Manacor bears little resemblance today to the way it was in 1925, when the family-owned café Fonda Can March first opened in the town. But some things don’t change: customers still flock to Can March restaurant, where Miquel Gelabert uses high-quality seasonal local ingredients to create his ‘new Mallorcan’ cuisine. Miquel and brother Tolo (front of house) are the founders’ grandsons and, in 2000, put their own stamp on the business.
The attractive modern decor includes hints of Can March’s history: the digits 1925 decorate one wall; there’s a handsome longcase clock, and montage of framed old photos. The Gelabert brothers have added a display of local products for sale – including salts, spices, wines, oils, home-made liqueurs, artisan handicrafts, and Manacor’s ‘sospiros’ biscuits.
We went for lunch and had a choice of à la carte, six-course tasting, weekday set lunch, and vegetarian menus. In the evenings for dinner there’s also the set Menu CM.
Our tasting menu began with two starters. One was a crispy ‘coca’ topped with vegetables and cod; like the delicious bread here, the base was made from Mallorcan ‘xeixa’ wheat. The other starter was plump shelled prawns perched on cushions of sweet tomato and garnished with mint oil.
The fish course of a succulent piece of negrito was garnished with cubes of red pepper and tomato jelly and fried capers. Next we had tender slow-cooked ‘cerdo negre’ pork, served with caramelized onions, and courgettes and carrots. (The organic veggies used at Can March are grown in a staff member’s garden).
Two artisan cheeses from Mallorca and Menorca were served with jewel-coloured pools of home-made strawberry and bitter orange preserves. Ensaimada with sobrasada was the main ingredient of the unusual dessert, served with early figs and slivers of Mahon cheese, dusted with ‘tap de corti’ red pepper. It looked nothing like ensaimada, but the taste was evident.
There’s a good choice of fairly priced wines, with a few available by the glass. We chose a glass of Son Caules (white) from the (not related) winemaker Miquel Gelabert.