Carlos Moreno: The Andalusian Behind Dexcaro Restaurant in Denia

Step by step, Carlos G Moreno is earning an important place within the culinary scene of the Costa Blanca, precisely in Denia, where his restaurant Dexcaro—unlike other proposals in the area—is located. We had a lively conversation with him to hear firsthand how this particular gastronomic proposal came about.

SLE: The first thing we ask is why the choice of the names “Dexcaro” and “Ossadía”…

CARLOS: First came Street Groundback (Granada Returns), a play on words, but it was very difficult to pronounce, and then Dexcaro came up, because from the beginning it was a different proposal. People told us: You’re daring. I think it represents the type of cuisine we do, which is different, where we mix fusions from various places (Italian dishes with Moroccan influences), based on recipes that are anything but conventional.

And a year later, Ossadía appeared; in this case, it’s the high-end version of Dexcaro itself, emerging as a much more gourmet and gastronomic rendition. To demonstrate with a tasting menu that here we are, laying everything on the table, to surprise diners.

SLE: Now that we’re in context, let’s tell our readers about these two proposals that characterize your restaurant: Urban Food and Ossadía, since they are very different, but in the same place…

CARLOS: Urban Food is an informal place with high-end cuisine, where friends, family, and all kinds of people can gather, simply to have a laugh or try some wines and eat some croquettes, in a fun environment. And Ossadía is a place that offers a sensory experience, a culinary, sensory experience that is the center of attention. We want to show that we aim to be the best in Denia, in the Valencian Community, and in Spain. It’s an ambitious proposal. It’s a private room, very intimate and glamorous, where only a maximum of 8 people can be (whether they know each other or not).


SLE: You know well that what your two gastronomic proposals offer is quite different from what is usually found in Denia. How do you feel about the diners who come to Dexcaro?

CARLOS: First, every day they come with more expectations, to try things out. A few years ago, they came in fear of what they would find, and now they come eager to try. In fact, it happens that they come to eat and recommend to their friends, uncles, relatives, and they in turn recommend to others. They come back several times a week, several times a month. Last Friday, for example, a group came to try the tasting menu, and next Friday they will come again to spend the same amount for the same menu. They liked it! That’s something that’s happening a lot to us.

SLE: Tell us about your plans for the rest of the year. We know you’re busy, restless, at fairs, trying things out…

CARLOS: Media-wise, we’ll try to be at Valencia Gourmet, Alicante Gastronómica, and set our sights on being included in the Michelin Guide at the end of the year, which is our goal. Restaurant-wise, for the remainder of the season, we’ll renovate Urban Food, paying more attention to details in the dining room, the tables will be more individual, matching the lighting. Part of the tasting menu may become part of the seasonal menu. It will undergo improvements to enhance comfort. And we’re about to release Valencian sake inspired by a liquor store in Barcelona called Kensho, who developed the first Spanish sake.


SLE: What does it mean to you to be a good chef?

CARLOS: To me, it means a combination of things, being a good manager, a good colleague, being creative, keeping a team united, knowing how to improvise. In fact, knowing how to improvise above all. It’s a mix of things, knowing how to express, demonstrate, choosing a good team…

“Being a good chef means a combination of things, being a good manager, a good colleague, being creative, keeping a team united, knowing how to improvise. In fact, knowing how to improvise above all.” – Carlos Moreno


SLE: Finally, let’s tempt our audience. What innovative dishes can people try in your restaurant that have been successful?

CARLOS: At Urban Food, the Chinese tacos and the cochinita pibil croquettes are favorites from the menu; and the hotdog, which is the most daring, with popping candy that explodes in the mouth; and at Ossadía, what surprises many is the dessert of sake with yeast from the sake itself, vanilla and white chocolate, and citrus. Another one is the semi-frozen popcorn croquette. It surprises because people expect a hot croquette, and it’s cold. They feel like they’re at the cinema, that’s what they tell us.

The lentil risotto also surprises a lot, which is a fusion of Italian and Indian recipes. We call it “The one that wanted to be and wasn’t and the one that is.” The one that wanted to be and wasn’t is the lentil risotto, and what we use is the beluga (small black lentil) and we cook it as if it were rice. And we finish it with Parmesan, butter, black garlic, Moroccan lemon, and dal makhani sauce. It’s a very powerful dish in the mouth. In fact, the sauce they usually eat has close to 60 different ingredients in one spoonful. And it’s accompanied by a cucumber, ginger, and mint granita inside a spherical bread and finished with a soupy rice, which we make with the salmorreta (paella sauce) which we make with chili and chipotle.

Thank you, Carlos, for this lively conversation! And now, we tempt people to reserve a table, either at Urban Food or at Ossadía, to experience a different, authentic, and surprising gastronomy in all its aspects.


Contact details

Abu S Salt 1, Restaurante Dexcaro, C/ Abu S Salt, 1, 03700 Dénia, Alicante

633 032 614



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