LIKE a sleeping giant Jerez has finally developed a food culture that incorporates the best of Cadiz’s celebrated ingredients.
Think local bluefin tuna, retinto beef and seasonal vegetables and mushrooms, all washed down with dozens of the city’s top sherries by the glass. Yes, in Jerez you have it all.
The epicentre is the so-called ‘golden mile’, centering on the Calle Consitorio/Plaza Plateros axis, where you find a great mix of tapas bars.
Starting with Cruz Blanca, the menu changes daily, particularly now that a father and son culinary team are both jostling in the kitchen.
There is a large range of tapas, with plenty of sherries by the glass. Top tip try the beef tartare washed down with trendy La Panesa fino.
Next up is Albores, run by talented Madrileno Julian Olivares de las Heras, which has just doubled in size and is overflowing with punters at the main times of the day.
Albores means ‘new beginnings’ and it is founded on the seven principles of food… salt, potato, tomato, olives, grapes, cereals and coffee.
The beginning and end for me is the tuna tartare with caviar and wasabi sauce, not to mention chanterelle mushrooms with free range eggs, ham and mustard.
Even more stylish perhaps is Reino de Leon, an inspirational gastrobar run by two brothers in Calle Latorre. This wonderfully-designed spot has a regularly-changing menu, where you’d struggle to find a better dish than the seasonal Boletus mushrooms in garlic and olive oil,
Another fantastic spot Las Cuadras, meaning ‘stables’, sits in an evocative building on Plaza de la Asuncion and has a regularly changing and tasty menu.
Run by friendly Englishman David Fraser Lucky, it counts on many original features, such as bullfighting posters from the 1800s and iron bars that were installed when it was used as a prison in the 17th century. Food is great and the menu changes regularly.
Finally if you are looking for the best Italian food, then charming Da Enrico is a must.
Charming in the extreme, Enrico and his wife Katerina, from Turin and Venice, are busy most nights of the week. Their pizzas are fantastic, but equally their fresh pastas, including the original Pasta Martini, invented by Enrico, with speck ham, lemon, parsley, cream and Martini, is excellent.