El Chiringuito on Cala Gracionetta is without a doubt one of the most pleasant spots on the island to relax and enjoy a great meal. The view from the restaurant is stunning, the atmosphere makes you feel at home form the minute you arrive and the quality of the food is outstanding. We parked at the top of the hill and walked down to the restaurant, and it’s not until you come down the steps at the side of the building and round into the main area that you get your first view of the cove and it is nothing short of postcard perfect. We arrive just after six, when the searing heat has gone out of the sun and shadows start to form across the beach, it’s that great time of night when it is still noticeably warm, but comfortably so and you know you are enjoying the last hours of daylight, the perfect time to visit El Chiringuito.
The venue itself feels as if it has been chiselled into the rock face, with just enough space created to fit the stunning restaurant. It is surrounded high on each side by rock and trees, providing that exclusive feeling and with the seating split over two levels there are plenty of opportunities to grab a great view from your table. If you’ve got kids, the beach is only a few steps away from the restaurant so they can be entertained with ease while you wait for your food to arrive. The design is rustic but with a touch of chic, the cocktail; bar has a real shack feel to it and the restaurant looks like it has been transformed from a traditional Spanish home. We caught a glimpse of the cove last week when we dropped anchor during our Mamboats experience, El Chiringuito is famous for its Paella but we chose to try some of the other delights on the extensive menu.
Whatever your food preference, there is plenty to choose from, being fully paid up members of the carnivore club we opt for breast of chicken, duck and cheeseburger, not on the same plate of course! For starters we share a plate of traditional ham, goats cheese in strawberry puree with ham and spicy fresh prawns and if you’re mouth is watering thinking of these, it should be! The starters are not long in arriving and the spicy prawns, bubbling away in their dish smell fantastic, and, judging by the rate at which they are demolished, they taste as just as good. The goats cheese and strawberry puree mixed with ham, provide a delicious taste explosion. I wish there was more I could write about the starters but they disappeared far too quickly!
While we wait on our main courses, the sun drops lower in the sky and the beach begins to empty, leaving the cove perfectly quiet and still, adding yet another dimension to the ambiance. The chilled soundtrack provides the perfect accompaniment, I could easily imagine an afternoon to evening session relaxing and enjoying a few delicious cocktails. Not too long to wait for our main courses, just enough time for the starters to make way. For me, the breast of chicken with what looks and tastes like a mini tower of dauphinoise potatoes and it’s cooked to perfection, very tasty with the creamy potatoes complimenting the bird. The burger is again cooked exactly as ordered and stacked very nicely in its bun, surrounded by mini roasted potatoes. The duck is covered in a sweet sauce and has the same potato concoction as my chicken and when I can get the guys to stop chewing for a second, the verdict is awesome!
That is a verdict that can also be applied to the whole experience, from the minute the smiling staff welcomed us to El Chiringuito the dining experience has been a pleasure. As we sit and let our main courses digest we enjoy a complimentary hierbas with ice and enjoy the last few minutes before sunset. It’s not a mystery why this little restaurant tucked away in its own private cove has become one of the most popular eating spots on the island. They do everything right and they do it with a smile on their face. It won’t be long before our next visit!