Durham chef Shaun Hurrell launches La Mesa fine dining restaurant

Shaun Hurrell, chef patron of award-winning taqueria Barrio Comida, has opened the doors of his latest restaurant offering – La Mesa.

The intimate dining space is located beneath Barrio Comida in the heart of Durham, where up to 20 guests – seated at either the large central dining table or the chef’s counter – dine with a full view of the action in the open kitchen.

The multi-course tasting menu showcases dishes inspired by the variety, intricacies and innovation of Mexico’s vast culinary repertoire and distinctive heritage, while utilising the finest seasonal British and European produce. Each ingredient is sourced from the very best producers in their field, including day boat fish and shellfish from Cornwall, beef from North Yorkshire, and vegetables and fruit from Durham and Northumberland.

These are utilised alongside highly specialised ingredients sourced direct from Mexico – such as the eleven varieties of heritage corn which Shaun uses to create fresh tacos and tortillas daily.

Shaun said: ‘’We opened Barrio Comida in 2020, with the ambition to add other elements to the business as we progressed. The pandemic got in the way but we’re now fortunate to be in a position to be able to launch our interpretation of a fine dining restaurant with a twist. With the launch of La Mesa our guests can now discover a multi-course tasting menu showcasing dishes inspired by the variety, intricacies and innovation of Mexican cuisine. We’re looking forward to developing and refining what we do, and adding something very different to the North East’s food offer.’’

The menu, priced at £59 per person, includes starters of Oyster Aguachile Verde with Garden Herbs; and Sope with British Asparagus, Queso Fundido and Morita Chile. Mains such as Ceviche of Wild Red Prawn with Tomatillo and Olive Oil; and Barbacoa slow cooked Spring Lamb with Fig Leaf Macha served with Heirloom Tortillas follow. Desserts on offer include Raspado with Alfonso Mango, Mexican Vanilla and Tajin; and Chocolate from Chiapas served with Cafe De Olla Spices.

Places at the central table or the chef’s counter are available on Friday and Saturday nights. Before dining guests can gather in La Mesa’s bar, available exclusively to diners, where cocktails include the Picante Margarita, Café Ole, and Anejo as well as mocktails such as Pepino and Horchata.

There’s an extensive drinks list too, featuring handpicked traditional mezcals and agaves from regions such as Jalisco, Oaxaca and Guadalajara, as well as wines and spirits from producers from the UK, Europe and further afield.

An optional wine pairing is also available with dinner, priced at £39 per person, as well as a non-alcoholic aguas frescas (juice) pairing at £25 per person.

Reservations are released quarterly and currently available to book via the website. Bookings for August-October will go live on July 1. To book visit www.lamesadurham.com

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