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).
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