Some friends had told us that L’Atelier was somewhere we should try, so we asked them to book it and joined them on a Saturday evening.
As you might guess from the name L’Atelier is a French owned bar / restaurant and is run by Lolo (Laurent,) who does the cooking, and Ayonnara, who runs front of house. Apologies if I have mis spelled Ayonnara’s name. L’Atelier, by the way, means “The Workshop.”
The place is laid out just as you’d expect of a French bistro – with red and white checked table cloths, candles on each table and the day’s menu on a blackboard which is brought to your table. Lolo does all the cooking from an open kitchen, and at the far end, there’s a bar area with pool table.
You can see that night’s selection of dishes in the photo of the blackboard. The wine list was quite limited, which surprised me for a French restaurant, but ordered a bottle of a good Spanish Ribera del Duero at €25, which was excellent. Some home made bread was brought to the table – some made with squid ink, some with tomato and rosemary, and a normal baguette.
We decided to share three starters between the four of us – Croquettes, carpaccio of beef and tuna tartar. I thought the starters were quite pricey, but that was before I saw the portion sizes, which were huge! One to share between two is plenty.
The croquettes were absolutely superb – super crunchy on the outside, with a lovely, oozing, flavourful centre. There were two each of cheese and tomato and just cheese and four of cheese with Jamon Serrano. My friend Paul described them as the best he’s had on the island, and I’d have to agree. Lolo carved the carpaccio freshly for us, and it was served drenched in good olive oil and thick slices of Parmesan – the flavour was good, but I would have preferred shavings of the cheese. The tuna was finely chopped and mixed with chopped onion, peppers and edible flowers. The tuna was super fresh and tasty, although I felt it needed a little more sharpness – perhaps some lemon squeezed over it? I have to reiterate that the portions are really generous on the starters – any one of them would do me very well for a lunch, for example.
For our mains, Julie had the lamb chops, Tamara went for the grilled squid, and Paul and I chose the Angus steak. The squid looked perfectly grilled, with nicely charred edges and was served with papas arrugadas. The lamb chops were served over dauphinoise potatoes and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. The portion was large, and the meat was high quality and perfectly cooked. The Angus steaks were excellent, with just the right amount of fat for flavour, perfectly seasoned and served with a stack of the dauphinoise potatoes. We ordered the steaks medium, and the lamb well done, and I’d say the former were medium-rare and the latter medium. In the event, we all loved our meals, but it’s something to bear in mind when you visit, especially if you prefer well done meat, so order accordingly.
We don’t normally have dessert, but when we heard home made tart tatine was on the menu, we decided to share one. It was just lovely, with large slices of apples, a crusty pastry and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
It’s always the sign of great company and a good restaurant when the time flies, and it did for us – we were there for three hours all told. The service was super friendly, although we kept switching between English, Spanish and even some French – completely unnecessarily, as Ayonnara speaks excellent English.
Our bill came to €47.50 a head, but that included two bottles of wine, lots of sparkling water and far too much food! You can eat there for much less, as you can see from the menu image. We were offered a drink on the house at the end of the meal, and Ayonnara poured us each a glass of the liquor, and left the bottle on the table for us to finish off, which we did!
I asked Julie to describe her experience on the way home, and she hit the nail on the head – a hidden gem!
L’Atelier Bistro-Bar is on Calle de los Crotos, 11, in Costa Teguise. They are open 13:00 until 21:00 Wednesday to Saturday and from 13:00 to 16:00 for Sunday lunch. We’d advise booking – you can call them on +34 650 22 69 79.
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