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

Restaurante Casa dell’ Oste
Mama Mia!
We are off to Little Italy in the hills behind Puerto de la Cruz.

04.05.2014 - La Casa dell’ Oste, long established and situated on the main road in Santa Ursula, has been recommended by our Spanish teacher.  If she likes it, then it is certain to be good.  After a glass of village red in a nearby bar (to ward off the cold, you understand at this higher altitude!) we three intrepid travellers extricate ourselves from our friend Peter’s car, parked on an almost vertical incline, and shuffle up the steps of our chosen eatery.

Black and red.  That is the décor here.  All is black and red.  Even the plates are black.  Oh dear.  Black plates are a fad best long forgotten, like those hideous black drinking glasses, where you might just as well be quaffing Ribena.

But we receive a very pleasant welcome from the son of the house, our waiter for this evening.  We quickly learn that it is his father in the kitchen sporting the oversize toque, and it is Mama at the huge pizza oven.  So, a family affair: Reassuring, that.

Napkins are linen, of particularly fine quality, and tied with silk ribbons: A nice touch.  It shows that they care.  The menu is relatively short - vintage Italian stuff, bolstered by a long list of pizzas.  There is spaghetti, tagliatelle, ravioli and, of course, lasagne, which comes in two ways, either the meat version, or the one with vegetables.  In addition, one could choose starters of focaccia (€3.50), sardines (€4.50) or a cocktail de gambas (€6.50) amongst others.

We all decide to start with the bruschetta (€2.50).  We recently went overboard with bruschetta at another restaurant (see I.C. issue 713) and were therefore keen to compare.  Well, would that we had not.  Slices of bread with chopped tomato, and a thin slice of raw garlic on top.  That was it.  Not toasted bread, not seasoned tomato, no herbs, no olive oil, no garnish.  The call went out for all the extras, and they were swiftly and smilingly brought to our table.  So, a build-it-yourself starter.

We forswore the likes of the solomillo with setas (€19.50), the veal Milanese (€16.50) or the frito de pescado (€17.00).  Peter chose a pizza Siciliana (tomato passata, anchovies, black olives) for €7.00, which arrived with much flourishing by the son and smiles and waves from Mama, busy doing duty for take-away service.  Peter pronounced his pizza excellent, although it looked a bit plain to me; I prefer them fully loaded.  My wife had what was billed as a chicken salad, turning the financial scales at €10.00.  I have never seen the like!  Never have I seen a dish of cold chicken slices and mixed salad garlanded around the edges of the plate with scrambled egg.  Yes, scrambled egg!  But, once over the shock of the presentation, she gobbled it all down and said that it was well worth choosing, and that she would have it again.  I went the pedestrian route of the meat-based lasagne at a more modest €8.00.  And here was another first.  The chef (who brought two of the main courses to the table with a huge grin) sure knows how to do pasta.  It was light as a feather, melting in the mouth.  My two companions helped out, so I could have done with a little more.  But it was a lasagne like no other. And so, our compliments to the chef.

And on to the desserts, all flagged as made on the premises and at a mean average of €4.50.  The tiramisu got top marks from both my wife and from Peter, and my pannacotta had just the right amount of wobble coupled to the smallest amount of gelatine.  If I was to be pernickety, I would have gone for the sharpness of a raspberry coulis rather than the strawberry one that it came with.

Our bill came to a healthy €18 a head including two bottles of water and a litre of the house wine.  No wine list had been offered and it was only after the carafe had been poured that I discovered a rack of wines with a list slid between the bottles.  A nice touch was to see the number of half bottles which were available.  Amid the Spanish and Canary wines lurked a few Italian ones, of which a Barolo by Marchese di Barolo from Piemonte stood out.  Next time I shall order one of those, because there certainly will be a next time.  We all agreed that the family conspired to provide us with a good, though slightly uneven, evening out.


Restaurante Casa dell’ Oste

Carretera Provincial 33,

38390 Santa Ursula,


Tel: 922 30 18 25

Closed: Mondays

Loo Score: 7/10 Clean but small


By John

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