Nov 222013
 

PUNTA BENIMAQUIA,     LA XARA  966420014

 ★★★☆☆ 

Musical chairs in a barnDSC00091

 

Punta Benimaquia is located on the road from Jesus Pobre to La Xara.

DSC00090

The restaurant consists of a number of attractive intimate rooms and a large barn like dining room into which we were directed. We moved three times before we finally agreed on a table that everyone felt comfortable with and we were then able to study the substantial menu.

 DSC00089

The menu del día was priced at just €11.90 and offered a choice of eleven starters, thirteen main courses, six desserts as well as a glass of the house wine, El Pinar from Alicante. We did try the house white but as it was rather dull our host chose the Enate Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from Somantano (€16.50) and it lifted our spirits.

DSC00080

For starters we had delicious grilled langoustines, a seafood cocktail, fresh cheese with anchovies and a plate of Serrano ham with a fried egg and fried potatoes.

DSC00083Most of us went for the grilled pork cutlets for our main course, and they were a bit on the dry side and could have done with a barbecue or apple sauce to counteract the dryness.DSC00086

One of our party chose pork cheeks with pasta presented on a very colourful plate.

 DSC00087

Again most of us chose the profiteroles for dessert and in this case they were clearly not taken out of the fridge early enough as they were ice cold. Together with coffees and brandy the cost of this lunch amounted to just €19.94 p.p.

 

KK 71     

 

 

  

 

 

Jul 062012
 
VENTA DE POSA, LA XARA      965784672

 ★★★☆☆ 

Nothing ventured…

This former coaching house or Venta is located on the edge of La Xara on the old road to Denia. The historic building contains a number of dining areas and a bar that leads into a large covered courtyard where musical entertainment can be provided for over a hundred diners.

 

We settled in at a table in the long dining room at the entrance of the restaurant for a deliciously cold beer whilst we checked the menu.

The menu del día is priced according to the main course chosen, ranging from Paella at  €11.50, meat dishes in the price bracket of €12.50-19.50 or fish dishes priced from  €16.50-20.50. These prices do not include wine or other drinks.

Before the main courses were served we enjoyed tapa portions of deliciously sweet baby broad beans, fried tomatoes on toast with a quail´s egg, smoked tuna with a slice of cheese and a salsa of garlic and tomato and finally a large fresh salad – all good.

Some of us chose a meat and vegetable Paella, which was rather salty and a bit soggy and importantly, was missing the caramelised rice that we like to enjoy. The rest of the party had meat dishes; the entrecote was tender but not as flavoursome as it might have been, probably because it had been boiled earlier to preserve the meat. The leg of lamb was smothered in a thick tomato sauce which rather took from the flavour of the meat, which was a bit tough and stringy on the outside although tender inside. Finally one of our number had grilled garlic rabbit which was tasty.

The desserts included coffee flan, tiramasu, chocolate mousse, an unusual fried milk dish and a generous portion of delicious fresh honey dew melon.

Although we sampled  the house wines, both priced at €8.50, an Alicante Sauvignon blanc called Fruto Noble and a red crianza from Utiel Requena called Capellana, we decided to trade up to a delicious Viña Pomal crianza from Rioja which cost our host €15 a bottle.

Together with coffees and brandies, the cost p.p. for this convivial lunch was €24.88.

JB 68

May 112012
 
TAPES I VI, LA XARA   966424767

Tops for Tapas

 ★★★★★ 

Whilst some cities in Spain boast entire streets of tapas bars where each bar serves it´s own unique tapa, the decidedly untouristy village of La Xara near Denia has a tapas restaurant, Tapes i Vi, that is dedicated to serving an impressive selection of quality tapas.

One could easily drive past Tapes i Vi, the only restaurant on Carrer de les Escoles, a rather dusty backstreet. The frontage of the restaurant is narrow, but once inside the décor is bright and modern with a life size copy of Picasso´s famous Guernica painting on one wall facing onto a bright red wall opposite.

There are three menu options ranging from €12 for two tapas, a main course, dessert and coffee, to €16.50 for extra tapas and to €18.75 for a selection of six tapas, dessert, but curiously not coffee. Wine is extra but Tapes i Vi do allow customers to bring their own wine and for a reasonable corkage charge of €3 per bottle.

Our first tapa was slices of York ham with manchego cheese and a peppery sauce. This was quickly followed by a salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and goat´s cheese served with balsamic dressing.

The third tapa was wonderful fresh calamari and this was followed by a fried egg  covered with shavings of foie gras. Absolutely delicious!

The last two tapas did not disappoint, with curried meatballs and finally lamb cutlets with slices of potato. We finished our meal with a selection of desserts – fresh pineapple, cheesecake, flan, pumpkin tart and chocolate curds.

Our generous host selected Paco & Lola Albariño 2011 and Cune Crianza 2008 priced at €18.50 and €13.50 respectively and with coffees brought the total cost to €32.75 p.p.

It was a pleasant change to be in a busy restaurant for lunch where the majority of diners were Spanish rather than foreigners as is so often the case in the Marina Alta.

RH 81