Elegant Dining in a Picturesque Plaza at El Patio

Mon, April 13th, 2015 - By Andrea Montgomery

The waiter places the large platter of elegantly presented tapas tasters in the centre of our table and refreshes our glasses with wine. Just as he does so, an amplifier hums loudly into life, a backing track begins and a man with a microphone launches into a cabaret rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘It’s Now or Never’. The horror in our expressions is reflected by that on our waiter’s face and he rolls his eyes.


Tapa degustacion, El Patio, Puerto de la Cruz


El Patio is a small restaurant in an historic building, located in the picturesque little Plaza Benito Pérez Galdos in the Ranilla District of Puerto de la Cruz. One of Puerto’s many perfect, people watching plazas, La Placeta, as it’s known locally, also plays host to an Italian restaurant and a laid back, bar café bordering a small fountain and a handful of elegant palm trees.


Tapa degustacion, El Patio, Puerto de la Cruz


We first came to eat here almost a decade ago and have been vowing to return ever since, our attempts often thwarted by the fact that their tables are frequently fully occupied. Today it’s after 2pm when we arrive for lunch and we manage to grab the last vacant table.

The small menu at El Patio features a selection of tapas and main courses, all of which are based on traditional Canarian recipes but are given a creative makeover, both in ingredients and in presentation. As well as the standard menu there are daily specials, today’s being freshly caught dorado (bream), and milk-lamb in a miel de palma sauce. We opt for the tapa degustación, a taster selection of seven tapa dishes served with mojos.


Tapa degustacion, El Patio, Puerto de la Cruz


When it arrives, the dish is as visually pleasing as it is enticing. Lining one side of the platter is a layer of thinly sliced octopus capaccio drizzled in miel de palma on top of which lie two chicken satay sticks with mojo; alongside are six home made croquetas; in three bowls are savoury meatballs (albóndigas) in a rich sauce, papas arrugadas and prawns sizzling in hot garlic oil; in a small basket to one side of the platter are smoked cheese churros in a light, golden and crisp pastry, and more chicken satay; and just in case there wasn’t enough savour already, bowls of red and green mojo and a creamy alioli add the finishing touches.


Cream cheese spread, El Patio, Puerto de la Cruz


Along with hot, fresh bread served with a buttery cream cheese, topped with a tomato salsa and sprinkled in finely chopped olives, and half a carafe of house red wine, it’s a feast of a lunch. Favourites are the savoury porcini mushroom croquetas, the meaty meatballs, the chicken satay and the rich, smoky cheese churros but everything is as tasty as it is good looking.


Tapa degustacion, El Patio, Puerto de la Cruz


Mercifully, the cabaret singer moves on after just one number and a paltry collection round, restoring the tranquillity to our plaza and leaving us to enjoy our food in the sunshine to the background hum of conversation and birdsong.

Our tapa taster menu cost €9.90 per person (min 2 persons). We found the wine list to be a little overpriced and so opted for the house wine which was perfectly quaffable at €6.90 for a half litre. Along with bread and water, our total bill came to €32.60.

El Patio, Calle Maquinez, Plaza Benito Pérez Galdos, 8; (+34) 922 37 60 96; open Thurs-Tue midday to 10pm, closed Wednesdays.

Posted : Monday, April 13th, 2015 at 10:51 am
Category : food and drink
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