If you have the chance to visit Alicante you must try the local dishes. One of my favorites is caldero which is made with fish and rice served separately. The fish is served in a large dish with potatoes and caldo (broth) and the remaining broth is used to cook the rice similar to a paella. Caldero is well-known on the island of Tabarca just off the coast of Alicante. If you aren’t able to visit the island (which really deserves a trip) in Alicante there is a restaurant named El Caldero owned by the family of one of Tabarca’s restaurants which prepare them in the same way as on the island.
A few weeks ago we visited the restaurant for lunch. There we chose the menu of Caldereta Bogavante which included pelicana, a dish of crispy, dried cod skin, tomatoes and lots of olive oil, and calamar de potera, squid caught by local divers with a small harpoon, for starters and followed by the caldereta with lobster and potatoes. With desert and a drink it totaled 37 euros per person which is not exactly cheap in the area, but a good deal for the amount of food and including the lobster.
Their menu includes various other local seafood and other dishes, gazpachos, and fideua, which is cooked similar to a rice/paella, but with thin noodles rather than rice. On a previous trip we’ve ordered the fideua negro – cooked in squid’s ink which gives it its color – which was also very good.