La Tasca, Jesús Pobre, Spain

La TascaI have visited this restaurant every summer for the last four years and it never fails to disappoint.  The food is always fresh and seasonal and everything, including the pasta is homemade. I have already mentioned La Tasca in a previous post, in which I attempted to recreate my favourite Ricotta and Spinach Tortellini with a butter and sage sauce, but its never quite the same as when you are sitting in this unique courtyard setting under the spanish sky.

This year we were lucky enough to book a table on a Tuesday evening, which is music night and we were entertained by a traditional gypsy family performing flamenco dancing and singing. The atmosphere was extremely magical and special and is something I will remember for many years to come.

To start, my husband and I shared a Burrata, which for those who don’t know is a delicious buffalo mozzarella, from Napoli in Southern Italy. This was served with toasted bread, topped with fresh spanish tomatoes and drizzled in basil oil. My mouth is watering as I write, as it is such a delight to eat.

The pasta at La Tasca is made daily and their speciality is the ravioli, with a different choice of fillings each day. On this particular evening I could have had ravioli with pear and gorgonzola, salmon and lemon cream, meat, or luckily for me, on this particular evening, the spinach and ricotta. However, the problem of which pasta to choose does not end there, you then have to choose a sauce to accompany the dish. The waiting staff are always on hand to recommend which sauces suit each pasta dish, but it really is up to individual preference. I was torn between Burro e Salvia ( melted butter and crispy sage leaves), Nata y Nueces (cream, walnut pieces and a touch of pepper) or their delicious Nata y Parmigiano (cream and melted parmesan cheese). After a good deal of deliberation I opted for the rather indulgent parmesan cream sauce to accompany my spinach and ricotta ravioli and it did not disappoint. Hurrah for pasta!

To finish, my husband enjoyed a Panna Cotta with berry jam and I opted for a second calorific, but to die for option, of a Crepe Suzette, which was heavenly.  Another fantastic evening at this atmospheric,  warm and friendly venue. La Tasca, I miss you already, but I know I will return…adios amigo!

For more information check out TripAdivsor

Advertisements

El Chiringüito Beach Bar, Denia, Spain

image

el Chiringüito Beach Bar

There are many beach bars and restaurants along the Denia coast line, but we always seem to gravitate towards Chiringüito beach because it is well away from the centre of Denia and less crowded. The front of the bar is furnished with cushioned seating in attractive blues and pinks and it has a wonderful view overlooking the sea. A little further back is the restaurant area and whilst there is a regular menu the specials change daily, many of which are seafood.

My husband and I opted to share several plates of food, starting with locally grown organic tomatoes, dressed in oil and sherry vinegar, accompanied with pickled olives, chillies and topped with fresh anchovies. The clean flavours and the freshness of the salad was sublime and in our opinion the epitome of ‘health on a plate’. The salad provided an excellent accompaniment to the two fish dishes we chose. Firstly a sumptuous plate of freshly grilled sardines, which brought back childhood memories of eating grilled sardines and boiled potatoes in the tiny port of Ericeira in Portugal, but the star of the show was the cuttlefish. It is the first time that either of us has eaten cuttlefish (sepia) and it was a revelation.

Cuttlefish is of course very similar to octopus and I am well aware that you either cook it for a very short time or cook it slowly for a long time. I was expecting this dish to be rubbery, but it was far from that and instead we found it deliciously soft and tender and the accompanying garlic and parsley dressing worked perfectly. The restaurant is a ‘no frills’ kind of place, but the waiters are helpful and attentive, despite their limited English and our even more limited Spanish. It was quite simply a delicious lunch in a wonderful location.

For more information and reviews check out TripAdvisor.

Mercat Del Riurau, Jesús Pobre, Spain

image

MERCAT DEL RIURAU

Jesús Pobre may be a small traditional Spanish village nestled in the heart of the Montgo National Park, but every Sunday from June to September between the hours of 6pm and 11pm, the world and his wife can be found enjoying the Mercat Del Riurau in the main village square. This a village market where you can taste the local produce and buy directly from the farmers, bakers and crafts people, much the same as the farmers markets we get back at home in the UK. Seasonal, organic and local produce is in abundance and there is live music to accompany as you shop and taste the local food and wine. We bought a selection of Spanish Empanadas which is a stuffed bread or pastry (similar to a Cornish Pasty) and then baked or fried. Traditionally in Latin America they are stuffed with spiced beef, but in Spain seasonal vegetables are often used as a filling. We tried one, stuffed with peas and another with tomatoes, but our favourite empanada contained juicy, garlicky spinach. We ate them as a picnic on the beach the following day and they went down a treat. We finished off the evening with a bottle of chilled red and a Queso Raclette Fundido, which quite simply is melted cheese on a toasted piece of bread with vegetables or ham. The smell of the cheese was simply too much to resist, so we spent €4 each and tucked in. It may have been a cheap supper but the flavours ensured we felt that we were dining like kings!

La Trastienda, Javea Old Town, Spain

image

La Trastienda

La Trastienda is a traditional Spanish Tapas/Wine bar situated in the heart of Javea Old Town. We have been visiting this warm and friendly restaurant for a number of years and it never fails to disappoint. The selection of wines is impressive and the prices are very reasonable, and there is even the opportunity to purchase a bottle or two to take home. A favourite from the wine list is the Berrol i Miró Brut Reserva Rosado (berralmiro.com) which is fruity, crisp dry and clean. Served cold it is a superb accompaniment to a casual tapas lunch.

The tapas menu is a Spanish-Asian mix but many of the meats and cheeses are regional. The tasting menu at lunchtime is extremely good value at €9.90 per person and consists of six different plates. When we visited last Thursday we were treated to several slithers of moist salty Serrano Ham with a small bowl of greens leaves, dressed in truffle oil and sprinkled with pine nuts and Parmesan shavings. the combination of flavours in the salad was delicious and definitely something I will replicate back at home. For the second course we were treated to hot Croquetas de Jamón and a slice of the juicy roast beef on toast with a smattering of mustard. Finally we sampled a sumptuous mouthful of Estofado (Spanish Beef Stew) with crispy potato slices and a second dish of oriental vegetables dressed in soy sauce. Small bites superbly delivered and executed.

You will find a number of reviews for La Trastienda on Trip Advisor and you will see that this small intimate bar scores extremely highly for service, wine and food. A wonderful atmosphere and a place that we intend to return to again and again.