About Me


Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Restaurant Casa Flores

Ribera del Río, 9, El Puerto de Santa María - Spain

During my recent visit to southern Spain, I based myself in Puerto de Santa Maria, as I explored the Sherry Triangle, plus while here I had to make my way to a local institution with regards to quality seafood cuisine. Restaurante Casa Flores has a long and respected history dating back to 1975 - when it was founded by Francisco Flores Herrera.
I had heard that its personality and philosophy was influenced by two key factors - one being the closeness to the Guadalete River at Sanlucar de Barrameda, both Conil and Cadiz Bay and all its natural fish resources has shaped their menu and seafood focused cuisine. The other being an honest and humble approach to gastronomy and creating a friendly atmosphere for everyone to enjoy their hospitality.

 

Casa Flores began as a simple bar situated in the historical part of El Puerto de Santa María, just on the banks of the Guadalete River, at the northern edge of the town. From their humble beginnings in the late 70’s, they had a fast transformation to a local and then nationally recognised establishment. As my two hosts for the day and I walked in off the street we were greeted with a large smile from all the staff and the decor and friendly manor creates a feeling of arriving in some ones home.
Francisco’s children have inherited his enthusiasm for the hospitality business, which has been very important to preserve this special environment and offering. Over the years they have won many a cuisine and service award including for example in 2001, 2002, and again in 2004 - the National Gastronomic Awards - ‘Golden Dish’.
The atmosphere is classic and refined with wood panelling and vibrant blue and white Spanish tiled walls. Original seascape paintings and framed nautical photographs of the region hang on many of the dining room walls. The elegant, antique tables & chairs add to the atmosphere plus a bonus they are even comfortable. We were escorted to our table surrounded on 3 sides by floor to ceiling wine racks, and our waiter with extreme confidence guided us through some of the subtleties of the menu and how the chef was to cook many of the daily specials, plus wine match suggestions.

 

If you are not a seafood enthusiast, there are many other local dishes that will fit the bill - but clearly if you wish to enjoy the best of local seafood head to Casa Flores. Their king prawns, langoustines, ‘Bocas de la Isla’ (crab pincers), lobsters and spiny lobsters as well as red banded sea breams, gilthead breams, sea bass and tuna are specially valued by those who visit. Though their love of bullfighting has led them to also search and select the best national meat, such as Galician beef, or ‘Ibérico’ lamb and pork, in order to create dishes that match their quality standards and to shape a personal style that can be specially appreciated in dishes like ‘partridge ‘a la portuense’.
Every dining room has been given its own unique personality to add different nuances to the atmospheres during the day or night. Furthermore, the limited number of tables also contributes to the cosy feel that characterizes a home. The dining rooms have all been named, most of them, with the name of a close celebrity friend that have dined there or they admire. If you want more personal service I would suggest that you dine for lunch or early in the evening, as after 9pm the restaurants atmosphere becomes a hive of activity.
I must thank my wonderful hosts Concepcion and Carlos who gave me unbelievable insight into the history behind many of the dishes and the culture of the region; they made it a most memorable and pleasurable dining and educational experience.

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