“Why haven’t you brought me here before?”
There was outrage in the voice of our friend Jo. She had a point. Living on neighbouring La Gomera, Jo has visited us many, many times over the years and not once had we thought of taking her to La Rosa di Bari.
Who knows why? She’s vegetarian and being an Italian restaurant, La Rosa di Bari has plenty of vegetarian options. Being located in the heart of the Ranilla district in Puerto de la Cruz, it’s in the most interesting area in both cultural and gastronomic terms. It’s also an intimately elegant and stylish restaurant whose décor seduces from the moment you step through its perfectly designed foyer. A tasteful colour scheme manages to be both rich and relaxing at the same time (don’t you hate the Italians for their effortless style) whilst furnishings bridge the gap between the classic and the contemporary (don’t you hate the Italians for their effortless style part two).
Its Italian good looks sets the bar of expectation very, very high.
The Food at La Rosa di Bari
The menu is on the select side with a choice of meat and fish dishes as well as homemade pastas and sauces. Don’t turn up here hoping for a pizza. Whilst there were a lot of tempting sounding dishes, we didn’t spend a lot of time looking at them. At La Rosa di Bari it had to be one of the pastas.
Having munched too many pinchos at Lizarran in Santa Cruz earlier in the day we skipped the starter, happy to do culinary stretching exercises with some fresh bread and a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar – a simple and sensational combination that I keep meaning to have on the table at home.
For mains we opted for a mix of plump fresh pastas filled with salmon and cheeses and flavoured by exquisite sauces, parmesan, shavings of truffle and delicate oils. They were so light they could have floated from plate to mouth
It was after popping one in her mouth that Jo asked her accusatory question.
Fair enough. In our defence it had been quite some time since we last ate at Rosa di Bari. We’d simply forgotten how good it was.
Despite skipping the starters, we did have our arms twisted by the dessert menu, finishing our meal with tiramisu (what else) homemade (what else) and a tower of puff pastry parcels in Chantilly cream and red fruits; a dessert as colourful as the walls surrounding us.
Dining experiences with Jo aren’t always successful ones. Apart from being a veggie, she’s a very good cook and therefore quite demanding about the food placed in front her. The combination of those two factors often lead to disappointment in restaurants which don’t give much thought to non-meat eaters.
She walked out of Rosa di Bari with a smile on her face. Enough said.
La Rosa di Bari, Calle El Lomo, 23, Puerto de la Cruz; (0034) 922 368 523; open Tue-Sat 1-3pm and 6.30-11.45pm; main pasta dishes average €10.
Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+