There are few places in the south of Tenerife more off the beaten track than Arico Nuevo. Built in the 18th century by wealthy landowners who wanted to be close to the water sources of nearby barrancos Atalaya and Los Caballos, the village is practically walled. A stone gateway on the old TF28 Carretera Sur road between Arico and Granadilla leads to a picturesque settlement of uniformly white houses and narrow, cobbled streets.
In the village plaza, opposite the church of Nuestra Señora de la Luz is the lovely Tasquita El Pimentón, its tables and chairs spilling out onto the plaza to enjoy the sunshine. For anyone on holiday in the southern resorts of Los Cristianos, Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje, it’s just a 35 to 45 minute drive and yet it takes you into a different world. From El Médano, Golf Del Sur and Costa Del Silencio it’s even closer, just half an hour into the hills above the coast.
The small dining room is cosy and rustically decorated in warm terracotta tones with chunky wooden tables and chairs and a wooden floor. Owners Dirk and Petra do all the cooking and front of house serving and they pride themselves on buying quality products for the selection of salads, starters, pastas and meat dishes they offer. The menu isn’t extensive, but it’s seasonal and ingredients are fresh and wherever possible, locally sourced. There are several starter and pasta dishes that are meat and fish free for vegetarians too.
We opted for a selection of starters to give us a tapas lunch. As we waited, we watched other dishes coming out of the kitchen and with every one that emerged, I wanted to change my order. A fresh salad with strips of succulent fillet steak and figs; tagliatelle pasta in a rich and creamy Gorgonzola sauce and a sizzling dish of plump, king prawns in garlic oil. By the time our modest selection arrived I was twice as hungry as when I’d arrived.
Luckily, the portions are generous.
First up was a mixed plate of Iberian sausage, a savoury and spicy mix of two different types of sausage. Alongside the sausage was a selection of fresh goat’s cheese in home made jams – strawberry, mango and fig.
The last of our trio of tapas was a plate of Pimientos de Padrón. These lovely little green peppers are fried in oil and sprinkled with sea salt and every once in a while you get one that blows your head off. These had all been diffused and were just plain tasty. With fresh bread to accompany them, our selection of starters was just right in terms of quantity.
The Tasquita also has a small selection of quality local wines from which to choose if you’re lucky enough not to be the designated driver. Dirk speaks English, Spanish and German and you’re made to feel very welcome. Sitting in the plaza with the sun on my face and engulfed by the sounds of silence, it’s hard to imagine a more tranquil spot in which to enjoy lunch, a far cry from the noise and bustle of the resorts.
Tasquita El Piménton, Camino Vera de los Cangueroa, Arico Nuevo; +34 922 76 84 86; open 1pm-11pm Wed-Sun, closed Mon and Tue. Salads and starters €5.50 – €9.50, pastas €6.50 – €9, meat dishes €6.50 – €11
Category : food and drink
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