Thursday 3 May was the day chosen by José and his team at ‘La Mafia se sienta a la Mesa’ to relaunch their recently renovated restaurant in Avenida Francia and with it their new menu, containing traditional ingredients associated with Italian cuisine.
With parking outside (if you time your arrival carefully!) the restaurant, at No 17, very close to the Barcelo Hotel is convenient for the City of Arts and Sciences, near the beaches and in an area of Valencia with a very wide choice of ethnic eateries. It enjoys a spacious boulevard setting outside terrace with under cover tables on a wide terrace between it and the road. Along with family, friends and clients members of the Valencian gastronomy press association were treated to an exemplary range of classic and modern plates from the Italian canon of ‘Cucina y Passione’ , inside .
Italian cuisine is of course very similar to Valencian with its feet in the Mediterranean sea and its head in the fields producing healthy vegetables, herbs and fruits and feeding the buffalo and sheep producing cheeses and meat of exquisite flavour and quality. Many are imported directly from Sicily.
We started with a selection of ‘snacks’, focaccia bread with dried tomato and burrata cheese, (buffalo), carpaccio of sea bass with olive oil, a ‘tabla’ of Italian dried sausages and jamon iberico de bellota, Gran Padano cheese with rocket and pesto, and little pastry parcels with a spicy sauce.
The decor inside the restaurant has a decidedly ‘family’ theme with its pictures of mafia giants and chairs named for characters such as the American gangster Al Capone and ‘Godfather’ Michael Corleone.
It also has one of the best menu’s we have seen with pages lavishly decorated with pictures of the dishes and ingredients….although the wine list at the back was lacking in Valencian wines it did enjoy some good references.
No Italian restaurant is complete without its meat dishes, pasta, risottos and pizzas. Next out was a Steak tartare, using beef aged for 45 days served with the obligatory egg yolk, capers and baby spinach this was incredibly tasty and tender. Two pizzas served on the thinnest, crispiest base followed, the first with truffle oil, meat, onion and rocket the second a mixture of cheeses. Nor was the flavour of Basil and oregano at anytime missing!
The restaurant also has a selection of top spirits and mixers in a well stocked bar.
VÍ Vid has no hesitation recommending ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesa.’ and wish the team well. We will be back!