Extra Portions - La Tasca – Jesus Pobre By Fiona Jennison
Nestled next to the pretty church in Jesus Pobre is a restaurant run by two brothers, Alex and Danni, and their sister, Elena. Inspired heavily by Italian momma’s culinary skills but La Tasca also offers classic and modern dishes with influences from Spain, France and South America, and this is a lovely restaurant rammed full of soul.
Alex does front of house, Danni is in charge of the fresh food shopping nearly entirely from local markets, and Elena works her magic in the kitchen. They are a charismatic trio, always smiling and giving out good energy, and their restaurant is a little oasis of style, fun and friendliness in the village, especially on a Thursday night when there is always live music.
For extra portions factors La Tasca scores top marks in four areas. They offer a certain quirkiness, vast amounts of friendliness, genuinely high quality ingredients and a seriously pretty locale. Artistically decorated (also an art gallery with monthly rotating exhibitions of interesting art) the restaurant has a boho-chic vibe, attracting an interesting-looking crowd, who you often notice making friends with neighbouring tables, as if they know they already have good taste in common. And are nicely relaxed, which I think is one hundred percent the aim of this engaging restaurant and it’s friendly proprieteurs.
You can tell just how passionate they are about their food by just how long Alex spends at each table explaining the menu, night after night. It’s a wonder the restaurant operates smoothly given the time he takes – but it absolutely does.
My favourite dish is the ‘burrata’, which is buffalo mozzarella (superior mozzarella made with the first milk), with delicious tostada and fresh tomato. The mozzarella is flown in from Italy, and I would kiss the pilot even if he looked like Donald Trump. Melt in the mouth doesn’t cover it. It melts your entire body and soul. As do, I might add, the fresh home made ravioli dishes.
The ‘Vitel Tone’ is also a winner. Finely sliced steak with cream of anchovoy and tuna is a mind blowing combination and cooked with finesse. Most of the meat is cooked beautifully on the barbecue, and you can’t go wrong with the fish of the day as it is freshly bought from the Javea and Denia markets, and simply prepared, because the flavours are there anyway. If you are feeling like a bit of French cuisine feast on the French onion soup, and the Crepe suzette with orange. Tres magnifique, quoi.
La Tasca’s Antigua-walled courtyard is a haven of pot plants and rustic furniture and makes for a literal heaven on balmy summer evenings. (NB inside there is a log fire which makes it very toasty and cosy in the winter.) The resounding success of the vibrant must-see artisan and organic produce Jesus Pobre Sunday market means booking for Sunday lunch here is essential. And a perfect way to extend that weekend feeling. Don’t forget to mention Female Focus for your free bottle of wine.
Thursday nights see really excellent hand picked musicians playing either swing, acoustics, flamenco, blues or jazz. Never too loud, may I add. They always get the volume right, not forgetting it is a restaurant in which people want to chat, not lip read! You can even sit on the next table to the musicians and have a conversation. The quality of which is down to you, and perhaps the amount of wine you drink - but you will be surrounded by quality, of that I can assure you. It’s not cheap but it’s certainly not expensive for what they do, and do with a lotta love.
Opening hours – July, Sept, Oct - open every evening but Mondays, and Sunday lunch. August – open every night, and Sunday lunch. NB music nights sometimes change in the summer.