Coastal resorts dotted along the Costa Brava are well provided with ample places to eat or drink. Out of season that amount dwindles to much less on offer, but this is Easter week.
Milder temperatures and an influx of Easter visitors sees many establishments coming back to life. While L’Escala has its modern suburban looking swathe that is Riells, we tend to gravitate towards its old village area (casc antic). Full of quaint, narrow interconnecting streets and far more characterful in look and feel.
Here there are plenty of seafront cafes and restaurants, which regardless of food quality always seem busy-more so when the skies clear. Maybe for some, the sea views and basking in mood lifting sunlight wins over the quality of the dishes.
Finding ourselves here mid-April it’s uncommonly overcast, grey and still jacket-wearing weather. Strolling along its seafront Passeig Maritim the slightly raging sea swiftly reminds us we’re not quite clear of the vestiges of winter.
I always like to explore the back streets, you often find something different or better value. Bistrot Escale looked a likely candidate and a quick ask if we could go inside with our dogs-yes no problem. Our corner table gave us ample space, the utilitarian decor is easy on the eye, a kind of step up from the usual ‘workman’ cafe. Thankfully the TV playing music videos is on mute.
The high-backed black chairs are a nice foil to the white topped tables. The place is empty, granted it’s one-ish so that means it’s early around here. The placemat doubles as the menu and the list is on the small side. That’s not a negative as I always think that mastery over a limited number of dishes-well executed, is to be applauded. A jack-of-all-trades approach to a large menu is often a let down.
Two of us opted for the Burger au Saint Nectaire(€13.90)-a fancy cheeseburger in essence, and a Suprema de poulet au bleu (€12.90)-chicken in a creamy cheese sauce. All well presented, with minimal salad leaves, stringy french fries, and I was left wishing for a larger burger size.
Still, the choice of four desserts would come to the rescue as we had set our sights on the Tarte au citron (lemon tart, €5.90) a French classic. Sadly it was not to be as we were told none of the desserts were available-no reason given, only ice cream was on offer.
I was beginning to feel some sympathy for them as we’d been their only customers during our visit. We might be enticed back another day as they do pinchos (tapas) after 7.30pm.
Final bill for 3, food (no starters), coffees, soft drinks and a bottle of house white wine, €62