great pools. It’s in no way a palace, and even looks a bit functional to us. We’ll stay one day and report back.
Top tip: take your swimming costume, have lunch, smile nicely and have a cheeky dip in the pool. Perhaps not strictly allowed but hey, you’ll want to come back.
If you’re less mobile or a wheelchair-user, access is good at the hotel and restaurant.
© con jamón spain