Paradise Found in Lloret de Mar (part 3)
Although a morning tour of Lloret de Mar, by midday we rested our feet and enjoyed a Catalonian lunch. Restaurante POPS turned out to be just what we needed.
Located a short walk from the municipal parking lot, and directly across the street from the beach and the Mediterranean, Restaurante POPS, with its cloth-covered tables, friendly service and outstanding fare, took perfection to a new level. Soft ocean breezes caressed us, as we were entertained by the sounds of gleeful children at play and indulged by our attentive, yet unobtrusive, server.
While perusing the menu, we were presented with a plate of olives, Serrano ham, crusty bread and an aioli that made the most of its garlic. It doesn’t get much more authentic than this.
Edible Art for the Weary Traveler
My husband and I shared a Catalan Salad, which arrived on a plate that acted as a canvas for the artfully arranged greens, tomatoes, corn, cheese, egg, spicy salami and more Serrano ham. It seemed almost criminal to disturb this plateful of edible art, but we managed to rise to the occasion. The tomatoes welcomed our taste buds to Catalonia with sun-drenched sweetness only found in the area of the Mediterranean. Freshness, flavor and presentation combined to form the ultimate foodie trifecta.
Next, two seafood offerings were served with grilled miniature green sweet bell peppers. A shell reminiscent of a celery boat held a long, narrow razor clam, which had also been grilled. Fried baby squid resembled a “snake in the grass”. The soft peppers and slightly chewy clam were infused with a pleasant smokiness from the grill. In addition, the squid was crisp, tender and not greasy.
We shared grilled cuttlefish and roasted vegetables as our main dish. Now if you like squid, you’ll like cuttlefish. The buttery texture, with slightly firmer tentacles, appealed to both of us. The subtle addition of olive oil and garlic complimented the delicate taste of the fish.
The grilled eggplant and two varieties of summer squash provided first rate sides. We decided later that one of the squashes might have been a kind of melon, because of its natural sweetness. The melon created a fitting counterpoint to the savory fish and other vegetables. Homemade potato chips accompanied the dish. The chips served as tasty dippers for what remained of the aioli.
Because we shared our dishes, we had just enough room to share dessert: dense chocolate cake garnished with strawberry slices and drizzled with chocolate sauce. The intensity of the chocolate and the slight tang of the berries transformed simple ingredients into pure decadence.
Our coffee arrived accompanied by a small chocolate button, to be devoured immediately or stirred into the coffee. A small touch, but enough to make a standard cup of black coffee seem special.
We estimated our meal cost somewhere in the vicinity of €40.00. Perhaps not an everyday lunch, but a reasonably priced special occasion treat. After a day of walking Restaurante Pops is indeed a respite in Lloret de Mar.
Disclaimer: Our day in Lloret de Mar was generously hosted by Lloret Tourisme, Restaurante POPS, the Institut Gem Wellness & Spa Hotel and Patronat de Turisme Costa Brava, Girona, who coordinated our entire visit to Costa Brava. However, all opinions, as always, are entirely my own.