Andalucian Contemporary Mediterranean Spanish Cuisine
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience" James Beard
The menu at Al Lago brings the traditional Spanish kitchen into the modern day with an emphasis on lighter, fresher local produce prepared with the influences of our backgrounds; The chef Stefan Crites (Stefan's blog), a native of Columbus Ohio, earned his chef stripes in the kitchens of New York for 15 years. His wife Mona, who manages the restaurant and hotel, is a former textile designer who grew up in England of Indian and Pakistani parentage.
Andalucia itself is a rich patchwork of cultures and people. The Moors made a huge impact on the architecture of the area and introduced orange trees, whose blossom, azahar (Arabic name) was the original name of Zahara, the village in which Al lago sits.
The Phoenecians, who preceded the Moors, brought with them the olive tree which now accounts for Zahara´s fame as a producer of high quality, cold pressed, organic olive oil. Visits to Oleum Viride (organic oil producer) and El Vinculo (historic hydraulic mill) can be arranged whilst you stay at Al Lago. You can also sample the flavours of these unique oils which we use to dress our salads and vegetables.
In summer our fishmonger scours the world famous fish market in Cadiz for plump sardines, sea anenomies, sushi grade tuna, razor clams and sea bass which we grill simply with rosemary from our garden. In winter the hunting season starts in earnest and we have a bounty of game on offer; wild boar, partridge, venison rabbit and quail. The menu turns to heartier rustic dishes often braised in Rioja wine and with locally foraged mushrooms.
Our lettuces, berries and vegetables are grown in the huertas (orchards) surrounding the village and are largely organic. The tinkling of goat bells heard everywhere in the village lets you know that great goats cheese is close by! Here we use Zahara´s fresh goat´s cheese, similar to a mozzarella and very gentle in flavour, toasted on top our grilled vegetable plate. The semi cured and cured hard cheeses are on offer as a starter paired with home made quince jam or the soft cheese as a dessert drizzled with honey.
All desserts at Al Lago are homemade and offer a variety not normally found in the area, the New York style cheesecake being consistently our best seller for the past 4 years. Our bodega (wine cellar) is stocked full with Spanish, especially, local wines; both the chef and his wife are huge fans of Ronda wines and are keen to introduce these gems to our customers.
Six course Chef's tasting menu
Every day we offer a six course Chef´s tasting menu, which changes seasonally and is available for a minimum of 2 people. We also have our daily specials board apart from the menu, please ask your waitress.
At Al Lago we are able to cater for vegetarians as well as gluten and lactose intolerances. We are also happy to cater for all your special occasions; please ask us about, or email us for more details about, birthdays, celebrations, weddings, anniversaries and group bookings. We hope you enjoy your meal!
Our latest menu and wine list
Opening and closing dates
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Andalucian cuisine | Mediterranean food | Spanish contemporary cuisine | Organic/local produce | Ronda wines