The subject of tasting menus and their declining popularity made the press earlier this year when chef René Redzepi announced he was closing his 3-Michelin-star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen at the end of 2024. But tasting menus are still popular and very much in evidence in Mallorca, where many of the people who enjoy them are probably visitors to the island.
I love a tasting menu from time to time. It takes away the decision about what to choose from an à la carte menu and provides an element of surprise, but more importantly enables me to try a variety of tastes and textures, giving a broader view of the chef’s technical and creative skills. Eating your way through a tasting menu must be better for the digestive system too, with smaller plates eaten over a longer period than it takes to eat the traditional three courses from an à la carte menu.
So I was pleased to try the new tasting menu in Mirabona Restaurant at the romantic Finca Can Beneït hotel in the hideaway hamlet of Binibona. Chef Raúl Linares Pinzón joined the hotel only in December 2022, so this was an opportunity to discover his culinary style. By the way, you don’t have to be staying at Can Beneït to eat in Mirabona but do book in advance for lunch or dinner.
Chef Raúl Linares Pinzón
Born in Palma, Raúl is still only in his mid-twenties but has already gained some useful experience and respect since he started work. Raúl wanted to be a chef from the age of seven but probably didn’t imagine that, in his early twenties, he’d win a prize for his prawn croquetas (he won the first edition of the Concurso de Cocina con Gamba de Sóller in 2021) or be working under the tutelage of chef Álvaro Salazar at the two-Michelin-star Voro in Canyamel, Mallorca.
Now he’s at the helm of the Mirabona kitchen at this 10-room rural hotel in the Serra de Tramuntana foothills, with the benefit of an extensive organic vegetable and herb garden for his seasonal cuisine. His dishes offer an authentic flavour of Mallorca.
As the menu could change with the availability of ingredients, I’m not reproducing the menu here, but below are photos of the tasty dishes on the menu I ate last week. Some of the ingredients: octopus, lamb, mussels, guinea fowl, turbot, quail, and carob.
More Reasons to Eat at Mirabona
Mirabona has scored points over restaurants serving only tasting menus in that it also offers an à la carte menu so, if you’re not a tasting menu fan, you can still enjoy Raúl Linares Pinzón’s cuisine.
Mirabona’s English sommelier, Amy Dunn, probably knows more about Mallorcan wines and the stories behind the producers than many islanders. Amy’s enthusiasm is infectious and adds to the enjoyment of the wines she recommends. Amy also hosts wine-tasting events here from time to time. (Give the hotel a call to find out when the next one is).
There’s melodic live music in the restaurant on Saturday nights from the couple known as The Mars Music and, on Sunday lunchtimes, acoustic sessions with Jean Paul Ramon.
When it’s warm enough, you can eat on the terrace with its extensive views across Mallorca. When the wisteria is out, it looks particularly beautiful.
Jan Edwards ©2023