Ambience and service:
The building where we find the Antic Casino Restaurant is the old casino of Pals, a building full of history, very beautiful and full of details. I specially loved the original floor, the fireplace, the big windows and the structure of the building.
Is not a big place, but they have three different areas. An outdoor terrace presided by a nice tree in the main entrance, where you can ejoy the great weather they have in the area almost all year. Inside, two beautiful dinning-rooms with antique objects and furniture. Very cozy and warm. Light comes in through big windows. They also have a little interior patio with flowers where many customers drink something before start eating.
On a wall, inside, they project old pictures from the Costa Brava made by the family years ago. That’s a big clue on how they pay attention to details and respect the history and the environment.
Service is very professional and friendly. Adelina and Jordi, the owners, pay attention to every detail and need you may have. They talk about their cuisine, dishes, wines and gin tonics with great passion. You can see they’re always trying to provide the best gastronomy experience to their guests.
Food and drink:
They have an extense and very accurate carte with dishes made with fresh products from the area. They change it depending the time of the year, and they also have new dishes out of the cart that they suggest you when you go. That’s great, so you can always find new experiences and flavors when you go, and you never get tired of it. Gastronomic surprises.
We ate a “Cocotte” made with egg and parmigiano, one of the most delicious starters I’ve ever tried. They served it in a small casserole, very cute. Most people thing that doesn’t matter how food is presented as long as it’s good. Maybe they’re right, but I have to say that when food is served with originality, your eyes eat too, so the whole experience is better and food taste better too. That’s what happens in the Antic Casino Restaurant in Pals.
Main dish was Cod “a la papillotte” with ginger, peppermint and soy. Amazing flavor, perfectly cooked fish and fresh spices that made us loose our brains.
Other specialties are the steak tartare, duck magret and rice. Pals is known for it’s incredible rice quality. You can see huge rice fields around the village. There’s something in the ground and air that makes that rice one of the best in Europe. Don’tmiss the chance of trying a Pals rice casserole.
Most desserts are homemade. We had a delicious yoghurt and cheese cream with cookies and a fresh natural apple icecream with pear juice and peppermint. The perfect ending for a perfect meal.
They have great wines too, and change the carte depending on the time of the year, like they do with food, so you can try great selected white and rose wines in summer and other varieties the rest of the year.
Gin tonics deserve a special mention. Adelina prepares amazing cocktails with so much care and passion. Enjoy one before or after eating if you like. I’m not very into gin tonics, but the one she prepared for us was fantastic. You can also try great mojito’s and caipirinha’s.
Pals is one of the big tourist attractions in the Costa Brava. Is one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Catalonia. You’ll find interesting shops, a very nice church and amazing views of the beach and fields around. Pals is separated in two parts. The old town wich I described and the beach part (“Platja de Pals”) that is also very nice. One of my favorite beaches is there, it’s called “La Illa Roja” (The Red Island). It’s a little beach with a big rock or island right in front of it. You can enjoy it during the whole year.
You don’t need to drive too much if you don’t want to, as you’ll find in less than 10 minutes important villages like Peratallada and Monells, La Bisbal d’Empordà, Torroella de Montgrí or Calella de Palafrugell. Every single one of these towns deserve a visit if you visit the area.
Price advice:18-30 Euros p.p. They also have daily menu from Monday to Friday at 14 Euros.