Friday March 23, 2012
Table Talk :: El Navarro
Sandwiched in between two British bars in an otherwise unpromising looking location in Costa Teguise, El Navarro is well worth seeking out. As their take on modern international cuisine is very confidently executed and richer than an investment banker at bonus time.
El Navarro doesn’t enjoy the greatest of locations. You´ll find it tucked in a row of unprepossessing and similar looking shop fronts by the Santa Rosa complex, close to the Coronas Playa Hotel in Costa Teguise. But the quality of their food and service really stands out, especially if you are keen to sample something other than the usual, run of the mill Canarian cuisine during your stay on the island.
The word about this place is already well and truly out too – judging by how busy the restaurant is, the reviews on Trip Advisor and the fact that you often have to book a table some days in advance. Although this is also partly a bi-product of the fact that El Navarro is also pretty small, with room for around six tables outdoors and eight inside. With much of their clientele drawn from surrounding hotels, along with a smattering of locals.
Their menu is also reasonably streamlined, featuring six starters, a small pasta and rice selection (featuring dishes such as a risotto of smoked fish, saffron and parmesan topped with a poached egg) four fish dishes and six or seven meat choices. All of which are further augmented by a couple of daily specials. But all of the dishes here are big on flavour and creativity, with the starter selection including diverse combinations such as a salad of scallops, dates and croutons, served in a parmesan and mild mustard dressing on top of salad leaves and topped with the finest shreds of crispy fried Serrano ham. A blend of textures and flavours that worked incredibly well. Along with other, slightly less eclectic items such as prawn and bacon parcels served in a tomato and basil sauce and baked goats cheese served with piquillo peppers, guava jelly and a balsamic reduction.
Stand out fish dishes include sole fillets, stuffed with smoked salmon and served in a creamy sauce with pine nuts, raisins and capers and sea bass with garlic, Serrano ham and fresh ginger. Whilst meaty mains such as fillet steak in a red wine and mushroom sauce topped with a slice of duck liver pate and pan fried liver with sage, garlic, white wine and butter are sufficient to satisfy the cravings of the most eager carnivore.
Did we mention that the food here is rich? You´ll be loosening buttons and belts by the time you make it through that lot. Portions here are generous too, so you may well struggle to do more than gaze at the dessert menu. But if you can find a space then you´re rewarded by a sweet selection which includes a dark chocolate brownie served with berries and topped with ice cream and a coffee and Bailey’s crème brulée.
The quality of service matches the food too, with all of the dishes thoroughly explained by attentive staff that really know their stuff and speak excellent English. Prices are on a par with many other local restaurants that are serving far less accomplished food, with starters ranging from €4.50 to €7.75 and mains in the €12 to €15 bracket.
El Navarro is open daily from 19.00 to 12.00. Booking is mandatory, although you can sometimes get lucky by pitching up at around 21.00 after the first wave of diners has been and gone. You can make a reservation by calling them on 0034 928 592145. The address is Avenida del Mar 13, Costa Teguise.