[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife] Cuevita del Mar

Not been for a couple of years, so worth a review.

Another holiday in Tenerife. Another dinner at La Cuevita. It’s a small place and always popular, so it’s pretty much essential that you make a reservation. And the popularity is justified – it’s one of the comparatively rare restaurants that never let you down. Good food, good service, good prices – what more do you want.

Lightly toasted bread is served quickly. And there’s pate and alioli to slather over it. It’s enough of a starter if you were only looking for a lightish meal.

But, to misquote the John Lewis shops, we are never knowingly underfed. So we ordered proper starters. There’s a quite a list and everything is available in a tapas size or the larger racion. Unless you’ve brought a ferocious appetite with you, don’t make the mistake we did a few visits back and order a racion. It’s a much larger portion and comes with chips – not exactly a main course size but well on the way. So, that’s two tapas, please.

The first was a plate of grilled vegetables – padron peppers, onion, courgette, squash, two sorts of mushroom, aubergine and tomato. Simple and delicious – but it takes skill to cook all these perfectly and on time. There was still some the toast left to mop up the juices. The other was “chopitos” – baby squid, battered and deep fried to crisp. Absolutely lovely – particularly when dunked in the last of the alioli.

Rabbit with onions is a dish you’ll see all over Spain. Bunny is tricky to cook – it’s a very mild meat, with almost no fat, so it’s easy to dry it out. The chef gets it right here – just about. The onions, long cooked till they’re almost falling apart, give it some flavour oomph. And there’s a plate of chips. Hake was perfectly cooked – the fillet falling in to big flakes at the touch of the fork. There’s a light, winey, white sauce, with clams, prawns and parsley, swimming about in it. And a single large spear of white asparagus (presumably from a tin at this time of year). And, served separately, a plate of Canarian potatoes.

Effectively, the restaurant has two sittings. When we arrived at 8pm, it was pretty much full. From the voices, the other diners were North Europeans, like ourselves. As we were finishing dinner, the room had emptied and was filling up again with Spaniards.

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We are usually the first to arrive. Say, restaurant is open for lunch, from 1pm, we are there at 1pm. Spaniards start to come in at 2:00 or 2:30. We take 2 hours to eat a meal and see this just about every time.

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