Eating Out in the ‘New Normality’ in Mallorca

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Restaurants in Mallorca are open and ready to welcome you but, like eateries everywhere that have reopened since the pandemic, additional hygiene measures are in place to protect both diners and staff.

Here are a few things to note if you haven’t eaten out post-lockdown in Mallorca.

Sanitizing gel should be available on arrival so you can clean your hands.

You may have to wait to be seated, rather than nipping in to grab that vacant table you’ve spotted. This is because tables and chairs must be cleaned down when diners leave and before the next people can occupy the table.

Service with a smile at Raft 19 Bistro in Cala Gamba

Seeing staff wearing masks is more reminiscent of a visit to the dentist than to a restaurant, but you soon get used to it. Yesterday, we ate at Ponderosa Beach in Playa de Muro, where the owners had chosen perspex lower-face masks, which felt less like a barrier between ‘them and us’. When staff wear masks that make the nose and mouth invisible, we have to hope their smiles reach their eyes or these signs of warm hospitality will be missed!

Forget those posh menu folders. Most menus are now accessed by a QR code. If your phone can’t read these, ask if there’s a paper version of the menu, which should be destroyed when you’ve finished with it. In the absence of a disposable menu, the waiter or waitress will tell you what’s on offer. When I went last week for a menú del día at Ritzi in Puerto Portals, the maître d’ told us what was on the menu that day. (It was tasty, but portions were small and the price of 25€ for three courses, with bread and drinks extra, wasn’t the best value in the marina).

Some restaurants are offering a reduced à la carte menu, with fewer dishes than usual. We found this yesterday at Ponderosa Beach, a place we visit several times every summer. We had no problem finding tempting dishes though!

There’s less clutter on the tables, so fewer things for people to touch. Condiments are not put out on tables so, if you want salt, pepper, olive oil, or vinegar, you have to ask for them.

Eateries may have expanded or added an outdoor eating area. One example is Andreu Genestra’s Palma de Mallorca restaurant, Aromata: in the evenings, diners can sit at tables in the building’s adjacent garden.

Open or Not? And When?

Your favourite restaurant may have changed its opening days/hours for all or part of this summer. I recommend that you reserve a table in advance, to be sure.

Sadly, some restaurants are not opening this season—for various reasons. Fans of Michelin-starred restaurants Es Fum, Maca de Castro, and Zaranda, should be aware that these businesses won’t open for 2020’s shorter-than-usual season.

Complimentary Glass of Cava, Anyone?

We all love a little something extra when eating out and, if you book one of the restaurants on the Mallorcan Tonic website—using the link provided—they will give you a complimentary glass of cava. ¡Salud!

Jan Edwards ©2020

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