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Mallorca Restaurants: Recommendations & Reviews


jayrayner
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Slightly OT:

Any rec's for best wine shops in Palma or where to find the best pata negra at a favourable price (Sanchez Romero de Caravajall)? Not Club de Gourmet at El Corte Ingles, but any other centrally located venue will be great!

La Vinoteca: Plaza Virgen de la Salud, 3-07002- Palma de Mallorca. Tel: 971 728 829

For pata negra and sobrasada sausages try Son Vivot, in the Pl. Porta Pintada, 1,

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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La Vinoteca: Plaza Virgen de la Salud, 3-07002- Palma de Mallorca. Tel: 971 728 829

My local informer tells me that La Vinoteca has moved to the 29 Pare Bartolomeu Pou St.

For local mallorquian wines the shop is Malvasía Vins, on Joan Bauzà St.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Victor: Having his personal supervision will definetely do magic for Mas Passamaner; stayed there in May withthe  family, and because of our baby girl we had all our dinners at the restaurant which tried hard but didn't quite make it, and not enough variety in presentation and dishes for three consecutive dinners... They were extremely good with teh kids, though..

Slightly OT:

Any rec's for best wine shops in Palma or where to find the best pata negra at a favourable price (Sanchez Romero de Caravajall)? Not Club de Gourmet at El Corte Ingles, but any other centrally located venue will be great!

Dear Viking: This sub-thread about Mas Passamaner and Victor's report that Girasol's chef will be running the kitchen or heavily influencing the food at the Gigantea's dining room is another plus for us as we anticipate our visit to this establishment.

We booked this hotel primarily for our Modernista architectural interests. We will visit Mas Passamaner in our upcoming late October and November, 2005 trip to Spain. We never dreamed it might be an equally desirable culinary destination. We are ecstatic about the presence of Girasol's chef's influence. I know this is a bit off topic but can you elaborate on why YOU chose to visit Mas Passamaner in the first place? Thanking you and Victor for your comments; I am interested in both this sub-thread and the virtues of Mallorca which is on our list for a future visit. Thanks for the good news. Judith Gebhart

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It won't be a mere "supervision". Koerper has moved to Mas Passamaner - lock, stock and barrel.

Reviewing your message, Victor, about certain German chefs failing to connect with locals.... Is Koerper one of the more successful German chefs? Have you sampled his menu at Girasol? More input would be helpful about his work, if you know it. Thanking you in advance. Judith Gebhart
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Well, both Gerhard Schwaiger and Joachim Koerper garnered two Michelin stars, which isn't easy (only 10 two-star restaurants in Spain, a very small number considering that there are four three-star ones, but then Michelin is ridiculously stingy in this country), so both should be considered as top guns among the German expatriate group.

Koerper is an alum of L'Ambroisie's Bernard Pacaud. He is a veteran who's been working since the 1970s (and since 1990 in Moraira, after he married his Spanish wife), and he has a wonderfully delicate touch, but lacks perhaps that stroke of genius, of originality, that distinguishes the truly great chefs. He tends to be rather traditional, but he has incorporated all the elements of the Mediterranean cuisines very smartly.

Some of his 2005 dishes in Moraira (where I haven't been in several years) have been: crispy mille-feuille with tapenade and cream cheese; beef carpaccio with parmigiano (told you he was traditional!); anchovy mousse with tomato and capers; sardine velouté with almonds and cauliflower; crayfish carpaccio with a bell pepper chutney and a curry-lemongrass vinaigrette; sardine terrine in 'escabeche' with grilled vegetables, cream cheese and chorizo oil; asparagus velouté with mint and black pepper; filets of the catch-of-the-day fish with mange-tout peas and a wasabi risotto; partridge cutlets with green cabbage, juniper essence and rosemary mashed potatoes; strawberries with rhubarb and a champagne ice (he's a strawberry freak). His cheese trolley is always superb.

As it happens, our Barcelona restaurant critic, Xavier Agulló, reviewed his new Gigantea restaurant yesterday in El Mundo, just a couple of weeks after Koerper moved there. He rates it 16/20. He says Koerper's cuisine is "somewhat baroque, taking us back to the fastuous 1970s", with "an academic creativity, nostalgic flavors and an immaculate technique". He mentions the prices are lower than at Girasol. Abelló writes that the foie gras terrine was fine but should have been a bit more delicate, and describes his sea bream roll with spinach as impeccable, his mango sorbet as a typical mid-meal Koerper taste-breaker, his rack of baby lamb with couscous and crunchy vegetables as glorious. He mentions the light home-made madeleines and the simple but just-ripe pineapple carpaccio. It's just a first glimpse, of course. Then again, there are few surprises in store with such a solid veteran as Koerper.

The hotel, BTW, is indeed worth the visit - it was designed in 1922 by one of the best Modernista architects, Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Edited by vserna (log)

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let me put in another good word for Bens d'Avall ... it was tremendous for what it was and what it cost... a very fine restaurant. Koldo Royo was really great as well. Most of the rest of our meals in Mallorca were quite forgettable (and, importantly, not at any of the restos under discussion on this thread) but these two were excellent, especially Bens d'Avall.

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Thanks to all for the recommendations upthread. And I second vinobiondo's comment on the excellent food at Bens d'Avall. What nobody has mentioned is the stunning location of this restaurant. It is pure James Bond territory. Between Soller and Deia, it is perched in a dramatic cove with a sheer mountainside drop to a crystal clear sea. It was raining the day we were there, so we sat inside, but it must be truly magical eating out on the large terrace on a sunny day. Location, location, location!

The room inside is lovely too, (confident Mediterranean in feel, wooden floors, a nice use of stone, quality furnishings, very 3*), with large windows looking out onto the spectacular view. We opted for the tasting menu at €64, had a glass of refreshing cava and contemplated the wine list. There is a wine pairing option for €35 (6 pours) which sounds like a good deal, but as we were driving we played it safe and just went with the sommelier recommendation of a €25 bottle of red, a cab sav from Ibiza (Ses Marjades, spelling could be wrong), which was too jammy for my liking. Our fault for not being clear on a price range.

The amuse were an extremely good prawn and mushroom veloute, served in a little cup; a light mousse like brandade with a flake of cod; and a very nice mackerel (terrine?) with pine nuts and raisins. This was followed by another trio: two textures of llampuga (which I think is dolphin fish) with fine herbs (a bit heavy on the basil for my liking); autumn terrine, a great earthy, smokey mackerel pate; and stuffed sweet peppers which is a typical Mallorquin dish.

Next up was caramelised terrine of foie gras, with a terrine of mushrooms, apple quince and “spices bun”. It was a beautiful semi circle of foie gras, but there was too much caramel on top and I feel a very fine layer would have been more subtle and successful. The wild mushrooms in a gellee were deliciously woody, but I think the dish would have been even better and more seasonal if the mushrooms were done “two ways” (his thing), and also served hot straight off the sauté pan. The apple quince worked fine, but the spices bun was a bit dry and I prefer to avoid cinnamon and go the plainer brioche direction.

The seafood dish was “artishoken suquet and Mallorcan mushrooms, fish fillet with almond crust and parsley, and squid noodles”. This dish was gutsy and tasty, but with a bit too much going on and closer in texture to comfort food than haute cuisine, or his “nueva cucina”. I am comparing it (probably unfairly) with an extremely elegant version of this dish that we had at El Raco de Can Fabes earlier in the year. Whereas Santamaria used firm waxy potatoes in his saffron broth, the potatoes here were starting to break up in the soup and I felt the texture of the artichoke thickened and diluted it too much. The earthy seasonal mushrooms were there, but one or two stray shitakes sounded a discordant note. The fish was cooked beautifully, and the squid noodles were excellent. Clever and deliciously soft. Don’t get me wrong, this dish tasted good, it just could have been more focused and resolved.

This was followed by a substantial palate cleanser, which although more of a dessert sized portion, was extremely simple and good, the best dish of the meal. The pear sorbet was perfectly light and soft (a paco jet possibly?), sitting on top of a clear delicate anise gellee studded with pomegranate seeds and dressed with a subtle caramel coloured pomegranate foam. And the leaf of mint with this worked in more than a superfluous way. There was a resolved purity about this truly delicious dish.

The guinea fowl which followed was done in two “textures”. The first way was stuffed with truffles which was very good, although a little too tiny, and the other, a “picatta”, was totally misguided and was in fact a disc of compressed guinea fowl, coated in bread crumbs and deep fried. A posh nugget that had no place on this plate. The basmati rice with shavings of coconut was surprisingly good and there was also a wonderful sauce with a great note of morels.

The dessert was presented with a proud glow and it did look very impressive indeed. The “fungus of Mallorcan cheese” was in fact a cep made of deliciously moist cheesecake. To be honest, the cep was too big, but the stalk was soused in rosewater, which was inspired and heavenly. The hazelnut praline ice cream worked wonderfully in terms of flavour and was deliciously nutty but could have been creamier. So a nice dessert to round things off, but not a complete showstopper.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable meal, with attentive but unobtrusive service. I consider the menu to be exceptionally good value at €64, but would not even start to compare it with Can Roca’s phenomenal menu at €67. I have not eaten in Tristan or at any other top end restaurants in Mallorca, so perhaps my comparisons with restaurants in the Barcelona area are unfair and seem unnecessarily harsh, which is not the intention. I think the comparisons are with a standard that this very able chef aspires to. The ingredients used are wonderfully seasonal and local, impeccibly fresh and for the most part cooked with creative and considered respect. It is definitely worth the trip, and if this restaurant was near me, I would certainly be going back. If you don’t have a car, there’s a tourist train that runs from Palma to Soller, and a taxi from there should be easy enough. And if you do have a car, don’t take the tunnel. Chicane up the mountainside and take in the breathtaking views. Tel: (00 34) 971 632 381.

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Great post!

Thanks to all for the recommendations upthread.  And I second vinobiondo's comment on the excellent food at Bens d'Avall.  What nobody has mentioned is the stunning location of this restaurant.  It is pure James Bond territory.  Between Soller and Deia, it is perched in a dramatic cove with a sheer mountainside drop to a crystal clear sea. 

So true! It was a sunny summer day on the day we were there, and we got there right at sunset and had our cava on the deck before going inside to eat. Before we went inside, we walked down the hill a ways and found a "private road" the led to some steps down the hillside that suddenly just dropped off about 1,000 feet to the sea. We sat on those steps and watched the beginnings of a sunset which was one of the most romantic moments ever. When I propose to my girlfriend, part of me wants to fly all the way back there just to try to re-create the moment.

On a related note, we ate at Can Fabes on the same trip and much preferred Bens d'Avall, although -- to be fair -- our pretty much disastrous experience at Can Fabes had less to do with the quality of the food than with other things.

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Re marriage proposal plans... your secret's safe with us... and yes Bens d'Avall would be a wonderfully romantic spot. Did you go for the tasting menu? And on Can Fabes, I'm sorry to hear that some things dampened the experience. Maybe you could elaborate on the Can Fabes thread. Our only problem there was finding some reserve room to fit all of the food!

Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)
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Re marriage proposal plans... your secret's safe with us... and yes Bens d'Avall would be a wonderfully romantic spot.  Did you go for the tasting menu?  And on Can Fabes, I'm sorry to hear that some things dampened the experience.  Maybe you could elaborate on the Can Fabes thread.  Our only problem there was finding some reserve room to fit all of the food!

We actually ended up ordering a la carte, but there were plenty of "extras" so we felt we got a very representative experience. I agree that a few of the dishes were a bit too "busy" but they were still delicious.

Much like Alinea (which I also found to be mostly disappointing), Can Fabes is an eGullet sacred cow. I honestly don't think a recitation of my experience at either of these places would be appreciated or even believed.

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I had never thought of Can Fabes as an eGullet "sacred cow", but you've got me even more curious now. You mentioned that it had less to do with the food than "other things", so I'd love to have more detail. Sorry to be off topic here, but any chance of continuing this on the Can Fabes thread?

Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)
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Vinobiondo, I don't think Can Fabes is a sacred cow here in eGullet. Furthermore, I'd say that it's more the other way around.

I, for one, would like to hear your experiences there in the appropriate thread.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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our pretty much disastrous experience at Can Fabes had less to do with the quality of the food than with other things.

Personally, I'm basically interested in the quality of food. If, on the other hand, the service was discourteous or the bathrooms unclean, we'd appreciate hearing about that. But all-encompassing disqualifications of a "sacred cow" (???), and then not giving any details because they "wouldn't be believed"... that smacks of character assassination.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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The other restaurants we tried in Palma on our recent visit were:

Cellar Sa Premsa

This is a lovely old rustic building and wine barrels abound. I understand it is open all afternoon, so yes it does have a tourist slant. However it is also popular with the locals, and families were out in force the night we were there as it was St Columbus Day. It serves typical Mallorquin food. For starters the pimientos de Padron and snails were good, the local liver and potato dish, OK. For mains, there were great big portions of rabbit, roast suckling pig and slow cooked lamb, all served up with chips and vegetables. The food here is wholesome and has to be viewed in the context of the price. It is unbelievably cheap, with some of the mains costing as little as €6. A good place to go with kids or a large noisy group, but not a fine dining experience. Tel: 971 723 529.

La Boveda

A good tapas bar with a great seating area outside that feels particularly stylish. The atmosphere is buzzy, the service is good and friendly and there’s a broad range of inexpensive sizzling tapas. All the usuals are done well (Padrons, small fried fish etc) and their “special” is a very good sweet red pepper stuffed with cod. Apparently it gets quite busy (there were no queues when we were there), so be sure to book. Tel: 971 714 863.

El Pilon

I had visited this tapas bar the last time I was in Mallorca, and it remains my favourite. It’s up an alley, just off the Born and as you walk in, you might worry that you’re in a tourist trap. It’s a small long narrow room, with a mirror each end to make the area seem bigger, and has lots of quirky fishing kitsch hanging from the ceilings and walls. A tapas bar (with no stools) runs the length of the room with about 8 tables in a line the other side of it. You can’t book as far as I know, so if you have to wait for a table, you stand at the bar where you will be immediately presented with a complimentary plate of the traditional brown bread and tomato by the owner who is an interesting looking character. Behind him 3 cooks work furiously on the plancha (grill) and other cooking, while two entertaining waiters buzz around the cramped space with the hot tapas. The food is fantastic and the prices are good, although a shade higher than La Boveda. The wonderful seafood a la plancha includes cigalas (langoustine), calamares (squid), sepias (another type of squid I think), almejas (clams) and wonderful gambas (prawns) in garlic. And of course they have the all important pimientos de Padron and great ham. Yes, I love this place. It’s got such personality and the food is so good. A “don’t miss” spot. Tel: 971 726 034. Address: Calle C’an Cifre, 6.

Rififi

This is a lovely traditional sort of fish restaurant, with crisp white linen table cloths and a charming Maitre d (or maybe owner) with extremely good English. There is a chilled display case full of fish as you walk in and the food is pretty straight up with no modern interpretations. I had a very good fish soup to start, very light with some mussels and clams still in the shell for about €8 and the wonderful wild sea bass cooked in salt was for two and cost about €33, served simply with potatoes. Great value and a great place for wonderfully fresh fish cooked simply. Tel: 971 402 035.

Fabrica 23

My husband was here before I arrived over and gave it a good report. We tried to get another booking but it was full. It’s a small restaurant with about 8 tables and a limited but confidently focused menu. There are about 4 starters; all around €10 except the seared foie gras (very good, apparently) is €18. The 4 mains at around €15 were: confit of guinea fowl (on a bed of chopped veg), llampuga, Argentinian beef entrecote and a vegetarian tartlet. Simple cooking with a slight modern twist. There is a lunch for €18 which is extremely popular. Tel: 971 453 125

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  • 10 months later...

Another fall trip to Mallorca coming up, this time to the not-so-heavily-loaded-with-grat-restaurants area around Son Servera/Cala Millor area for a week in the end of September. Bringing the kids, so any 4 hour lunch or dinner will be out of the question. Any recs?

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My friends were on honeymoon at Read's Hotel in Mallorca (http://www.readshotel.com) recently. They had cooking tuition from chef/director Marc Fosh whom they were extremely enthusiastic about; I notice the restaurant has a Michelin star. The food, by all accounts is inventive and makes inventive use of local produce. Apparently, there are a few other restaurants around Palma ran by Fosh pupils which are also very good by all accounts. Sorry no further details though

Another fall  trip to Mallorca coming up, this time to the not-so-heavily-loaded-with-grat-restaurants area around Son Servera/Cala Millor area for a week in the end of September.  Bringing the kids, so any 4 hour lunch or dinner will be out of the question. Any recs?

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  • 10 months later...

Had a wonderful meal at Tristan not so long ago. The location is as breathtaking as ever - right on the marina of Puerto Portals opposite many expensive yachts ...

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The seating is very comfortable, the breeze from the sea a blessing. Lots of people are walking past during dinner time which leads to a permanent "see and be seen" atmosphere.

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We went for the Gourmet Tapas menu, consisting of lots of different tasting courses -

Crema Catalana of cauliflower with broccoli and Matjes

Cold soup of melon with tomatoes and Caldereta mousse

Spring roll with lobster and Okra

Ravioli with window, stuffed with chanterelles in jelly, carpaccio of atlantic lobster and Inoki nage

Espuma of buffalo mozarella with oregano sauce, duck liver and salami

Home made noodles with parsley-chilli-pesto and summer truffle

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Emince of angler fish with liquid potatoe salad, chive-Argan-oil vinaigrette and Gazpaco pearls

Fresh Majorcan anchovies with two different caviars and Lagrima of fried potato

Cote de boeuf grilled with ravioli of Merguez, leek, onions and Barbecue sauce

Cornetto stuffed with Camembert, blue cheese and chocolate bread

Creme brulee of Crue de cacao with ice cream of plum core oil

Overall, this whole menu showed that Gerhard Schwaiger is after the third Michelin star. Every dish was perfectly presented and incredibly tasty without being over the top. I have eaten here ten years ago, and what an improvement he has made! The service consists predominantly of young German ladies who are mostly fluent in both English and Spanish, too. (Only the sommelier is a Spaniard. Thanks to his advice I had a wonderful 1999 Chardonnay from Chivite, Navarra.)

At the end, we got some tasty and nicely arranged petit fours

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and when we ordered a coffee, a trolley arrived full of jars with coffee beans!

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Although this was pretty gimmicky, it is great to be able to smell different coffee varieties and have such a great choice.

All in all, I can highly recommend a visit to Tristan these days. We also went to the Valldemossa Hotel and Koldo Royo (both were quite good), but Tristan is in a different league alltogether.

Edited by ameiden (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I will be visting Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza soon - are there any great restaurants there?

I was there briefly last year, and there only seemed to be tourist restaurants (and that great), but perhaps I overlooked something.

Nathan

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  • 5 months later...

We are heading to Mallorca this Easter and I wanted to see if anyone had some up to date advice on where and what to eat.

We are interested in the full range of options. We enjoy most things, from simple, unpretentious well cooked food, through to the full on Michelin experience - traditional or cutting edge.

Grateful for any advice and guidance - flights booked but holding out on the hotel options until we have booked the restaurants. Got to get the priorities right.

Thanks,

Phil

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  • 1 month later...

Mallorca is an interesting destination for food – some dramatic contrasts.

Our best meal was at es Racó d’es Teix in Deia. It is a small restaurant with one Michelin star. Service was absolutely fantastic, very attentive and friendly. We started with two amuse bouches, an asparagus mouse with foie foam, and a foie soup with a pear ravioli; both were interesting and well executed. Next we had a lobster bisque, and foie gras with cinnamon, again both good. However, the main courses are the real star, one dish of lamb 5 ways and another of suckling pig (actually pork a number of ways). Lots of interesting flavours and every element of the dish perfectly cooked. We finished with a selection of deserts, which rounded off the meal very well. We drank wines by the glass, the sommelier consulted us and gave us a few options (all Mallorcan), for the bisque a chardonnay, with the foie a Gewürztraminer, and for the mains red Bordeaux like blend (predominantly cabernet). All the wines were from freshly opened bottles which showed a generous nature.

We ate at a few other places in Deia. The restaurant in Sa Pedrissa (a well situated hotel) was good, with ambitious cooking which was well executed, a good example of which was the amuse – a Spanish sushi of bacalao and salmon wrapped in seaweed with miso paste. Restaurante Sebastian in Deia itself is very popular and our meal was again good, but I did feel the skills in the kitchen don’t match the ambition on the menu.

In Palma the best we tried was the Asador Tjerra Aranda a traditional restaurant full of Spanish families celebrating Easter. Garlic soup, a place of jambon iberico, and then a shared suckling pig leg. The pig was quite different to the one I had in Segovia, probably a bit older, but it was still very good. I noticed most tables had the same. For desert we had fried milk which was a first and quite tasty. We chose one of the more expensive local Cabernets from the list and it was nicely decanted and served in good glasses – a good wine. Overall a very pleasant lunch – rustic and traditional.

The other restaurant we tried was Caballito de mar a specialist fish restaurant in the old town. We had a very fresh sole, well cooked and presented, and fish lasagna, we drank a local (quite cheap) chardonnay, which was highly quaffable. A very decent restaurant although we felt we could have been in any major city.

On our travels we also grabbed a quick lunch at Sa Farinera on the road halfway between Es Carritxo and S'Horta. We stopped because the car park was full; again it was full of local families enjoying an Easter lunch. Good traditional Mallorcan food the highlights of which were “sobrasada torrada” (sobrasada grilled on local bread) and “botifarrons torrados” (small grilled spicy blood sausages) – both excellent.

The big disappointments were the tapas. We tried quite a few different the two best were La Boveda in Palma and El Barrigon Xelini in Deia, but even these were quite unremarkable. The most interesting comment was from a waiter in Sollier who told us most dishes on the menu were off, as the order hadn’t been delivered yet although they had been ordered a week ago – nothing fresh, simply bought in. Are Tapas traditional in Mallorca? Would you find better outside tourist areas? (are there any non-tourist areas).

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