Intimate and inviting, restaurant Ca La Iaia provided a delightfully serene locale for the second gathering of Las Chicas Que Comen. Large canopies sheltering the round tables from the strong spring sunlight attested to the long anticipated arrival of the season, adding their own chic ambiance to the scene.
Warmly greeted by Shirley, Lynn and Elaine with a welcome drink and tasty caviar toasts, conversation hummed while the magic of the afternoon embraced us all. The level of companionable comfort was as high as our combined spirits, with not a detail overlooked by our hardworking organizers, as the splash of seasonal colour demonstrated with vases of bright flowers.
The flowers weren’t the only source of colour, as again we were asked to draw a hand painted ice lolly stick from a box with a rainbow array, each of us then finding a place at the table with the colour which corresponded to the stick we’d drawn. Let me just say well done for finding a more permanent solution with those clever lolly sticks!
Cheerful and efficient staff anticipated every need, ensuring our glasses were full, each plate beautifully presented, and everyone remained content. Our delicious meal began with starter plates abundantly scattered over each table; fresh crisp salad, a piquant Carpaccio with fresh tomato, and platters of sweet local Iberico ham. Sharing these communal plates seemed to enhance the feeling of warm comaraderie that grew throughout the afternoon.
Our palates were not only cleaned by the addition of tart sorbet, they came to life once more with that burst of intense flavour washing away all trace of the previous dishes. And the main courses did not disappoint. The pork was served with a choice of either pepper sauce or red wine reduction and was tender and flavoursome.
Those who enjoyed the beef stroganoff served with basmati rice were pleased with their choice, as were the ladies who selected the cod with roasted vegetable ratatouille. The meal progressed pleasantly with good conversation and much laughter. Of course, no meal is truly complete without a sweet, and the desserts were quite delicious. It seemed the chocolate mousse surprised many of us with it’s better than expected flavour, whilst the tiramisu was creamy and luscious.
One last note regarding Ca La Ia Ia. The food is consistently good here, and it’s a great place to bring guests in the summer months, providing a play area for children and a welcoming attitude to large groups.
The Ladies Who Lunch has been an instant success, and it’s now wise to submit reservations for the upcoming month as soon as possible as the group is already so popular, with places limited. A huge congratulations to our organisers once again.
To all the chicas que comen, bon apetito till next time. Carol Cork April 2014