I was back in Las Palmas and decided to ask for a recommendation from my great friend David Noel Ghosn, author and exponent of wine and food in the Canary Islands.
Picaro Restaurante is exceptionally well-rated, and I was curious about their tasting menu.
The restaurant is located in the shopping area of Las Palmas called Mesa y Lopez. It’s a pedestrian area with only public transport traffic, which has become the center for fashion shops and department stores.
We had made a booking and a 2 PM which is the first available slot for lunch. A bit late for me, but in Spain, those timings are pretty standard.
After the waitress welcomed us, I noticed the carpet at the entrance was quite dirty. Also, the tables are pretty simplistic, plastic, and minimalistic, perhaps too simple decoration.
The cutlery was overused and of inferior quality, whereas the plates and vessels were original and enhanced the courses.
Service was the best part of El Picaro Restaurante, which is, by the way, mentioned in the Michelin guide.
They were always kind and fast to serve; they presented the plates with detail and passion. The pace was good, and there was an excellent cadence during the entire meal.
I missed offering bread at the beginning of the meal. Bread is a must-have in Spain.
The service was caring and efficient.
Their menu is short, and they also have the tasting option.
We ordered the tasting menu. The price was €50, and it is composed of seven courses and two desserts.
WILD BOAR CROQUETTE
Crunchy outside, meaty inside. Served over some kimchi sauce/jam that contrasted nicely with the wild boar. Nice start.
SEA BASS TIRADITO WITH FERMENTED TOMATO GAZPACHO, BEETS, AND STRAWBERRY
It was a carpaccio-sliced fish slice that came with a strawberry sauce that was a bit spicy. This plate captivated my senses with the flavors and the colorful presentation.
A representation of the traditional Spanish seafood salad. The tuna came in chunks at the bottom of the plate. It was topped with a foam that contained the rest of the ingredients of the salpicon (onion, bell pepper, egg). Vinegary and savory. It was one of my favorites.
ROASTED LEEK, BEETROOT DEMIGLACE, AND PARMESAN CREAM
Charred leek with two sauces. The sauces were a dark demiglace and some parmesan mayonnaise. It wasn’t bad, but nothing too special—room for improvement here.
PIG TROTTERS AND OCTOPUS TERRINE
An interesting proposal. The octopus and pork belly combination, both fatty products, makes it however a very greasy course. Nevertheless, it was nice to see a new form of surf & turf.
DEER CIVET CANNELLONI
I couldn’t find anything exceptional on this dish. It was meat inside a cannelloni with some sauce, entirely below the rest of the menu.
BLACK PORK, DEMIGLACE AND CELERIAC TANDOORI PURÉE
We were very excited about this item that we saw on the menu on their website. However, they served a different one. Please update the menu on your website because some food nerds like me create expectations.
DEEP-FRIED SOFT BOILED EGGS, PARMENTIER, FOIE, AND AMARETTO
The last dish was exquisite. Although it is a heavy plate, it was delicious. This was the best creation we had in Picaro Restaurant. First, the egg was perfectly cooked with running yolk, then the crunchy Foie and the Parmentier. The three things in combination made it a vibrant platter.
TOM KHA GAI
The first dessert was Tom Kha Gai, traditionally a spicy soup made in a desert. It was interesting, and I liked it. I’m not so sure about the plating, though. Judge by yourself.
THE F*****G CHEESECAKE
The second dessert was a blue cheese cheesecake with raspberry ice cream. The cheesecake was perfectly elaborated. A tiny bit runny at the top but consistent at the edges. I have the feeling the chef tried to fusion the traditional French cheese platter with a more modern basque cheesecake.
What I liked from Picaro Restaurante
- A creative proposition.
- Friendly service
What could be better at Picaro Restaurante
- Cutlery and table decor was too basic.
- Cleanliness in the access and the washroom.
- Some dishes lacked complexity.
El Picaro Restaurante Review | Las Palmas | Spain
Some of the dishes were bland, and this is something that they need to address.
Some other things must be improved, like the cleanliness of the toilets. I also saw some crates of soft drinks piled in the corridor behind a filthy curtain. Those things are not proper for casual fine dining restaurants.
I would call it more a gastro-bar than a restaurant. A great place to have a wine and taste some of the flagship courses, though I’m not sure I will repeat on a tasting menu.