Lucas Maes – Puerto de la Cruz

We first went to Lucas Maes shortly after we had moved to the island and long before I had a blog. So while having a short break in Puerto de la Cruz and being influenced by fading memories and good reviews we decided to have lunch in what is often described as “a magical secret corner on the island”. Owned by husband and wife team, Lucas Maes trained in some of the best Michelin star kitchens in France and Belgium and Susana Gallardo, is in front of house.

The Canary-Belgian restaurant is in a restored mansion on a slip road off the busy junction of the TF-5. Once inside the subtle lighting, high ceilings and original woodwork give it an old-fashioned charm making it feel elegant and relaxed. By contrast, the artwork is pretentiously modern.

We had booked a late lunch on the terrace because we had our two dogs with us. From here you can enjoy the views over banana plantations and down to the coast of Puerto de la Cruz. We were one of only two couples eating. The menu is interesting, featuring local produce and I was looking forward to seeing the shapes as well as tasting the innovative culinary offerings.

We munched on the spreads and different coloured breads, while we waited for our food.

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I had crispy langoustine salad. I was not overly impressed, the seafood tasted as expected but there was such a heap of leaves although they were well seasoned and the salad dressing was good it was just ‘too much green’. OH had the prawn, lobster and mushroom ravioli. It was a little cold and whilst I’m not usually a tough food critic, after pinching a forkful, I found the pasta strangely sweet but overall a tasty combination.

If we had had slightly more attentive service we may have gone for dessert, I rather fancied the banana, toffee mousse but we didn’t have all day to linger over lunch.

So the good and the bad. We were, to say the least particularly underwhelmed with the service. With so few people, I felt it could have been considerably better. The staff were rather aloof and their demeanour gave the impression they had better things to do (like pinging their braces) than wait on a couple of tables. The food presentation was lovely but some of it didn’t quite hit the mark I had anticipated. I doubt for the price I will be rushing to return.

Since our visit, I have learnt that Lucas Maes is no longer at the restaurant although his wife is. It has a new name, and possibly a new owner. I just hope that whoever has it now will give the waiting staff the sharp kick up the backside that they need.

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