Sitges is a curious old town. It has so many of the ingredients to make for a spectacular seaside resort, yet there are two fundamentally key aspects where it repeatedly falls short. Hotel stock and restaurants. The former we get around by renting an apartment and living like locals for two weeks – much more interesting and fitting to the laid back lifestyle the place has to offer. The restaurant dilemma however is more difficult to resolve. Here we are in the middle of Catalunya where some of the country’s best produce is sourced, there’s a steady flow of visitors and locals alike who are ready to spend and yet the choice of dining options is both mediocre and diabolically limited. An investment opportunity if I ever saw one!
Having exhausted our staple rotation of go-to spots, on our last night we took a chance on a place we’d overheard being mentioned at the beach by some in-the-know regulars. And my oh my, Alfresco didn’t disappoint. Despite arriving 30 minutes ahead of our booking time after navigating the narrow winding alleys of the old town, we were immediately shown to our table in the open-air courtyard. Alfresco has ease and style, with floodlit palm trees and cosy booths decorated with mosaic patterns in homage to Gaudi’s legacy. Climbing honeysuckle and jasmine intertwined on wooden trellis echo that collective musical hum of dinner conversation, when you know it’s clear people are having a great night out. Utterly charming.
After some social pleasantries and a discussion over the weather (it was an incredibly humid evening), we were left with the menu and wine list, after a running commentary of the day’s specials. Both were manageable and the food menu consisted of several options per course, though rather focused on seafood, game and pork.
Service was well paced – the wait staff always available yet respectful of your privacy, allowing you to enjoy the breezy atmosphere, which is truly magical. I kicked things off with tuna tataki – lightly seared and accompanied by a fresh yuzu and soy dressing. My seafood ravioli was equally as divine, perhaps small by some people’s dining standards, but perfect enough for a hot summer’s evening. There was plenty of wine had and we opted for a local white – a crisp blend of macabeu and grenache blanc.
All in all, this was a wonderful dining experience with service that had attention to detail, and a setting with real ambience. I just can’t rave about this place enough. A shame we didn’t clock this one earlier, but thank you Alfresco for giving us something to look forward to on a repeat visit to Sitges.
Restaurant – 9/10
Experience – 10/10