Walking through the mystical route that is Camino a Santiago, we found ourselves in one of the finest restaurants in the land and enjoyed its excellent regional cuisine accompanied by superb wines of the region.
Near Logroño, we discovered the enchanting Venta Moncalvillo, hidden in the midst of Rioja valleys where the leaf of the grapes used to make one change colour throughout the year.
The Basque Academy of Gastronomy defines the cuisine of this region as, “daring, yet with its Rioja roots well entrenched.”, as well as featuring a “carefully selected bodega” of wines.
The Echapresto brothers, founders of the Venta Moncalvillo, invited us to become acquainted with the kitchen that continuously evolves and innovates, presenting a sober menu with the latest culinary tendencies. Ignacio dares to innovate inside a kitchen with Rioja roots, very much in touch with the tastes of the soil, and Carlos is one of the finest sommeliers in La Rioja.
The main hall features a pretty rustic decoration, while the private dining room is fitting for family or business meetings. The bodega deserves and honourable mention, given that it features a dining table that can seat up to 14 people, located to the side of the wine cellar, and fitted with a fireplace. To continue ones experience, the Retiro Salon allows guests to enjoy coffee, a delicious cigar and a drink, while sitting in comfy seats and being embraced by the warmth of the fireplace.
They only Cook with ingredients from the season in which these thrive best, whether it be from the fields or from the garden shed, thus achieving a rejuvenation of a traditional cuisine. We have tasted the artichoke of the Riviera with white wine and a crunchy roast, the truffle and mushroom salad with pepper from Sechucan, and the duck Foie Gras with assorted nuts. It is one of the finest restaurants where one can enjoy the surroundings.
Carretera mediano a
Daroca de Rioja
T. 941 444832
Text: Patrick Monney ± Photo: Patrick Monney