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My last trip before Covid lockdown was March 11-12th 2020 when I went to visit some wineries in the Axarquía and also near Antequera, culminating with a visit to Bodega La Capuchina before heading home. Little did I know while I was coming back on the train that evening that the world was about to change.

Then a few weeks ago my friend Jeffrey and family moved to Marbella from LA and since then he’s been foodie-ing up a storm visiting bars and restaurants all around Andalucía. He hadn’t heard of Arte de Cozina (and I hadn’t been there since 2016 with Victor) so when he invited me for lunch I leapt at the chance to go back. As we had some extra pre-lunch time I got in touch with Susana at La Capuchina and she very generously offered to pick us up at the train station to visit her bodega and her assistant Mercedes took us to Antequera in time for lunch, dropping us off right in front of Arte de Cozina.

And what a lunch it was! Our friend Victor was supposed to meet us there but was a last minute cancellation, which was a shame not only because I was looking forward to seeing him again, but also because we really could have used an extra stomach (!!!). Jeffrey and I did the best we could but couldn’t finish everything. Chef Charo Carmona and her somm son Fran took excellent care of us, as they do with everyone, and it was a crazy delicious experience (listed below).

Afterwards we had to find our Victor-less way back to the Santa Ana station by taxi (he was going to drive us) and both of us ended up missing our connections, so a long wait ensued in the most charmless middle-of-nowhere spot imaginable. Even the Sad Café was shut. Oh well… it was still a fab day out. Lots of good memories.

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•Selection of porras: tomato, blanco and orange
•Croquetas de la casa (with ensaladilla): puchero, bacalao, gambas, espinacas y piones, queso de cabra, setas, chorizo
•Baby artichokes with crispy garlic and Pedroches jamón
•Pork-filled calamares a la malagueña with potato purée
•Traditional lomo de orza – a MUST HAVE
•Choto malagueña (baby goat) a la pastoril