The La Paz area of Puerto de la Cruz has been experiencing something of a quiet renaissance over the past 12 months. On the border with La Orotava, and the place where you’ll find the Botanical Gardens, the area is taking on a different aspect and is increasingly attracting a Spanish clientele.
Directly opposite Hotel Botánico, stylish little Bodeguita Algarrobo is the newest kid on this leafy block and last week we dined there for the second time. Having nipped to La Vinoteca for a glass of rather quaffable Guimar Merlot by way of an aperitif, we arrived at around 9pm to find the place empty. If you didn’t know any better you would assume that they must be due to close but in fact their Tuesday evening’s trade was just beginning and over the two or so hours we were there, every outside table was occupied, all with Spanish speakers.
A simple and elegant white interior looks like a cosy winter dining space but on warm summer nights it’s the outside terrace that attracts diners like moths to a flame. The menu is mainly Spanish and Canarian favourites which are given a creative makeover to provide the sort of tapas that wouldn’t look out of place in the tapas bars of Madrid or Barcelona. Apart from the starters, you can choose to have medio raciones, or half portions of many of the main dishes which means you get to enjoy three courses without feeling the need to go on the 5:2 Fast Diet the following morning.
Our party of four chose starters of Jamon Iberico croquettes, crispy fried chipirones (baby squid), leeks in bacon and cheese and fried pulpo (octopus), all of which were nicely presented and full of flavour. Our friends are regular diners at Algarrobo and we had asked their advice about what was good before ordering. Unfortunately their honest response of “everything” didn’t really help to pin anything down so after much deliberating, I opted for lamb casserole and Jack chose garlic pork, both in half portion size.
My lamb was melt-in-the-mouth and infused with flavour and Jack’s garlic pork was aromatic, spicy and succulent. Both dishes were served on a bed of crispy croûton potatoes which, with hindsight, should have prevented us from ordering the Papas Algarrobadas potatoes on the side. But we were curious to know what they were like and, as my mother used to say, our eyes were bigger than our bellies. Despite being sated, the small, floury and encrusted potatoes with their red and green mojos were so tasty that we ate every last one. These little babies are highly recommended.
A shared dessert of fig ice cream with chocolate sauce which I’m pretty sure was actually frozen yoghurt but was fabulous anyway, rounded off an evening of terrific tapas and great company. By the time we left, the waiter pointed out that we had arrived first and were leaving last. You know what they say about time and having fun…
Bodeguita Algarrobo, Avenida Marques de Villanueva del Prado; (+34) 671 75 46 85; open every day 1pm-late. Four starters; three half portions and one full sized main course; one portion of Papas Algarrobadas; two desserts; two bottles of wine and a large bottle of water came to under €100.
Category : food and drink
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