On our third day in Spain, my wife’s parents and sister joined us. We met them Tuesday morning at the Madrid airport (an excellent airport, I might add) and drove a small diesel Volkswagen that sounded like a blender four and half hours southeast to a villa we rented near the small beach town of Jávea (or Xàbia), home to one of my favorite restaurants from this trip – Noray Jávea.
Jávea is a surprising little town. While I expected the beach to draw a good crowd, I did not expect the number of stores, restaurants, ex-pats, and retirees. The city was busy and all of the roundabouts (instead of stoplights) took some getting used to, but did the hustle and bustle detract from the experience. It was simply a unique lesson about the blending of cultures, generations, and mindsets in this region of Spain.
We went to Noray, a beautiful two-story restaurant on the beach, for lunch. The floor-to-ceiling windows and white tablecloths provided an upscale feel, while the kids playing on the beach and topless tanning women dressed the vibe down some.
Our waitress didn’t speak a lick of English, which I really liked for authenticity’s sake and this allowed me to practice mi Español (translates to “my Spanish” – you’re welcome). We started with a bottle of Habla Del Silencio, a great wine we found, and lightly-breaded calamari. The main dish is where things get interesting/awesome. We ordered seafood Paella for the table and an order of grilled octopus. While the grilled octopus was mighty tasty, the Paella was unbelievable! It was served in a pan the size of a truck tire, had shrimp, lobster, and cuddlefish, and was the color of the sun from the saffron in the seasoning. Despite the awe-inspiring presentation, it was the flavor that did it for me. I’m a huge seafood and shellfish fan, so I was in my happy place.
After sufficiently stuffing our faces, we got coffee and walked along the harbor to make sure we could stay awake for the drive home. Noray was some of the best food we had while in Spain and the great beach views helped make it a memorable experience!
Be sure to check out more Restaurant Reviews from near and far!