lunes, 14 de marzo de 2011

Restaurante Virgen del Mar - Murcia.

Desde que se instaló en Murcia he venido oyendo hablar y bastante bien de este restaurante, de su cocinera, de la calidad de sus productos y de sus espectaculares arroces. Y como suele pasar en estos casos, cuando uno tiene la oportunidad de ir, después de tantos elogios, de manera consciente o inconsciente sale un poco defraudado. Y no es por nada en concreto, sino que uno espera que todo sea distinto a lo conocido, y no lo es.
Al llegar, la mesa reservada ya estaba lista, era una mesa para 9 comensales, demasiado encajonada. Las pocas críticas negativas que había leído iban en esta dirección. La mitad de los comensales iban a tenerlo francamente difícil si tenía la necesidad de ir al baño.
Había de aperitivo un plato de Salmorejo y aceitunas gigantes. El salmorejo muy suave y bastante bien conseguido. La maître se nos acerca muy simpática y pregunta si queremos carta, o nos dice lo que tiene. Deben tener pocas cartas y no querrán que se estropeen, o no se fía de nosotros y teme que se las robemos. - Si has hecho cartas, ¿Por que no las enseñas? -Cuando cantan los platos de la carta, al cuarto ya se me han olvidado los tres primeros.
Como hemos oído hablar muy bien de los arroces, pues la decisión esta tomada, unos entrantes y su famoso arroz estilo Cruz (Cruz García, el alma máter y cocinera). Y los entrantes lógicamente han de ser marisco y fritura. Nos decidimos por pulpo, gamba roja a la plancha, boquerones fritos adobados, calamares romana, chanquetes y ese tipo de cosas que tomaríamos en un restaurante de playa.
El pulpo estaba tierno por dentro y con un toque de horno que endurecía el exterior, los boquerones con un ligero adobo, calamares romana, chanquetes combinados con una escalibada, de manera muy acertada. Todo en general estaba riquísimo. Una cosa que me llamó la atención fue la gamba roja. No le pasaba nada en particular, pero suelo estar acostumbrado a que el marisco fresco, si lo es, lo enseñen antes de cocinarlo. Y aquí no lo hicieron , lo trajeron cocinado. Un detalle, aunque quizás insignificante, para mí significativo.
Como decía todo estaba muy gustoso, a la altura de los restaurantes de la barra de Cabo de Palos, y lo bueno es que no tenemos que ir hasta allí. Pero también es verdad, que no es más que el Miramar o La Tana.
Llega el afamado arroz Cruz. Muy rico, un arroz "pelao" con almejas, calamares y gambas, cocido en un secreto caldo de pescado que, si bien es cierto que no es el mejor que he probado en mi vida, tiene una merecida fama. Hacía tiempo que no tomaba un arroz tan gustoso, aunque con un par de minutos más de cocción le hubiese gustado a los que no les gusta el arroz con un poco de corazón. Esta vez el vino es un Albariño, Mar de Frades bien fresquito.
A los postres llegábamos bien aleccionados, y cuando alguien nunca pide postre, y allí lo hace, algo tendrá ese plato, el Soufflé de Melocotón. Mereció la pena haberlo probado, bañado con una crema inglesa. También puede probar la tarta de queso, pero eso ya es más de lo mismo, incluso un poco empalagosa.
Cafés y cuenta. La cuenta fue alta, unos 50 euros, pero no podemos comparar con otros sitios, pues al meter marisco fresco, ya sabemos que el precio se dispara.
Entre la oferta gastronómica de Murcia, es una suerte tener un restaurante como el Virgen del Mar, ya que es una opción más entre las muchas que podemos encontrar. Es un sitio que se come pescado y marisco de gran calidad, aunque la fama que le precede hace que esperemos de ellos más de lo que dan. El servicio es correcto, la decoración moderna y nada marinera como se podría esperar, el local ruidoso y poco espacioso. La puntuación seria de bien alto sin llegar a notable, un 6,7.
Lo podemos encontrar en la Plaza de San Nicolás. Tlf:968 21 66 79

1 comentario:

Anónimo dijo...

My family has been eating in this restaurant for more than 10 years, and there was a very good personal relationship with the owner, so it made sense to us to celebrate a very special family event there.
We had negotiated a closed price (which by the way was quite high for Murcia), including 2 options, with or without drinks. We chose the one including beverage (more expensive) and there we went, and we had a nice table waiting for 30 people...
The starters were good, as always, even though the quantity was scarce... Then there was this young waiter and the drinks were very hardly brought to the table, so we had to continuously insist to the waiter to bring them...
After 5 or 6 requests he brought the bottle of wine and left it in front of us closed... then suddenly he came, he opened the bottle and took it away and served other parts of the table and never came back.
Thanks god that all the family was having a good time since we get along quite well, but I started to be quite upset with the situation... but I did not want to ruin such a nice day.
The paella finally arrived and the quality was VERY POOR. What the hell was that?! Were they fooling us? Still I remained silent, even though I had to insist a lot to get a bottle of wine again. I think I managed to drink 2 and a half glasses of wine in a 3 hours meal...
After the desserts which were OK, we offered some drinks to the guests (negotiated also at a quite high price and for very normal brands of alcohol) and at the end I went to pay the bill.
To my surprise they asked me 450 euros more than what we had negotiated, apart the drinks of course!!!!!!!
The owner insisted that this was the price, that yes, that it was their mistake because they thought it was the menu without the drinks, so they simply charged the drinks.
I explained to her and showed the emails I exchanged with them were we had reached the deal. I insisted that it was not my mistake but theirs, so I did not have to pay for their mistakes. That I would pay only for what was negotiated.
Still the owner insisted that I should pay the bill as it is, that she could not do it otherwise....
For more than 10 years my family had been eating in that restaurant, the mother of my wife was her friend, so many moments we had spent there, so much money we had spent in their restaurant... I really felt totally betrayed and in front of me I had a stubborn wall...
So I was angry, and I told her that I was really upset, that for me the worst was not the money but this ugly way of treating us, after so many years, so I paid her the money and even left her a tip of 50 euros, to show her that money was not the problem, and I told her so.
The owner kind-of apologized, not very convincingly, saying that indeed it was her fault and because of that she gave back to my wife 150 eur (???!!!) saying that is was an internal misunderstanding of the restaurant... "Misunderstanding?!!!" I though, and instead of giving back the extra 450 eur she gaves back 150? So that meant that I had to pay 300 eur for her error?...
That lady, the owner, behaved like a real pirate. She did not mind to miss as clients a full family, which were very good clients and had personal links with them, because of her mistake... What kind of owner of renown does such things?
There are much better places to eat and much cheaper in Murcia, just in the other corner of the square there is an excellent and nicely set restaurant, much more friendly and cheaper. I would not waste my time eating in La Virgen del Mar, bad service, average food (except a few very good dishes) for very expensive prices, and distrust in the owner.
I believe that reputation is one of the most important thing for restaurants, especially in such a small city like Murcia. If you do not look after your clients you can lose much more clients than just them.