One of the many splendid things about where we live is that it’s within easy strolling distance of one of the best restaurants on the island. Restaurant Lucas Maes is an elegant Canarian mansion on the border of Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava, refurbished to chic contemporary design, with a garden terrace overlooking a carpet of bananas stretching to the ocean. As this weekend was my birthday, on a sultry Saturday night we ambled over for a special occasion dinner.
Lucas Maes is another Tenerife restaurant that doesn’t have a Michelin star but so easily could, and should. We opted to try a selection of dishes and chose the five course tasting menu. Along with a chilled cava aperitif, the tone was set with a small tray of nibbles featuring curry olives and honey roasted nuts with savoury, crispy strips that tasted like poppadoms.
An eclectic mix of music styles playing in the background and handsome waiters dressed in white shirts with wing collars and braces lent the restaurant a very relaxed, Parade’s End meets Mr Selfridge feel. We booked our table for 8.30pm and found ourselves to be amongst the first diners with people still arriving as late as 10pm.
Our complimentary hors d’oeuvres was a creamy bowl of chanterelle mushroom soup accompanied by a basket of home made breads and four dips – cheese sauce, tapenade, pesto and salt.
The first of our official five courses was a carpaccio of mushroom with cheese ravioli and truffle. The mushroom was wafer-thin and savoury, the cheese ravioli had a light cream cheese filling and the truffle was pungent and rich. Together, they worked beautifully. Course number two was fresh, plump, pan seared scallops on a bed of passion fruit with a hint of curry. Unable to get fresh scallops on Tenerife, Lucas orders them daily from the Madrid fish market and cooked to perfection, they are unbelievably tender and tasty.
Next to arrive was seared tuna on a bed of sweet potato topped with mushroom ratatouille, tomato chutney and Japanese seaweed salad. Another superb fish course where the rich flavour of the tuna was paired with creamy local sweet potato while the addition of the Japanese seaweed salad and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar added colour and a touch of sharpness.
The meat course of Iberico pork on a potato purée base and topped with a celeriac crisp sent us both into the food equivalent of an orgasmatron. Words cannot do justice to the intense flavour, this is one you are definitely going to have to try for yourself. It’s featuring on the main menu as well as in the tasting menu at the moment.
Our meal was rounded off with a passion fruit and mojito sorbet in a coconut foam which served to freshen the palate and end the banquet with an eyebrow-raising zing. When the bill came, it was sweetened with mini choc ices on sticks and a white chocolate, frozen soup.
Superb food, fabulous location, easy atmosphere and one of the most extensive wine lists on the island (it runs to three volumes!). Lucas Maes is a must for lovers of fine food.
Lucas Maes, exit 32 slip road onto the TF5 motorway, La Orotava; (+34) 922 32 11 59; open Tues-Sat, 1pm-3.30pm and 7.30pm-11pm; tasting menu €40 per person.
Category : food and drink
Subscribe : RSS 2.0