If you have plans to visit charming Seville – and I would heartily recommend it – then you must make eating at ConTenedor part of your itinerary. The restaurant name means literally “with fork”, and it is located in the hip La Alameda neighborhood. This welcoming venue is populated by Spanish couples, families, and friends… it is low-key, friendly, and funky with, most importantly, excellent food.
I visited ConTenedor during my “high-end Hen Do” and I loved it! The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and appears effortlessly hip. The artwork is modern and produced by local artists, who the restaurant supports by hosting exhibitions. Many pieces have a street graffiti style to them, and there are modern mosaics displayed alongside the chipboard walls; the air conditioning shafts are a feature, and no two light fittings are the same. The mismatch of tables and chairs add to the canteen style of the interior. Big wild flowers are stuffed in vases, and there is an open kitchen that adds a lovely dynamic to the space. The chefs work behind a backdrop of hanging fresh pasta and crates full of homegrown vegetables. Bookcase shelving within the restaurant stores the bottles of wine and water. The staff are incredibly friendly; they float around the concrete floor, dressed in black, chatting with guests.
The menu changes daily and is based around what is fresh at that time of year. The restaurant sources organic produce from Andalucía and the rest of Spain. The kitchen specializes in ‘slow cooked’ food. The choices for the day are displayed on a chalkboard in Spanish, but it is happily translated at table. There were around fifteen tantalizing choices! One dish that stays put is duck with crispy rice (Pato y arroz cruicante), a local favourite and best seller. Once the menu had been translated, and we had made our choices, the owner, Ricardo, came and greeted us and we learnt that every Tuesday the restaurant holds a music night with live jazz and soul music. We felt truly relaxed and welcomed.
My companion and I started with a fresh garden salad. Sounds simple. It was simple. Simply glorious: fresh, imaginative and tasty. We enjoyed a generous platter of whole lettuce leaves, carrot ribbons, red cabbage, cucumber, okra, green and red peppers, huge tasty Spanish tomatoes with a beetroot dressing. The beetroot purée was delicious and something I’d definitely make in the future. Simple plates done well are an absolute joy.
Then we moved on to lamb chops on the recommendation of the waitress. Not something I would ever order, but it arrived looking beautiful on a square black plate. The chops sat atop fresh grilled figs, there was a pumpkin sauce, and an extra swirl of red pepper sauce next to the tantalizing meat, finely chopped chives were scattered over the whole dish, and a whole roasted garlic bulb sat next to a large sprig of rosemary. The best chops I have ever had. I pretty much ate the whole bulb of garlic!
Up next were smoky baby octopuses, accompanied by avocado and vegetables, all flash cooked in a wok. It was such a treat! I love seafood and it was so tasty and fresh and well cooked.
The dishes have a purity and imagination that isn’t often harnessed when one eats out. It is the sort of food that feels like a treat but could be eaten everyday! I thought the restaurant was a joy. Unpretentious and highly recommended.
Calle San Luis, 50