If you’re a foodie you don’t want to miss La Ranilla district of Puerto de la Cruz. The maze of streets around the fishermen’s quarter is full of tastebud teasing restaurants; from traditional Canarian to avant-garde Spanish cuisine, stylish Italian to Scandinavian and seafood specialists to vegetarian. There are also plenty of places to while away the hours sitting with friends picking at tapas dishes that are a little bit different from the usual suspects you find in traditional restaurants across Tenerife.
El Templo del Vino sits snugly on a corner near the Plaza del Charco side of La Ranilla in an area that is jam packed with inviting restaurants. The only traffic on the streets here are pedestrians manoeuvring between the tables and chairs outside some lovely looking eating establishments in old cottages and town houses. For me, it is the most alluring restaurant district on Tenerife.
El Templo del Vino is located inside a beautifully renovated town house, built in traditional colonial style. The interior is as immaculate as the exterior – polished wood floors and tables, old photos and pictures on the walls, warming drapes to offset the cool white plasterwork, a glass cabinet full of perky, fresh ingredients and a wall of wine (well, it is called the temple of wine).
It is, in short, an extremely attractive restaurant with a menu to match.
Worth a Worship: The Food at El Templo del Vino
The menu at El Templo del Vino gave us a problem. There were so many tasty sounding dishes that we had to send the waiter away three times as we dithered and tried narrow it down from ‘right, I’ve got five possibilities’ to just one or two before they closed. To his credit, his smile never wavered once every time he approached and was met with another ‘momentito mas, por favor’.
The tapas menu is wonderfully different with tempting sounding creations to suit all religions, from meat lovers to vegetarians. After much mental wrestling we settled on a round of tapas consisting of langoustines wrapped in ham (a fabulous looking dish), crispy chipirones (small squid) that were more like a miniature version of calamari, devils on horseback (dates wrapped in bacon) and smoked salmon.
The last time we ate at El Templo del Vino we stuck to the extensive tapas menu but the main courses are equally tempting, this time we kept the tapas to a minimum to keep enough space for the main feature.
Main courses, like the tapas, have their roots in Spanish cuisine but many have been tarted up. A traditional dish of cabra (goat) comes in a coconut milk and curry sauce; medallions of pork are accompanied by croquettes and chanterelles. A real show-stopper is the tuna and salmon brochette with moist chunks of fish and Mediterranean vegetables marinated in basil pesto.
The wine menu is as as generous as you’d expect from a restaurant called El Templo del Vino. We went with a local vino from Bodega Monje. Last time we had a bottle of Monje wine we were disappointed but the Monje Tradicional red was as smooth as silk and seemed to evaporate in the glass.
All round it was a meal that ticked all the right boxes.
What we particularly like about El Templo del Vino is that it falls somewhere between traditional and contemporary. The food has lots of flair and flavour plus the portions are just the right size.
El Templo del Vino – Calle el Lomo, 2; Puerto de la Cruz; (+34) 922 374 164; open 1 – 11pm daily, closed Tuesday; main meals average €13, tapas around €3.50.
Jack is co-owner, 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+