Once upon a time there was a village in the municipality of Adeje, on the south-west coast of Tenerife. It catered to tourists, but in an unpretentious way. Sited in a bay in what is now Costa Adeje, a few fishing boats bobbed in the sheltered harbour and on the weekends the local kids splashed about its rocky shoreline. To get to the tiny beach you had to walk between cottages where chickens and dogs roamed and goats were tethered. We spent countless hours there, swimming and snorkelling and afterwards feasting on fresh fish and seafood, as tanned skins glowed from days spent under the sun.
How different La Caleta is today from 1987 when I first knew it! The bay still cradles the original buildings, the kids still frolic in the sea at lunchtime and the fresh fish and seafood are the same. But gone are the goats and chickens, and smart, new apartment blocks sit on what was just rough ground. The village has become something of a gourmet paradise too.
I can truly say that if someone asked me right now to dine there I would be spoiled for choice. The heart of the village lies on a rocky knoll flanked by ocean inlets and along this knoll are sited bars and restaurants which comprised the village’s original dining experiences. Most famously, Restaurante La Caleta Terraza which juts out furthest into the bay affording stunning views to enjoy with your fresh fish or seafood tapas. Try their grilled sardines for a fresh, simple taste of heaven. Restaurante Pisces is also an original; the ambience has changed from family paper-tablecloth dining to something a bit more upmarket, although their menu remains the same. Next door is El Restaurante La Caleta whose lemon sole is out of this world and where affable waiter, Nelson, makes baraquitos to die for.
You can now walk to La Caleta along Geranium Walk from Los Cristianos, which would work up a fine appetite, though you might prefer to take a taxi back! On a recent Sunday afternoon I had a pleasant amble from Torviscas, and walking back removed any guilt about over-indulging!
Perched just above the promenade are three restaurants which are what you might call the “new wave” of La Caleta dining. All offer marvellous sea vistas (with sunsets at the right time of year) and tasteful decor, but each has quite different cuisine. Rosso sul Mare has a sophisticated bar area or rattan armchairs on a movie-set style terrace for pre-dinner cocktails and boasts an “international” menu. La Vieja has been there for some years now and although their extensive menu offers meats, their fish dishes still reign supreme. Personal tip – save room for dessert! Their dark/white chocolate mousse is beyond compare! The last in this trio is 88. I love the Asian-influenced décor of this sliver of a restaurant. As you enter the kitchen is in full view, always encouraging, and the friendly yet professional service is top-notch. But mostly I am sold on their menu which raises sushi and other Oriental dishes to a whole new level. As a total dining experience it is unbeatable and quite removed from the old village’s atmosphere. Some changes are for the better.
Category : days out
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