For me, the best things about autumn are all related to gastronomy. Wild mushrooms, pomegranates, chestnuts and, in Mallorca, llampuga (the various English names of which include golden mackerel) are among the ingredients that give this season’s dishes particular appeal. And a glass of fine red wine, enjoyed by the fireside or at the dining table, is a reminder that even though the warmth of summer has gone, autumn in Mallorca has much to offer visiting and local gourmets.
Ode to Autumn
Keats’s poem ‘Ode to Autumn’ refers to ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’. When I drove to La Residencia, a Belmond Hotel, in Deià last evening, no mist obscured the glorious sunset views along the northwest coast road through the Tramuntana mountains.
Fruitfulness is in abundance though at the iconic hotel’s El Olivo restaurant, where executive chef Guillermo Méndez has created a new seasonal menu inspired by prime autumn produce. Chief among these are the varieties of wild mushrooms that emerge in the Tramuntana woodlands after the late summer rains.
El Olivo’s Autumn Menu
Buckle up for a pictorial joyride through the full menu we ate last night! In my opinion, this year’s autumn menu at El Olivo is the best I’ve tasted there. It was creative, well balanced in flavours and textures, and visually appealing – in terms of both presentation of the food itself and the beautiful tableware, designed exclusively for El Olivo by artist Mirenchu in conjunction with Guillermo Méndez. Read more about Mirenchu in this article written by a friend of mine. Click on each picture to read the caption.
Paired with Tianna Negre Wines
We often buy Tianna Negre wines for home consumption, but the autumn menu pairing at El Olivo was a chance to try some different wines from this Binissalem-based winery. Tianna Negre has some 55 hectares of organic vineyards across several fincas in the Binissalem and Consell areas.
Tianna Negre is a relatively young bodega, owned by the Morey Garau family (who also own drinks distribution company Distribucions Túnel). Its first harvest was in 2007. One of the winery’s aims is to recover some of the native grape varieties that vanished after phylloxera struck Mallorca in the 19th century. As well as familiar grape varieties, they are experimenting with recovering some I’d never heard of, including Escursac, Galmater, Quigat, and Manses de Tibbus.
The wine pairing included the Tianna Boutique Wine 5.2 Orange (made from the recovered grape variety Giró Ros), and the winery’s new Giulioncello Original – a coconut-creamy version of limoncello.
Details of possibilities to visit Tianna Negre’s impressive modern bodega are on their website.
Good to Know
You don’t have to stay overnight at La Residencia to dine in El Olivo restaurant. Autumn’s cooler evenings mean eating inside in the old olive press – one of the most romantic settings for dinner you’ll find in Mallorca.
The set autumn menu is in addition to El Olivo’s à la carte menu. Diners can choose the autumn menu’s full seven plates (140 euros inc IVA) or five plates (110 euros including IVA). The optional Celler Tianna Negre wine pairing is recommended (supplement of 55/70 euros).
Great news! La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, is staying open a little later in the year than usual. The last night to eat and/or stay in the hotel will be Sunday, November 14th.
La Residencia features a few times in my novel Daughter of Deià, now available in eBook and paperback formats. Here’s a link to it on your local Amazon website.
©Jan Edwards 2021