Wednesday, 14.04.2021
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Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine
   Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine

Restaurante Atuvera
The Secret Garden
A new and exciting venue has opened in the north of the island. Well, it actually opened several months ago, but, such is my busy schedule for this publication that I have only just got round to visiting it. And a very worthy one it is too.

The gardens are very pleasant
The gardens are very pleasant

30.11.2015 - Situated just off the main road that passes through La Vera, all of two kilometres out of Puerto de la Cruz, and adjacent to Junction 36 of the TF5, we watched with interest as the lovely old house was renovated and decorated, slowly being brought back to life.  Then, lo and behold, a restaurant sign appeared on the high wall outside.  A note went promptly into my little black book.

Parking is on the roadside nearby, and we walked in through the ornate archway to discover a most attractive restaurant.  There is an open terrace, a covered terrace, and a small interior room, all laid out smartly and fashionably.  The bar is in the open air, sheltered to one side of the main terrace.  A barman was already shaking up cocktails for the seated guests.  All very upmarket, but heaven only knows what they do if it rains!

Most of the tables had been reserved when we got there at 8pm, but space was quickly made for us on the covered terrace.

Service is smart, efficient and prompt, as befits this type of place.  There is an extensive wine list, and the menu is split into headings of Aire (starters and light dishes), Agua (fish and shellfish), Tierra (meats), Fuego (food prepared over the flames) and Quinto Elemento for their five desserts.   The choice of half a dozen dishes in each section should be more than sufficient to satisfy the most critical of diners.

We chose a bottle of Arautava Blanco Seco at €14.50 and a bottle of water.  A slate plate (very smart it looked but I am not a fan since I’m not sure they go well through a dishwasher) of three amuse bouches were laid before us with warm crusty buns.  Delicious, the more so because they were complementary.

Examples of what we could have chosen were a vegetable couscous with hoisin sauce (€4.50), seafood risotto (€8), a selection of salads (all priced between €6 and €6.50), casserole of rabbit and chicken (€6), fillet steak with a mustard sauce (€14.50) or fresh fish of the day at market prices.

We opted for a salad to share for €6.50 consisting of chunks of proper tuna – a far cry from the tinned stuff – prawns, sardines, a selection of leaves, caramelised onion and cherry tomatoes, and a garnish of the lightest of citrus foam.  Dressed with olive oil, it was altogether delicious.  One portion was quite enough for two.

And so to the main course.  An entire joint of baby lamb was laid before my wife, flavoured with parsley and rosemary, with potatoes from the oven and a tasty lamb gravy with a hint of sherry.  I went for the Iberico pork with chopped apple and a deep red wine reduction, which was served with hand cut chips.  Our main courses were €15 and €11.50 respectively.  A doggy bag had to be called for in respect of the lamb.

Oh, but what happens to all those stunning fresh vegetables they sell in the local farmer’s markets? Where do they go?

There was just no room left to sample the desserts, though the ones that passed by on the way to the next table looked scrumptious.  That will be for next time.

The other diners (all Spanish) were clearly having a great time, enjoying their food, and we noted that heaters had been rolled out on to the terrace, doing double duty as warming the customers and adding to the cosy atmosphere.   We reluctantly left after having tested the outstanding loos, and paid just under €50 for a fabulous evening out.

My advice?  Go there, and soon.  They are seriously under-priced at present for the style and quality on offer.


Restaurante Atuvera

Calle Juan de Tejera 2, La Vera, Puerto de la Cruz.

Tel: 922 380 081

Open: Daily except Tuesday and Wednesday.  Kitchen open from 12pm to 10.30pm.

Loo Score: 10/10 (a rare award indeed!)


By John

Gallery: The Secret Garden
The gardens are very pleasant 
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