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“Excellent fine dining with best service in Spain” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Serbal

El Serbal
Andres del Rio, 7 | Puertochico, 39004 Santander, Spain
942222515
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Ranked #27 of 421 Restaurants in Santander
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $37 - $147
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
London
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Excellent fine dining with best service in Spain”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

This week we have been lucky enough to visit Seville, Caceres, Salamanca, Valladolid, Leon, Oviedo, Madrid, Burgos and Santander - we have eaten pretty well throughout, but the very best meal was in El Serbal. The welcome was incredibly warm (including delicious surprising aperitifs), the service excellent (friendly, attentive, professional, even staff kindly persisting with our second rate Spanish because it suited us), and the setting comfortable. And the food - well, it was spectacular. We had two starters, two mains and a pudding - sharing everything, with the kitchen plating up separately. So it added up to a kind of mini tasting menu where we could choose all of the things that we most wanted to eat. It was presented beautifully, there was ample, and it was extremely good. We can't wait to go back to Santander for seconds - it was just superb.

Visited June 2013
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303 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cheshire
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Michelin-starred food at Cafe Rouge prices”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Standing outside this restaurant I was convinced that my map had directed me to the wrong place. How could you find a Michelin-starred restaurant at the base of a slightly scruffy-looking apartment block? Even the frontage looks uninviting but do not be fooled, a gastronomic treat that will not break the bank awaits inside. The restaurant decor is contemporary and stylish, and although slightly open-plan the table layout still feels intimate. The maitre d' greeted us with very good English, offering us a complimentary glass of sherry and an "amuse bouche", then a selection of warm handmade breads with a choice of 5 different olive oils. We all chose the €38 tasting menu, 4 courses of wonderful food from the smoked mackerel in filo pastry with apple and foie gras to the rice pudding with caramel ice cream. The service was discreet and attentive, but not overly formal. With water, wine and a tip included the total cost ended up about €50 per person. When you think how much an ordinary meal in an average restaurant might cost, El Serbal is worth searching out and should be on every visitors 'to do' list.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“Fully deserving its Michelin star - should be two stars”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

An excellent restaurant. We had the tasting menu of around 7-8 courses and each one was excellent, full of flavour and innovative. We have been in many Michelin starred restaurants up to three stars and we think this deserves two. What is also reasonable is the cost. The 7-8 courses including wine and water was 130 euros. When we visited the Fat Duck some 4-5 years ago, for the same kind of menu, we paid £340.

If you know about good food and appreciate the amount of work that goes into producing it then this restaurant is for you. If you judge food by quantity then stick to MacDonalds or the local pizza.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
399 reviews 399 reviews
294 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
259 helpful votes 259 helpful votes
“Fantastic restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

Fantastic Michelin starred restaurant that is very good value for such an esteemed establishment. We had the tasting menu with matching wine for €82 each. (Tasting menu without wine was priced at €58 per person).
Friendly staff and good but not intrusive service.
Got a complementary sherry & amuse bouche to start followed by 7 excellent plates.

Very generous with bread, with a trolley brought to our table and the fresh bread was cut in front of us. 5 different types of olive oil came with the bread and an accompanying information card on each type of olive oil.

Located about a minute or two up the hill from the junction of Paseo de Pereda & Castelar on the promenade.
Highly recommended.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Excellent - nothing else to say”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We were fortunate to visit this restaurant for Sunday Lunch and it is faultless with imaginative food, superb service. They offer a sherry aperitif followed by a wide selection of bread, probably 4 different types. The white bread cooked on the premises comes with 5 different types of olive oil and to be honest we could not notice the difference. The other bread with dates / raisens and nut filled I found far more interesting.

We had a ravioli starter with scallop and crab along with cheese and cantabrian anchovies. This was followed by pork and a cod dish.

The sweets were to die for and then they came with chocolates.

There is an excellent selection of wines, reasonably priced and we chose an Albariño at €18.Oveall a most enjoyable experience and totally faultless

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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