[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife] First Love

If such was needed, First Love is another example that you only need to move a few metres away from the “Golden Mile” to find better food – and cheaper too.

Since we were last here, this small Italian owned restaurant seems to have consolidated its reservations into two sittings – a bit early at 7pm and a bit late at 8.30. We went early. The new system seems to be working. It was full. And, as time got on, folk were turned away, presumably the table that had just emptied being reserved for an 8.30 customer. It’s a short menu – maybe half a dozen starters and may a dozen main courses, of which half are pasta.

For one starter, king prawns in garlic oil. The heads are in the bowl for those who suck them. A selection of bruschetta for the other. One topped simply with chopped tomato, another with a really flavoursome caponata and the third with ham and mozzarella.

Gnocchi came in a flavorsome tomato sauce, with basil and mozzarella. Orecchiette was a dry dish with small chunks of sausage and broccoli dressing the pasta. I’ve had this dish at a place near home and it’s a cracker. Parmesan gave it a little creaminess. Both of these were simple dishes but all the better for it.

Tiramisu is my favourite Italian dessert and I’ll always order it in a new place. First Love isn’t new for us but I’d forgotten how there version was. It was fine. In itself a lovely bowl of sweet creaminess but lacking the real kick from coffee and booze that the top versions have. Vanilla pannacotta was also fine with just the right amount of wobble. There’s a little whipped cream , sliced strawberries and an OK strawberry sauce.

Coffee was good,as you’d expect in an Italian gaff.


Oh, how times can change from last year to this year…

There’s usually much to like at First Love but, truth be told, if this had been our first time here, there probably wouldn’t be a second.

We’d booked and you hope that gets you a nice table. Not the one on the narrow passageway that links to the next restaurant. Narrow so one of you is looking out towards the empty space of the next place, while the other chair blocks the passageway so that you’d have to stand up to let others through. You just feel you’re not actually in First Love but in some “In Between Land”. No chance of changing tables as they were full.

They do continue with their short menu – six or so starters, maybe double that of main courses (most of them pasta). That’s a good thing for a small place – it usually means the chef can concentrate on doing a few things well.

We both ordered bruschetta as a starter. One of them just topped with tomato which was OK. The other was the mixed version – one slice with tomato, two with prosciutto and mozzarella and two topped with caponata (the best flavours of the three).

Ravioli were lovely as a main course, filled with meat and the pasta perfectly “al dente”. The sauce excellent – cream, mushrooms and bacon. If that was good, then lasagne was disappointing on all counts. No béchamel sauce, very little meat and overly wet from far too much tomato sauce. In fact, this was more a dish of pasta swimming in tomato sauce than any recognisable lasagne.

There were only three desserts on the menu. We’ve had their tiramisu before and it is very average. So that left us with cheesecake and pannacotta… The latter was well made with just the right amount of wobble but, with a strawberry sauce spooned over, it was all just too sweet. Cheesecake isn’t Italian so you’d have no expectations of a great version here. And you’d be right. Again overly sweet. Think supermarket own label quality. OK, but nothing more. As you’d expect in an Italian gaff, espresso was good.