Traditional cuisine on a daily basis and at events at La Finca San Juan, in Castañeda

Complex building where the daily restaurant is located, with a terrace on the porch. / DM

On the verge of turning 40, it also stands out for its farm and its extensive facilities.

Jose Luis Perez

Almost 40 years ago, in 1983, the Alvear family, led by María Rosa Fernández Pacheco (96), acquired the spectacular estate that has since housed the hotel business Finca San Juan (formerly Hostería de Castañeda). Over the years, this establishment has established itself as a benchmark for banquets (weddings, baptisms, communions, congresses) and catering -they hold the record of one for 3,400 people in La Lechera-, but they have also a catering service from Tuesday to Sunday.

If Finca San Juan will be able to celebrate four decades next year, in the history of the house there are two professionals who have practically the beginning of the story. They are chef José Ángel García Cuadrado, “Chile”, and chef Manuel Alonso; both were incorporated in 1984, with less than twenty years.

In the case of Chile, he arrived at the age of 16 from the town of Villadiezma, very close to Osorno. At 21, he was already a chef and he is the architect of a style of cooking, although he always had in María Rosa the person who set standards, “seeking the taste of the client”. Chili, like his partner Manuel, are not afraid of challenges and are used to combining services since they have the degree that experience gives. Chili’s latest challenge is on her YouTube channel, where she successfully shares recipes so friends or clients can make them at home.

Arrina, José Ángel ‘Chile’ García and Manuel Alonso, head chef and head chef respectively. Below, octopus and salmon salad; and mountain stew. / DM

The menu

At the price of 28 euros, the Finca San Juan offers a menu of the day consisting of a mountain stew, an octopus and salmon salad or a liver pie with vegetable cream, as a starter. For main course, their three options are hake stuffed with spider crab a la mouselina, roast lamb with baked potatoes, or sirloin scallops with marsala sauce. The price includes homemade desserts, for example a cheesecake or caramelized French toast with red fruits and pastry cream.

This menu is priced at 35 euros at the weekend, and can be taken both in the restaurant itself and on the terrace-veranda or under the large marquee permanently installed in the garden.

On top, hake stuffed with spider crab à la mouselina. Below, roast suckling lamb with baked potato; and torrija with red fruits and pastry cream. / DM

The letter

The menu also shows a traditional cooking style, with specialties that please the most. Without a doubt, the synergies with the banquet kitchen are noticeable.

In terms of starters, the range of proposals consists of ham croquettes; squid rings; scallops ; beef charcuterie; fried octopus with potato parmentier; baked goat cheese with anchovies and caramelized onion; Cantabrian anchovies; its ink stuffed with porcini mushrooms and shrimp cream.

From Tuesday to Friday they have a daily menu of 28 euros and on weekends 35 euros

Another option may be to opt for a spoon dish – mountain stew or fish soup – or a salad – mixed; tuna belly; beef cecina, goat cheese and liver or tomato shavings, burrata pasiega and pesto.

As a main course, there is hooked hake, sea bass or monkfish to taste, as well as sea bass loins in salt. And in the meats, Milanese cutlet; sirloin grilled or with liver and matured beef tenderloin. The desserts are homemade: apple pie, cheesecake; chocolate brownie and pastry cream, caramelized French toast and gluten-free chocolate volcano.

In short, good value for money in an absolutely spectacular and intimate setting.


Restaurant Finca San Juan

Address: Villabanez district. Castaneda.

Telephone: 942 59 81 13.

Owners: Alver family.

Inaugurated: 1983.

Address: Jose Alvear.

Chef: Jose Angel “Chile” Garcia Cuadrado.

Kitchen: Terio, Chuchi and Hermi.

Room manager: Manuel Alonso.

Style of kitchen: Traditional, banquet.

Average letter price: Between 40 and 45 euros.

Menu of the day : 28 euro.

Map of the weekend: 35 euros.

Aptitude: 40 people and a private room for 35. Banquets, up to three hundred people.

Terrace: Between 80 and 100 seats.

Program: From 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Close: Full Monday and every evening.

Cellar: About 50 references.

Coffee: Camel.

Wireless: Yes.

Car park: Yourself.


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