Dreams come true at Casa Tagoro
Wonderful, wunderbar, maravilloso. Whatever language you care to use, it’s the perfect word to describe Casa Tagoro, the newly-opened gastrobar and restaurant in Los Cristianos.
Owners Karin and Gerhard Brodtrager come from Germany and Austria respectively so the famous dishes of their home countries obviously feature on the very interesting menu.
But this is an international restaurant, with Italian risotto with asparagus, champinions and parmesan (13.80 euros) sitting happily alongside the likes of Bavarian roast pork in beer sauce with dumplings and cabbage salad with bacon each Sunday (12.80 euros), French goat’s cheese with balsamic, onions and mushrooms au gratin (7.90 euros), home-made Austrian apple strudel with vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream (5.50 euros), Canary tapas such as Pimientos de Padron (little fried peppers with ocean salt) at 5.50 euros or even German bread and dripping with crackling as a snack (2.50 euros).
Karin and Gerhard already have a loyal fan base because Casa Tagoro used to be in an old mansion-style house in Granadilla and achieved huge success since opening in 2000. In June, however, the couple decided to move to a more convenient location and chose a corner property in calle Valle de Menendez, Los Cristianos, about a minute’s walk from the little white church and likewise from the harbour beach area.
The interior is stunning, in warm terracotta and greens, with beautiful table settings and a small seating area outside. The walls are adorned with all sorts of paintings in different styles, as well as plaques showing the success of the previous Granadilla venue (recommended in the Michelin guide for Spain and Portugal in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and awarded two fork and spoons in 2013). We also noticed another large framed certificate and chain of office which commemorates Ger-hard’s gastronomic achievements.
He has been cooking since “so high” (he holds the palm of his hand leg-high so that means very young!) and admits it is a huge part of his life. I ask him how long he spends in the kitchen and he says: “Probably more time than with my wife!” It is, of course, in jest as they are very much a team in all respects, helped by wonderful staff, including maitre d’ Axel who looked after us during our review night and made sure we wanted for nothing.
The pleasing thing about reviewing such restaurants is that we are able to introduce other people to them. Regular readers might get fed-up with our glowing praise but we have to say the food at Casa Tagoro is exquisite and there were many surprises in store for us.
The first was a welcome glass of ice-cold Spanish champagne with home-made basil essence, created by Axel, and one of the nicest drinks we have ever had. There are, of course, some secret ingredients which cannot be revealed but we suggested he might like to bottle it and sell it as a brand in itself!
The lay-out of Casa Tagoro is such that half of the restaurant runs alongside the open-plan kitchen and you are actively encouraged to sit at the bar on a stool and watch Gerhard at work with his colleagues. Despite being on the go all the time, he still finds time to talk to you and to come out into the restaurant to chat to guests. This means he can recommend dishes to suit your tastes and help with any specific requests or dietary requirements. The motto here is very much: “We are able to realise almost any possible wish.”
The restaurant produces everything fresh, uses no glutamates or artificial flavours and never, ever any conve-nience foods. We loved the touch of using little real flower petals to garnish dishes.
One of the difficulties you will face is choosing just what to eat. I decided to try the special tasting menu which changes with the seasons and costs 35 euros for four courses, inclusive of the champagne cocktail or 45 euros for six courses. This is a great way to get to know the dishes which you might want to order as a main course next time or repeat the experience. My favourite was the risotto with red beets and delicacies of the quail which would normally be 16.50 euros.
Every course was wonderful, however, including the tuna tartar with mango and caramelized chicoree (normally 11.80 euros for a full plate) and the home-made ravioli topped on minced pumpkin ragout (normally 10.80 euros).
My husband decided to choose from the main menu and loved the creamy tomato soup with breadcrumbs and whipped cream (4.80 euros) which comes with another surprise – a shot of the gin of your choice. Just don’t cough when Axel pours it in for you! After pinching forkfuls of my tasting dishes, he then declared the pork fillet medallions with honey-mustard sauce with vegetables and potatoes (17.80 eu-ros) as the “the best pork I have ever tasted”. This is different to the Bavarian roasted pork from 1pm on a Sunday for which reservations are recommended.
We finished off with Gerhard’s speciality apple strudel and fig parfait with palm honey (normally 6.50 euros) but for me, part of the tasting menu. Simply delicious!
As you would expect, Casa Tagoro offers an extensive wine list and it was lovely to see Tenerife’s own labels being championed here because the island is very keen that people get to know and like them.
We loved the attention to detail and the use of so many unusual ingredients. Even the Casa Tagoro bread basket came with creamy crab spread, Himalaya salted butter, award-winning Spanish olive oil and Flor de Sal salt blossom of La Palma. Half way through our meal, we were also surprised with little spoonfuls of gin and tonic jelly and the most tasteful fruits of the forest sorbet.
If you don’t want a full meal, just pop in for a drink, coffee, snack or cake. This is the perfect place for a special celebration and you can also book the restaurant exclusively if you wish (maximum 60 guests). For 35 to 55 guests, you can still enjoy the antique mansion in Granadilla and a catering service is offered for larger parties of 50 to 250 at one of the finest vineyards in the south of Tenerife. Dreams can come true in so many ways.
Casa Tagoro is at the back of the Hotel Reveron (which is opposite the little white church). Just walk down the steps from the church plaza. It is closed on a Monday and also on Tuesday lunchtime but otherwise open every day from 12.30pm to 3pm and from 6.30pm to 11pm and Sundays from 12.30pm on-wards.
See www.casatagoro.com (available in English), phone 822 660 833).