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