NEW VENTA ROJA, LLIBER 965731039
This landmark restaurant on the CV 750 Jalon-Benissa road, overlooking the vineyards of Lliber in the Vall del Pop, has changed management and name four or five times over the past ten years and our last review was in 2013 when it scored two stars.
The menu del día costs €13 and includes three starters, a main course and dessert. The first of our starters was a substantial chicken salad and this was followed by strips of jamon with a fried quail´s egg. The third starter was fresh calamari rings.
The house wines from the Jalon Co-op were passed over by our host in favour of a pleasant Rioja crianza called Azabache (€12), which had the effect of pushing up the cost of our lunch.
For main course we had merluza (hake) in mussels sauce, beef steak with salsa, and one of our group chose pigs cheek with sauce from the à la carte menu for a supplement of €6. We agreed that perhaps with a little less sauce, the dishes could have been more distinctive.
The desserts were bought in ice cream tarts and together with brandies and coffee our lunch cost €27.90 p.p.
Because this restaurant can accommodate over 100 diners, perhaps the management could consider opening one area at a time so that a bit of atmosphere is created; at the moment this is lacking despite the friendly service.