Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Review - La Cantina, Teguise, Lanzarote

After a week of work, and a particularly bad man-cold, our two week break in Lanzarote seems such a long time ago! Before we went on holiday I had set out with the intention of trying to meet some of the ex-pats who are feeding the tourists and locals alike. We had already met Tracy from Brown Delicatessen, Sarah of English Cakes Lanzarote, and Mike & Julie who run the Lanzarote Information website, who had all suggested that we pop into La Cantina in the old capital, Teguise, to try the food being served up by Benn & Zoe.

We had tried to catch up with Benn on the Sunday afternoon that we visited the big market at Teguise but when we stuck our head through the door he was in the middle of a busy lunch service. The restaurant was buzzing and the food being served looked fantastic so we made the decision to come back for our lunch on our final day.

On a Sunday, all roads lead to Teguise as the holidaymakers from all over the island head to the former capital for the weekly market, however on any other day of the week, Teguise reverts back to a sleepy and picturesque village. We had to be at the airport by mid afternoon so we were eating a little earlier than we had been used to over the last two weeks but despite our earlier lunchtime sitting, when we arrived we were quickly seated and left to look over the menu cum place mat. La Cantona reckon that they have the largest selection of Lanzarote wines on the island. I won't argue, there were loads to choose from! Nicola ordered her favourite Stratvs Rosado but Zoe advised that due to a smaller grape harvest than previous years, the Rosado was in short supply. Not a big issue, it just meant that we had to try another locally produced wine. Zoe recommended her own current favourite, Guiguan, a crisp and fruity Malvesia Seco.

After a long look at the menu we decided to end our holiday with one of La Cantina's Tapas Boards. One of my favourite ways of eating is to have lots of little bits that I can pick at, and when our tapas board arrived I wasn't disappointed. We had a selection of meats and cheeses including a rich chorizo, Iberico ham, plus a wonderful salami which was flavoured with black pepper and fennel seed. There were two local cheeses, huge olive and pickled red peppers, tapenade which was so good that even Nicola had some (she doesn't do olives), a fresh tomato, garlic and onion relish, fresh oaty breads, and a sweet jam, which may have been made from fig,that worked wonderfully with the meats and cheeses.

All this cost less than €15 believe it or not!

When we were finished we had a look at the dessert menu but neither of us had any room to squeeze in some of Zoe's homemade puddings. Which is a pity because after asking for the bill, one of the other diners was just about to tuck into the Parfait de Limon that is pictured above. Rest assured, next time we are on the island, I will definitely be ordering pudding at La Cantina.

Overall, La Cantina is exactly what I expected from a traditional Canarian tapas bar. Plenty of fresh, local ingredients put together to create a visual and delicious feast. Benn & Zoe are fantastically passionate about providing fresh, quality and authentic food to their regular and touristic visitors, in fact they also have plans to expand the business to include a delicatessen. Teguise might be a little off the beaten track from the bustling coastal resorts but La Cantina makes it trip worth making.


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