The old building which houses this new Italian is a landmark in Marivent: on the corner before the King’s Palace and opposite the Bellver International School, it stands out amongst the rest of the more modern and some very ugly buildings in this area. But rather than do a complete renovation, the owner has maintained the character and distinction and has sought to give this tired lady a good face-lift.
The main dining room is truly splendid and unique in style on the island. It is oval-shaped with floor to ceiling windows to the Cala Mayor bay out beyond. The indoor restaurant will be a hot spot in winter with its high ceilings and heavily decorated cornicing. The traditional tiles on the walls, dark wooden ceiling and round windows, combined with the elegant furniture, makes for a lasting impression on the visitor.
It’s summertime and we want to sit outside and enjoy the amazing views across the bay as the setting sun shimmers above the sea, draping the horizon in a warm red hue at this time of day. The terrace is spacious and the elegance of the main dining room spills over to the outside dining area. The only interruption to the ambience is the billboard protruding over the wooden border enclosing the back of the terrace and the hum of traffic in the distance.
We are seated at the ‘best’ table and we suggest that the chef prepare a meal which is representative of the kitchen.
The wine list offers a good selection of only Italian wine ranging from €20 to €86 for white and €22 to €235 for tinto. The card includes three of the most famous winemakers in Italy – Gaja, Antinori and Frescobaldi. We selected the Tavigneno – a white, fruity yet dry, clean wine to go with the variety of starters: gambas fresh from the Mediterranean waters with asparagus, cherry tomatoes and avocado sauce; ham and buffalo mozzarella and semi-cuit tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and black olive paste (bitter); carpaccio of beef topped with grated parmesan, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh black pepper, and our favourite Parma ham filled with crab mayonnaise and flavoured with parsley oil and dill.
The food highlight of this restaurant is the pasta. We sampled three dishes: the penne with beef mushrooms, Italian sausage and parmesan; the pesto linguini with potato, asparagus and parmesan and – a reason to return – the linguini with gambas, cherry tomatoes and artichokes in a cream sauce, which was really delicious. The main course was accompanied by a red Maurus 2002 and again we had a selection from the kitchen. The fillet of beef (€32), although a little well done for my liking, was richly-flavoured with foie gras topping, a red wine sauce and potato and truffle mousse. The rack of lamb (€26) was served with a red wine sauce and a tasty saffron risotto, and the unusual combination of salmon trout fillet (€26) with sauté chanterelle mushrooms and red wine sauce.
The desserts included a home-made cheese ice-cream with a pastry base topped with warm apples (€11); there was a champagne lemon sorbet topped with strawberry coulis (€8) and, the gran finale, a selection of tiramisu, white chocolate mousse and panna cotta (€13) which was divine.
We agreed the highlights of this restaurant are first and foremost the privileged situation – with the beautiful view from the terrace in summer and the magnificent ambience of the elegant dining room in winter, the linguini pasta with gambas and the gran finale dessert.
The Swedish owner Peter – who previously ran a very successful Italian restaurant in Stockholm – has ambitious plans for the future, with a night club for ‘older’ clientele due to open next year and a beach club fulfilling the third part of the vision. The maître d’ Emilio has already had the pleasure of welcoming some VIPs from the world of tennis and Princess Birgitte of Sweden – and no doubt the royal neighbours will want to try this new restaurant while they are enjoying their summer vacation in Marivent.