Spain Rincon: Iberia in Morris County

Today’s restaurant visit is by Suzanne Zimmer Lowery. I’ll be back tomorrow.—Andrea Clurfeld

The roadhouse look of Spain Rincon in the Mount Hope section of Rockaway doesn’t reflect its Spanish and Continental food and attentive service.

While the interior walls are clad in fake stone, what’s authentic—what’s kept Spain Ricon popular for more than two decades—are its pitchers of red and white sangria and its paellas.

While the basket of bread arrived promptly, it was cold and not nearly as crusty as we’d hoped. Fortunately, it was quickly followed by complimentary bowls of smooth and well-seasoned lentil soup, which primed our appetites.

Clams Casino at Spain Rincon restaurant in Rockaway, New Jersey..

Clams Casino at Spain Rincon. Photo: Suzanne Zimmer Lowery

A first course of juicy clams casino with a smoky bacon aftertaste was truly the best version of this classic we’ve ever had. Clams also can be ordered on the half shell or in marinara or green sauce.

The seafood combo, dubbed Zarzuela, presents a pot full of clams, shrimp and lobster in garlicky saffron broth accented with sherry and brandy. The dish, which comes with sides of yellow rice and peas, provided more than enough for a meal the next day.

Seafood Zarzuela at Spain Rincon restaurant in Rockaway, New Jersey.

Seafood Zarzuela at Spain Rincon. Photo: Suzanne Zimmer Lowery

An interesting and generous plate of tender pork and shrimp Francaise was enjoyable (even though the shrimp were rather small). We polished off a side dish of crispy, thin-sliced potatoes.

Traditional flan custard might have made a good, and authentic, dessert. But since we were full, we ordered pineapple sorbet, which was creamy, refreshing and attractive in its hollowed-out wedge of fresh pineapple.

All evening, smiling servers hustled about the 50-seat dining room, keeping up with the waves of equally happy patrons.

Spain Rincon, 41 Richard Mine Road, Mount Hope, 973-361-8290, spain-rincon.com. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

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