Valentine’s Day looms and it’s time to make some decisions and get that table booked before time slips away, as it tends to do here, and you’re left with a Chinese eat-all-you-can buffet for your romantic night out. Luckily, on Tenerife there are lots of special venues.
You can choose to opt for classic Valentines Day restaurants in stunning surroundings for a candle lit dinner or you can make the whole day special by taking a long, leisurely lunch and whiling the afternoon away over cake and coffee. Tito’s Bodeguita fits both those bills perfectly.
Set within the courtyard of the17th century aristocratic home of the Varcárcel family at the foot of La Orotava Valley, Tito’s Bodeguita in Puerto de la Cruz is a stunning location in a sunshine-soaked courtyard garden enclosed by the mansion and its outhouses. Arriving for a lunch with friends, we had made a reservation and so had one of the two tables on the raised platform giving us a grandstand view of the restaurant.
Chunky wooden tables and chairs are set around a stone fountain and on a raised platform surrounded by beautiful gardens of magnolia, scarlet trailing geraniums, a drago tree and elegant palms. Beyond the main courtyard, a beer garden with wooden bench tables does a passing impression of an English country pub garden and regularly hosts a guitarist after dark.
On one side of the courtyard is the main mansion with its wooden balconies; running at right angles to the house is a series of outbuildings including the quirky bathrooms which blend contemporary with traditional rustic style. On the other side of the courtyard is a large indoor dining room, a beautiful bodega of wines, a private function room and the busy kitchens which create Tito’s innovative and delicious menu.
The venue may be seductive but it’s the food that really counts, and Tito’s Bodeguita delivers the goods in fine style. The menu offers a selection of fresh and innovative salads, creative meat dishes and plenty of choices for non meat eaters. We decided to order four dishes between us – two salads and two mains.
The goats cheese salad (Ensalada Rulo de Cabra) was bountiful and delicious with fresh, crisp lettuce and savoury, melted goat’s cheese but it was left at the starting line by the octopus with ginger salad (Pulpo Jengibre) – a tower of tender, juicy octopus chunks topped with a thick, tangy ginger marmalade that raised the dish from good to sensational.
Next up was a puff pastry tart filled with buttery leeks (Hojaldre Puerros), a dish I could very happily have kept all to myself, and chicken strips Tito-style (Chicken Capricho) which was another lip smackin’ success – crispy pieces of tender chicken coated in nutty batter, deep fried and served in a creamy sauce. It was only the fact that we were in polite company that stopped us from licking the plate.
Water, a litre of the house red which should come with a ‘dangerously quaffable’ label and coffees rounded off a lunch that morphed into late afternoon until the sun snook underneath the shade of the parasol and forced us to make a leisurely exit, otherwise we might still be sitting there now. The bill for the four of us was €70. Not a cheap lunch, but excellent value for money for the whole dining experience.
Tito’s Bodeguita, Camino del Durazno 1; tel: (+34) 647 933 433; open Mon-Sat 12,.30pm-11pm, closed Sunday
Category : food and drink
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