Hidden Kitchen with Edu Martínez/Brut

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Last Saturday we attended our second Hidden Kitchen event, organised by Chefs(in) – promoters of Balearic gastronomy. I booked and paid for our places some months ago, as soon as I saw that the chef would be Eduardo Martínez from the unique Brut Restaurante in Llubí. And had my fingers crossed that the pandemic wouldn’t lead to its cancellation.

Team Brut

Book a Hidden Kitchen event and you don’t know where you’re going to eat until you arrive on the day. It won’t be a restaurant. In the five days leading up to the event, Chefs(in) emails participants one clue each day – one of which is the meeting point.

Our meeting point was on an industrial estate in Palma (Son Castelló), outside a discotheque called Latin Magic. We’d been advised to wear comfortable shoes. No salsa stilettos then. Those facts fired up my synapses, I can tell you.

Garage Cuisine

The restaurant Brut used to be a garage/workshop, earning its food the title of ‘garage cuisine’. Edu and his business partner Bruno Balbi even gave a presentation on ‘garage cuisine’ at the Madrid Fusion international gastronomy congress in January this year. Would we be eating in one of the many luxury car showrooms in Palma?

Not quite. Twenty-four diners arrived at the meeting point, where Araceli and Miguel Angel from Chefs(in) welcomed us.

For our last Hidden Kitchen, we were whisked in a luxury minibus from the meeting point to the lunch venue. How would it work this time, with the necessity for physical distancing?

‘I hope they send a full-sized coach,’ The Boss said to me, concerned about so many people breathing – even wearing masks – on a minibus during a pandemic. No transport was required – and all Covid precautions were taken.

The Reveal

Our venue for lunch was mere steps away from the meeting point, inside a business called Bosch & Lozano – a vast store selling vehicle spares and, at the rear, tyres. To be honest, it’s a business I’d never have otherwise visited but it was certainly appropriate for ‘garage cuisine’ Brut.

We began with a cocktail created by Matías Iriarte (of the Palma cocktail bar, Chapeau 1987), before moving through to the enormous tyre depot, where four well-spaced tables for six diners each, as well as Edu and his team, were waiting. As before, the tables were attractively decorated and, for added interest, the well-ventilated space had creative displays using tyres; a gleaming 750cc Norton Commando was also part of the décor (much to The Boss’s interest).

The menu had a Roman theme and a few of the dishes are pictured below.

Reasons to Attend a Hidden Kitchen

A Hidden Kitchen lunch or dinner is not only an opportunity to enjoy a unique menu prepared by one of the Balearics’ best chefs, but also to discover new places and meet new people (with a common interest in gastronomy). We shared our table with a German couple from near Santanyí and a local couple from Alaró, who’d been gifted the experience; neither had eaten at Brut, but seemed likely to try it in the future. If we’re ever in the market for a new fan belt, tyres, or other motoring miscellany, Bosch & Lozano will spring to mind!

A Date for your Diary

The next scheduled Hidden Kitchen is on January 30th, 2021, featuring cuisine by Javier Hoebeeck from the restaurant Fusión 19 in Playa de Muro. It’s a restaurant we intended to visit this year, but time ran out and it closed for the winter. Chefs(in)’s next Hidden Kitchen offers a chance to try Javier Hoebeeck’s cuisine before his restaurant’s new season begins. More details and bookings on Chefs(in).

Jan Edwards Copyright 2020

New Mallorca Cookbook

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If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a foodie or keen cook, I’d like to suggest three cookbooks written here in Mallorca. The first was published in 2019; the second, this year, and the third one, only recently.

Modern Mediterranean – Sun-drenched recipes from Mallorca and beyond – by Marc Fosh (whose eponymous restaurant in Palma de Mallorca has a Michelin star).

The mymuybueno Cookbook – by Justine Murphy (who has recently relocated her eponymous cookery school to London).

The third cookbook I would suggest is called Mallorca – Das Kochbuch by Caroline Fabian (left in photo below). Yup, you guessed correctly: it’s in German. I have a copy, even though my schoolgirl German is as rusty as an abandoned Mallorcan tractor.

This book has a vibrant cover and is packed with beautiful photographs and I’m sure it would delight any Mallorca-loving foodie friend who speaks German, or has a grasp of the language.

Caroline Fabian – Cook & Author

Caroline Fabian is from Munich but is married to a Mallorcan and lives on the island. After her training, she went to work in Canada and later moved to Mallorca, where she worked in Josef Sauerschell’s Michelin-starred Es Racó d’es Teix in the mountain village of Deià.

For more than a decade, Caroline has been a private cook, catering for visitors and residents all over the island. She’s passionate about the island’s gastronomy and the specialist producers here.

Authors in Mallorca

Caroline joined me in conversation on the second episode of my podcast Authors in Mallorca, available to hear on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and TuneIn. Here’s a taster…

If you enjoy podcasts, you may also like to check out Living in Rural Mallorca – in which I talk to foreigners who have chosen to live in the Mallorcan countryside. I’d love it if you subscribed to receive future episodes.

Jan Edwards Copyright 2020

Celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 in Mallorca

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You don’t have to be American to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving Day turkey feast. We’ve enjoyed three special Thanksgiving dinners here in Mallorca – all cooked by the same talented American private chef, Ross Hutchison, whose professional kitchen is in Santa Catalina, Palma de Mallorca.

Ross carving a turkey at one of the special Thanksgiving dinners we’ve attended in Mallorca

Thanksgiving is an occasion that seems even more important in this devastating pandemic year, when every opportunity should be seized to be grateful for any positives in life – however small. The pandemic has prevented large gatherings of family and friends for this Thanksgiving Day in Mallorca: a maximum of six people can gather around a table.

If you are in Mallorca, Ross is offering something special: your traditional Thanksgiving feast all prepared and ready for you to collect and finish at home, as a celebration meal for four or six people. Feel your taste buds tingle as you read this…

Ross’s Thanksgiving Feast

Here’s what you get:

Oven-ready herb-brined turkey

Turkey gravy

Sourdough loaf with beurre noisette

Truffle-whipped mashed potatoes

Honey-glazed carrots, toasted hazelnuts, warm vinaigrette

Classic green bean casserole with wild seasonal mushrooms

Autumn-harvest kale salad with apple, persimmon, and orange fennel dressing

Fresh cranberry relish

***

Brown-butter maple pecan pie with whipped cream

Need to Know

Ross will prep and pre-cook all the dishes – except the turkey. The herb-brined bird will come in an oven-safe bag, ready to cook. Chef’s personal guidelines and heating instructions for the other dishes – all cooked – are included.

Of course, every feast deserves a good wine and Ross has this sorted too. Each order includes one bottle of 2019 Château Grand Boise Côtes de Provence natural red wine.

The cost for this dinner is 220 euros for four people, and 275 euros for six people. Payment is taken on order, through bank transfer.

Collect your feast on either November 25th or 26th, but if you collect it on the 25th, be sure to leave plenty of space in your ‘fridge for the food.

Orders must be placed by FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20th through WhatsApp only on +34 671 512 012

Happy Thanksgiving when it arrives, wherever you are.

Jan Edwards Copyright 2020

Style & Sustainability in New Pollensa Hotel

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Sleep

A boutique hotel displaying copies of Architectural Digest and Monocle in its lounge and guest rooms must be confident that its design will stand up to comparison with the stylish images featured in such design-focused publications.

Mallorca’s new boutique adults-only hotel, Can Aulí Luxury Retreat, brims with confidence in its design. It’s evident from the moment you enter this 21-bedroom property, located in a quiet street in the charming town of Pollensa in the north of Mallorca. Can Aulí Luxury Retreat is the first boutique hotel outside Palma de Mallorca for the IT Mallorca Unique Spaces group.

The noble 17th-century building would now be unrecognisable to the Pollensa doctor who used to call the place home. The redevelopment of the property has respectfully preserved many of the traditional Mallorcan architectural features – such as the handsome stone arches – combined with 21st-century comforts and design features and some interesting artworks by local artists. It’s gorgeous.

Natural materials, such as local stone and wood, and muted colours give the rooms (and the hotel’s public areas) a restful as well as luxurious ambience. But luxury wasn’t the only consideration in the creation of this stylish Pollensa boutique hotel. Sustainability was important: for example, the paint used in the hotel was ecological.

Our Stay

Although we arrived on a day threatening rain, we were able to sip the glass of cava, offered as a welcome drink, on the Gastrobar’s outdoor terrace. As we relaxed – it doesn’t take long at Can Aulí Luxury Retreat – our bag was delivered to our room.

We stayed in Room 22 (the hotel has no room number 13). This junior suite has a view of the large courtyard garden, which has a tempting swimming pool. Beyond the property’s ivy-covered wall we could see a mountain and villas on the wooded hillside. It was a reminder that Pollensa is an excellent base for anyone who wants to drive into the UNESCO World Heritage Site Serra de Tramuntana.

I was pleased to find no capsule-coffee-making machine in our room but, instead, a Kitchen Aid kettle (another example of the high quality at Can Aulí Luxury Retreat). No environmentally unfriendly capsules here: we had sachets of Illy coffee and an impressive choice of organic teas. The two mugs provided for our hot drinks were made by island ceramicist, Jaume Roig (his work is also a key feature in the hotel lounge area). If you prefer, you can help yourself to hot drinks from the smart machine in Gastrobar’s open kitchen at any time.

Our spacious bathroom was fitted with chic copper-finish taps, and a walk-in shower as well as a bathtub – something that’s becoming less common in new boutique hotels. Amenities are organic and the travel kit provided is made from bamboo.

The Gastro Bar

The town of Pollensa has a good choice of restaurants but it’s worth trying the organic food in Can Aulí Luxury Retreat’s Gastro Bar. The menu offers snacks, a choice of breads, spoon dishes, sandwiches, tapas and sharing plates and, of course, desserts.

We shared three dishes: guacamole with corn chips and seasonal tomatoes with tuna belly and Kalamata olives, and apple tatin with vanilla ice cream. All delicious. Vegans and gluten-free diners have a plentiful choice here.

Breakfast

A surprisingly varied buffet breakfast is available at Can Aulí Luxury Retreat, which includes local products, a variety of breads, and cooked food if wanted. Covid safety measures meant pointing to the items we wanted on the other side of the now ubiquitous Perspex screen, which were then plated for us. Slices of different breads and pastries were each presented in compostable paper bags. It all felt very safe in these unnerving times.

Good to Know

  • Can Aulí Luxury Retreat doesn’t have its own car park, but a large, free car park is less than five minutes’ walk away. You can always drop your luggage at the hotel first.
  • The hotel offers a number of pampering wellness and spa treatments, using organic products. It’s recommended that you book these in advance (the treatments menu is available on the website).
  • The not-so-good news: Can Aulí Luxury Retreat is now closed until 2021. It would make a perfect base to enjoy some of the events that we all hope will return to Pollensa’s social-and-cultural calendar next year. These include the Fira del Vi (wine fair in spring), Good Friday procession on El Calvari steps (of which there are 365), and the annual arts event, Pollensa Festival. And if you love to browse for a bargain or something local, Pollensa’s weekly Sunday morning market is a must.
  • IT Mallorca Unique Spaces has four properties in Palma de Mallorca: Boutique Hotel Can Alomar, Boutique Hotel Can Cera, Boutique Hotel Calatrava, and Boutique Hotel Sant Jaume.

Jan Edwards copyright 2020

Where to Eat Out this Autumn in the East of Mallorca

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It won’t come as a surprise to learn that the lack of visitors to Mallorca has led to the early closure this season of a lot of hospitality establishments. For those businesses still toughing out the quieter times, there is possible good news, in that TUI is restarting flights from Germany to Palma de Mallorca from October 15th.

Whether you’ve decided to visit the island (and maybe face quarantine on your return home) or are taking a staycation, here are three places of different styles (and budgets), along the east coast of Mallorca, where you’ll be able to eat out this autumn.

Authentic Italian Food at Osteria Dolores, Portocristo

Chef/proprietor Mario Hekke opened Osteria Dolores in February this year, having closed his former fine-dining restaurant Sa Sal and rebooted the same premises as an informal trattoria, serving authentic home-cooked Italian food.

It was a brilliant find for us, because few good restaurants in Portocristo are open during the winter – and this one has the benefit of a log-burning stove to keep things cosy. (During warmer months, Osteria Dolores has an attractive enclosed garden for al fresco eating.)

Since the lockdown ended and restaurants were allowed to open again, we’ve eaten here a few times – the last of which was a week ago. After we’d enjoyed our meal, Mario sat and chatted with us for a while and told us the plan is for Osteria Dolores to stay open throughout the winter. We hope he gets plenty of local support: use it or lose it, springs to mind.

Read more about Osteria Dolores here. Note that this place takes cash only. If you forget, it’s only a few minutes’ walk down the main road to an ATM.

Soul Food and Waterside Location at Quince, Portocristo

We’ve been fans of this Portocristo eatery for quite a few years now. It’s one of three establishments in the port in the same group (a fourth one is in Portocristo Novo, just a few minutes’ drive away). It’s open for lunch and dinner.

Quince has a large terrace looking down over the sea inlet, where many of the local fishing boats moor. (Fresh fish is always good here). We love to watch the traditional Mallorcan fishing boats – known as llaüts – pottering along in the twilight. The views are lovely and the ambience is vibrant.

Eating indoors in the cooler months feels cosy and intimate, although social distancing will mean more spacing of tables than has been the norm here.

Quince has earned its stripes over the years by offering reliably tasty soul food from an à la carte menu, with some daily specials and a kids’ menu. The service team here could give valuable lessons in warm hospitality to some other restaurants and each member makes you feel that your custom is valued.

It’s often difficult to get a table here in the height of a normal season, but the good news is that Quince will be open most of the winter – closing only for a short holiday early in 2021.

Creative Mallorcan Food from Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner, Sa Coma

Foodies who have visited Mallorca over the years may have tried Tomeu Caldentey’s cuisine at his former restaurant Bou. Tomeu Caldentey was the first Mallorcan chef to gain a Michelin star for his cuisine, but he gave up the star and closed Bou in 2018 to create a simpler and more affordable concept of restaurant, named Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner, and located in the same premises in Sa Coma. We loved Bou but can afford to eat a little more often at its replacement.

We were fortunate to eat a few times in the Michelin-starred Bou, where Tomeu worked with a brigade of chefs in the large contemporary kitchen. Now Tomeu has that stage largely to himself, creating your dinner in front of you as you sit at the counter around the kitchen working area. If you prefer to sit at a conventional table, that’s also possible.

Tomeu’s food is creative and based on seasonal local produce. There’s no à la carte menu, but a choice of three tasting menus: five, eight, or ten plates (priced at 39, 49, and 69 euros respectively). These prices haven’t changed since last year.

Watching Tomeu at work, it’s easy to see that the well-known chef is in his element in this more relaxed setting. When we ate there recently, we could just hear him singing quietly behind his obligatory face mask as he worked. The sign of a contented chef, surely.

Tomeu wants his diners to feel as though they’re eating in his home and the fact that it’s just him cooking makes this possible – even though most of us aren’t lucky enough to have such a spacious and well-equipped kitchen.

Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner offers two sittings in the evenings: 19:00h and 21:30h. During October, dinner is served from Wednesday to Saturday and lunch is on Thursday to Sunday. Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner will be open during the winter, but for fewer days of the week.

Two things to note: 1) Like Osteria Dolores, this restaurant takes only cash. 2) Tomeu Caldentey Cuiner offers gift vouchers; now there’s a good idea for that foodie in your life. For more details, see the website here.

If you want to visit any of these three restaurants, be sure to make a reservation – capacities are reduced as a result of the pandemic.

Jan Edwards Copyright 2020

Review of Brut Restaurante, Llubí

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Drink / Eat

Eduardo Martínez and Bruno Balbi, from Brut Restaurante, have twice been guests on my gastronomy radio show Table Talk*. The two Argentinians’ exciting eatery is in the village of Llubí in the centre of Mallorca; it’s fair to say that it’s probably not the type of restaurant you would expect to find in a rural Mallorcan village.

Brut first opened in July 2017 and everything I heard and read about it made me determined to try this seasonal restaurant for myself. I don’t know how so much time passed without me achieving this but, on Saturday, we finally made it. And what a thrilling experience it was. We can’t wait to return.

Back at the end of February 2020, when they came for an interview with me in the studio, Edu and Bruno were enthusiastic about the coming season. They had lots to talk about, including the fact that Edu had joined the prestigious group of chefs under the banner of Chefs(in), which promotes Balearic gastronomy. Then along came Covid-19 and Spain’s lockdown.

Post-Covid Brut

Like many restaurants that reopened after lockdown ended, Brut has had to adapt for this strange season. Previously, 12 diners sat at the U-shaped counter watching their tasting menu being prepared in the open kitchen.

Social distancing now means fewer seats at the counter, but diners can also sit at one of the two tables within the large space. And, instead of a tasting menu, Brut is offering a small selection of tempting à la carte dishes. On Saturday, main course choices were several cuts and ages of high-quality beef, loin of venison, their own burger in a sourdough brioche, and a cod dish.

Garage Cuisine

Brut’s industrial vibes are authentic: the premises in Llubí were once home to a garage. In one of his interviews with me, Edu said, ‘A lot of the best ideas from the last century came from a garage – The Beatles, Macintosh. . .’

Edu and Bruno create sustainable food and like to use produce that many kitchens don’t use, such as fig leaves. Experimentation leads to exciting culinary ideas – many concocted over the winter months when Brut Restaurante is closed. Other things you’ll find at Brut are fermented produce, kombuchas, natural wines, and sourdoughs. They have their own vegetable plot, growing organic 0km produce.

Brut is also home to a microbrewery, producing unique beers from unusual ingredients. On Saturday night, The Boss tried Dulce de Leche Stout and Choconut Imperial Stout; because I like Guinness, I had a sip of each of these two tempting stouts. Oh my word. Delicious.

Brilliant Brilla

Brut also makes its own raw fermented organic teas, under the brand Brilla Kombucha. I’m a huge fan of kombucha and have a daily glass at home, so had to try these. I had two flavours: bugambilla and yuzu and then olive and grapefruit. These probiotic drinks are not only delicious and moreish, they’re super-healthy for the gut. Brilla Kombucha is also available in quite a few restaurants, bars, hotels, cafes, and specialist shops across Mallorca, so be sure to look out for it.

About Edu Martínez

Edu is from Argentina but moved to Madrid at the age of twenty-two. He was already interested in gastronomy and, although he was working as a creative in an advertising agency, his dream was to open a restaurant.

The famous restaurant El Bulli was an agency client, which brought Edu into contact with the legendary Ferran Adrià. He went on to do a stage at El Bulli, whilst becoming more involved with gastronomic brands at the advertising agency.

After creating a brand of artisanal beers, Edu left the agency and the Peninsula, moving to Llubí to open Brut with Bruno Balbi, also a former creative director. Their combined experience in the advertising world is evident in the superb images on their Instagram page brut_restaurant. If you can’t get to Brut Restaurante in this travel-restricted year, follow that page and whet your appetite for a visit in 2021.

If you’re in Mallorca or are able to travel here without quarantine concerns when you return to your home country, Edu will be the chef for Chefs(in)’s Hidden Kitchen event on November 28th. Read here about a previous Hidden Kitchen event we attended.

Table Talk on Mallorca Sunshine Radio is currently on hold, as a result of the pandemic.

Jan Edwards Copyright 2020

Affordable Italian Cuisine in Porto Cristo at Osteria Dolores

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Eat / Restaurants
A corner of the enclosed garden at Osteria Dolores

Looking for authentic Italian cuisine in the east of Mallorca? Head to Porto Cristo, where you’ll find Osteria Dolores.

This attractive trattoria opened in February 2020, but its owner/chef isn’t a stranger to Porto Cristo, near Manacor. Mario Hekke previously operated his fine-dining restaurant Sa Sal in the same premises.

Osteria Dolores doesn’t have a sea view, being in a side street off the main road down to the port itself, but makes up for this by offering very good food that doesn’t include a premium for the location. On-street parking (free of charge) is usually available in the vicinity.

Mario closed Sa Sal and converted the same former townhouse into a trattoria, serving authentic Italian food at prices that won’t make you wince.

The intention was for Osteria Dolores to be open throughout the year and, when we first visited, other restaurants in Porto Cristo were still shuttered for the winter. Sadly, the pandemic may affect opening plans for this coming winter, but we hope that the trattoria’s good-value food will attract enough diners to enable it to stay open this winter too. We’ll be eating there if it does.

The Place

Entrance to Osteria Dolores is now through the rear courtyard garden. The former front entrance has been blocked off inside by a wood-burning stove, (which keeps the place warm and cosy in the cooler months). The attractive enclosed outdoor space has been a bonus during the summer of 2020, when eating al fresco has had even more appeal because of Covid-19.

The interior retains some of the traditional architectural features of the old house, such as the beams, arch, and lattice-doored cupboards, but Mario has given the place a fresh modern look. The décor includes light-coloured wooden furniture, an interesting display of lampshades… and a racing car hanging on the wall. (Yes, a real one).

Osteria Dolores is a relaxed, informal and family-friendly eatery: diners help themselves to (recycled paper) napkins and cutlery (and pizza cutter) from a basket on each table.

The Food & Drink

The concept may be simple enough, but the tasty Italian food – from the bread to the desserts – is made with care on the premises.

The menu’s starters include a very good beef carpaccio (11€ and prepared from scratch in the kitchen), caponata alla ‘Siciliana’ (8.50€), panzanella salad (9,80€), and vitello tonnato (10,50€). We’ve tried the carpaccio, artichokes ‘alla Romana’ (9,80€), and caponata during our visits and all were delicious and a good portion size.

Osteria Dolores offers nine pasta dishes, including a gnocchi and a ravioli of the day. All pasta is home-made and served al dente. (Gluten-free is available). Pasta dishes range in price from 9.80€ to 15€.

Choose from eight Napoli-style pizzas and a Calzone – with a delicious crust. These are a generous size, although the most expensive is only 9,80€. One is enough for two to share, if you’re also having starters.

If you like a sweet finish, check out the home-made dessert of the day (only 4€).

All the pasta and pizza dishes can be ordered as take-away dishes too.

Drinks are also reasonably priced: in addition to the Italian house wine on the menu, there’s a small choice of others – Italian, Spanish and Mallorcan (including the excellent Mandia Vell, which is produced in a winery between Manacor and Porto Cristo).

Need to Know

Something to know if you’re coming to Osteria Dolores in Porto Cristo: they don’t take cards. But with the affordable value-for-money prices, paying in cash shouldn’t be an issue. (There’s a Banca March ATM just a short walk away down the main road to the port).

Opening hours are 18:00-24:00h, but be aware that these may change as a result of the pandemic – so I recommend phoning in advance to check.

Prices may be subject to change.

Osteria Dolores
C/ del Migjorn, 6
07680 Porto Cristo
Mallorca
Tel +34 971 822 049 (for pizza takeaway)

Jan Edwards Copyright 2020

Eat Out to Help Out in Mallorca: Hotel El Coto Offering Gastronomic Weekend this September

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Drink / Eat / Sleep

Your last chance to enjoy this fabulous hotel in 2020. Hotel El Coto closes on September 20th, reopening again next season.

Looking striking at night

The 5-star Hotel El Coto in Colònia de Sant Jordi was a fantastic discovery for me a few years ago, while I was editing a local guide to wines and wineries.

Run with great care and attention to guests by the charming Navarrete family, the 50-room property is just a couple of minutes’ walk from two beaches and is opposite the salt lakes known as Salines de s’Avall—which give it a unique outlook from the hotel’s roof terrace.

A Resort Hotel with a Difference

Hotel El Coto may be in a resort, with other holiday hotels and apartments nearby, but it’s no ordinary tourist hotel. Those in the know refer to it as ‘the wine hotel’—with good reason. The property has a superb cellar—both in terms of design and contents—with more than 400 Spanish wines on offer.

Being a wine enthusiast usually goes hand-in-hand with appreciating fine cuisine, so it won’t be a surprise to learn that Hotel El Coto has a good reputation for gastronomy. The owners brought in Gerhardt Schwaiger (of the former 2-Michelin-star Tristán restaurant, and now Schwaiger Xino’s in Palma de Mallorca) as culinary consultant a few years ago.

I recently treated The Boss to a stay there for his birthday and picked up the following details.

And, by the way, anti-Covid hygiene measures were excellent. Rooms have their own bottle of sanitizing gel and a pack of spare disposable face masks and there were bottles of gel all around the property.

How About a Gastronomic Weekend?

Although many hotels in Mallorca have already closed, this weekend Hotel El Coto is offering a Gastronomic Weekend (Friday 18th and Saturday 19th September). These events offer a reception aperitif, dinner and paired wines.

Each night offers an aperitif on the hotel’s gorgeous rooftop terrace (views over the salt lakes and towards the renowned Es Trenc beach), followed by a six-course tasting menu with six paired wines from the weekend’s featured wineries. Representatives from these wineries will go to tables to tell diners about the featured wines.

You can enjoy these gastronomic dinners with accommodation in a shared room and breakfast for 120 euros per person per night. No drink/driving problems and the prospect of an excellent à la carte breakfast the next morning by the beautiful swimming pool, if the weather permits.

What’s On for September 18th & 19th

Featured bodegas:-

Friday, 18th – Bodegas Grupo Perelada, Chivite, and Taittinger

Saturday, 19th – Raúl Pérez, Telmo Rodríguez and Pol Roger

Menus (wines in italics)

Friday 18th

Marinated salmon and salmon belly with rhubarb and cucumber

Perelada Cava Gran Claustro

*

Velouté of rock fish with cod

Perelada Finca la Garriga

*

Artichokes in creamy sauce with duck fois

Chivite Las Fincas Dos Garnachas

*

Sea bass with vegetable risotto and Pommery mustard sauce

Chivite Colección 125 ‘Chardonnay’

*

Oven-baked entrecôte of American Angus with pea purée and French potato salad

Perelade Finca Malaveina

*

Banana ice cream with cinnamon flower cream and pecan-nut caramel

Perelada Garnacha Dulce 12 Años

Saturday 19th

Red tuna tartare, mozzarella and marinated tomatoes

Tras Da Canda 2016 Caiño

*

White garlic soup with roasted mackerel and apple

Ultreia 2017 ‘Mencia’

*

Corvina and fine pasta with saffron and vegetables

Lanzaga 2015 ‘Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha’

*

Terrine of suckling pig with pea purée, potato vinaigrette and vegetables

El Jorco de la Familia 2017 ‘Garnacha’

*

Loin of lamb, couscous with herbs, mushrooms, and rosemary juice

Matallana 2014 ‘Tempranillo’

*

Passion fruit mousse, sweet corn sorbet, and caramelized popcorn

Telmo Rodríguez MR ‘Moscatel’

To book or for more details, email info@hotelelcoto.es or telephone 971 65 50 25.

Jan Edwards ©2020

Eat Out in Mallorca to Help Out: Jacaranda Restaurant

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Eat

Two delicious bread varieties at Jacaranda Restaurant

The UK government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme offers discounted dining in restaurants and other eateries. It’s designed to encourage people to return to eating out after the lockdown. If you’re not familiar with it, the establishments give diners a discount and claim the money back from the government, and quite a few of my UK friends have been taking advantage of the scheme.

Sadly, there’s nothing similar in Mallorca—where the hospitality industry has been devastated as a result of the pandemic. We may not be able to enjoy discounted dining on the island, as customers can in the UK, but eating out to help out—for those who can afford to—may enable restaurants to stay open longer during this strangest of holiday seasons, with few tourists here.

Over the next few blog posts I’m going to feature some of the restaurants we love, in the hope that if you haven’t yet tried them, you may decide to support them—and enjoy the eating-out experience too.

It’s understandable that Covid-19 has made some people hesitant about eating out but, in our experience, eateries in Mallorca are taking the considerable hygiene measures seriously. Restaurants with terraces always have appeal during the summer, but even more so during the pandemic. Space around you and fresh air have never been more desirable accompaniments to lunch or dinner out.

Jacaranda Restaurant, Montuïri

Taking its name from the beautiful trees nearby, Jacaranda is the restaurant within the tranquil 5-star Finca Serena hotel. Living up to its name, the hotel is on an extensive country estate near the Mallorcan town of Montuïri. The restaurant is open to the public and serves lunch and dinner (although you should reserve your table in advance).

Meet the chef: Baltasar Rigo explains his cuisine to our gathering of gastronomy writers

The elegant restaurant is in the rear part of the main hotel building, with a spacious terrace for al fresco dining. From your table here, views extend through the trees towards the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tramuntana mountain range. Time your dinner right and you’ll see a gorgeous sunset too. I’ve yet to eat indoors at Jacaranda Restaurant, as the glorious al fresco option is difficult to resist.

Finca Serena has added a stylish conservatory, to one side of the terrace, which can be used for private dining or other small events, such as meetings. It was in this setting that I joined fellow gastronomy writers for a lunch to meet the talented young Mallorcan chef, Baltasar Rigo, who was promoted to take over the reins in the Jacaranda Restaurant kitchen this year. He has held previous positions in the kitchen of Fontsanta Hotel and Daica Restaurant—both in Mallorca. His off-island experience includes working in the Guggenheim Bistro.

Rigo must be the envy of many chefs, because he can choose from the freshest of seasonal produce: the rural hotel has two organic produce gardens and sources other prime ingredients from trusted local providers. Rigo’s farm-to-table cuisine is healthy Mediterranean and he proves his creativity by offering a new menu of dishes every day.

The Jacaranda Restaurant wine list has choices from Mallorca, Spain, and France, across a range of prices, from affordable to splash-the-cash. Wine connoisseurs will find bottles from the bodegas Contador, Dominio de Pingus, and Vega Sicilia, among others.

Jacaranda Restaurant is open daily from 13:00-15:30h for lunch and from 19:00-22:00h for dinner.

A three-course lunch costs 40€ and dinner (of five plates) costs 55€ (both prices include IVA). Because Covid-19 restrictions mean a limited number of diners in restaurants across Mallorca, I recommend that you book your table at least 24 hours in advance to avoid disappointment.

Here are images of the Jacaranda Conservatory and some of the dishes at the media lunch.

Jan Edwards ©2020

Where to Celebrate International Beer Day 2020 in Mallorca

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Drink

Pub landlord

A warm welcome from Pep at
Lórien

Today, August 7th, is International Beer Day—which sounds like the perfect excuse for a long cold beer to quench the summer thirst. The idea of International Beer Day was founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 2007; it seems to have caught on.

For those who are still in lockdown, celebrating this day will mean pulling a tinny (or bottle) out of the fridge and enjoying it in the safety of your own home. Others will have the chance to go out and have a beer, albeit probably in a socially distanced situation.

A Beer ‘Out Out’ in Mallorca

If you’re in Mallorca, let me suggest a couple of places to go and raise a glass to International Beer Day.

In Palma de Mallorca , I’d suggest Lórien, which is open daily from 17:00h, except for Sundays and Mondays, when it’s closed. This popular and atmospheric Palma pub recently celebrated its thirtieth anniversary and offers a world of beers—in bottles and on tap. Read more about it here.

Brewery sign

The Toutatis brewery at Cas Canar, Sencelles

Fans of craft beers should head to Toutatis, in the tiny hamlet of Cas Canar, near Sencelles. It’s open for a beer (or two) daily from 17:00h during the summer and, if you’re lucky, you may meet Michel Campioni there, the Belgian architect who founded the microbrewery and lives nearby. He’s an affable chap with lots of great stories to tell and a choice of his own Belgian beers, brewed in Mallorca. He’s recently added some new brews to his range.

 

NOTE:

If you’ve visited Toutatis in the past, you may have parked outside the brewery, but for now, the parking situation is under review. However, the resourceful Michel has come up with a temporary solution: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, from 6pm until 11pm, Toutatis is offering a free shuttle service between the brewery and the public car park in Sencelles (C/des Molins, behind Aprop supermarket). Departures are every 20 minutes from 6pm.

I’d always recommend that you phone ahead before you visit either place, in case of a change of hours.

Wherever you enjoy a tipple on this International Beer Day, cheers!

 

Jan Edwards ©2020

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