In TRAVELERs July/August issue, writer Raphael Kadushin travels to Mallorca, an island off of the eastern coast of Spain. Here, Kadushins picks of the islands exceptional restaurants.
Forget the pizza joints and pre-fab paella parlors that once lined Palmas beachfront. The islands new patriots know that their mamas cooking is a precious local resource, and Mallorcas young chefs have started paying homage to that legacy. The result is a wide range of restaurants that feature two trademarks of the local cuisine. The first: a fresh bounty of regional produce, a daily catch of seafood, wild boar, and island pig, and a harvest of local olives, lemons, oranges, tomatoes, eggplants, and almonds. Add to that a mix of ethnic flavorsJewish, Moorish, Catalan, and Balearicwhich reflect the islands cultural hybrid, and the payoff is one of Spains most exuberant culinary celebrations. Where to find the best? Read on.
Es raco des Teix (Carrer Vinya Vieja 6, Deià; +34 971 63 95 01). The newest addition to Deiàs dining scene, this mountainside restaurant recently opened when chef Josef Sauerschell moved from the Hotel La Residencia. Here youll find round-the-clock romance, with lunch on the outdoor terrace overlooking Deiàs classic silhouette and dinners by candlelight in the airy dining room. The menu, despite Sauerschells German background, is more classic Mediterranean than Munich beer hall. Try the rack of lamb crusted with island-grown olives; skate and red mullet strewn with pine nuts; or the whole chicken stuffed with a layer of truffles.
Cas Xorc (Carretera de Deià, km 56.1, Sóller; +34 971 63 82 80). International celebrities such as Michael Douglas and Claudia Schiffer have been spotted here, but the atmosphere is anything but glamorous. Housed in a converted olive oil mill, the restaurant comes by its rustic feel honestly, and so does the menu. Starting with local produce from the surrounding Tramuntana Mountains, and mixing in some international accents, chef Christer Welander creates a nightly menu often featuring a signature specialty: a mountain goat marinated overnight with island vegetables and herbs.
Gran Hotel Son Net Restaurant (Castillo Son Net s/n, Puigpunyent; +34 971 14 70 00). Chef François Reverdy, imported from LOrangerie in Los Angeles, has revamped the luxury hotels dining room. Its focus is still on the freshest Mediterranean ingredients, but now youll find an uptown version of the islands homespun cuisine. Look for turbot sautéed with fresh ginger; ravioli stuffed with turnip and herbs; baby lamb baked with honey-glazed eggplant; and marinated wild strawberries.
Ca NAntuna (Carrer Arbona Colom 8, Fornalutx; +34 971 63 30 68). Ca NAntuna serves Mallorcan soul food at its best. If the sun is shining, grab a table on the vine-wreathed stone terrace that overlooks the village of Fornalutx and its photogenic tumble of stone streets and tile roofs. Toast the view with a classic Mallorcan soup heaped with stewed bread and vegetables. Try the fresh squid doused in lemon juice or the sizzling roast pig. For dessert, go with the simplest option: a brimming basket of juicy oranges just picked from the grove below.
La Boveda (Carrer Boteria 3, Palma; +34 971 71 48 63). Lines snake in front of this Palma tapas café every night before the doors open. Part of the draw is the nightly party fever, whipped up by a polyglot crowd of suntanned Euros who jam the rustic diner. But the real draw is Palmas best selection of bite-sized Mallorcan specialties. Dont miss the tender fried calamari, red peppers stuffed with cod, and the earthy white bean stew with clams. For the finale, try the pa ambolislices of dense brown bread rubbed with sweet tomato and olive oil.
Grand Café Cappuccino (Paseo Maritimo 1, Palma; +34 971 28 21 62). Offering the most tranquil lunch in Palma, this café features an open Moorish terrace with a tinkling tile fountain. Forget the all-American California club and the immigrant scones. The setting calls for something with more native moxie: hot sobressada, the distinctive Mallorcan pork sausage, finely minced and accented with paprika, or layers of serrano ham folded in sheets on top of a pa amboli. For dessert, the best is the dense almond cake (gató) topped with a scoop of almond ice cream.
Raphael Kadushin wrote the feature and TravelWise on Mallorca in TRAVELERs July/August issue.