Chef/patron Maria Salinas opened this mountain-village gem during 2015, in a little traditional village casita complete with terracotta-tiled floors. The décor is mainly white, with hand-painted tables and kitchen-style chairs. Blue table mats and coloured glasses add a pop of colour. There are only 26 covers, so booking is recommended – and up to a week ahead is necessary during high season.
It’s homely and welcoming – as is Maria, who greets arriving clients, heads up the kitchen, and is assisted by her daughter who works front of house. Maria’s warmth, friendliness, and the love that goes into her food prompted editor Helen Cummins to dub her Mallorca’s answer to England’s kitchen queen, Nigella Lawson.
Each day Maria visits the market in her home town of Sa Pobla, basing her daily changing lunch and dinner menus on her purchases.
Our meal began with home-made Mallorcan brown bread topped with chopped parsley, olive oil, and salt. We continued with sobrasada with chocolate. Maria served us the fish ‘negrito’ with a purée of purple potato, prawn, and sundried tomato. Our meat course was entrecote served with a selection of seasonal local vegetables, including beetroot and sweet potatoes.
Our dessert was an unusual but delicious combination of avocado with condensed milk, a rare local variety of carrot with honey, Stilton cheese, and fig. Wines are few but well chosen (and better value by the bottle).
Maria is passionate about local produce, virgin olive oil, and market cuisine, so it’s not surprising that the Balearic Government body SEMILLA (Serveis de Millora Agrària i Pesquera) has appointed her ambassador for their Venda Directa (direct sale) campaign. Consumers can now buy foods such as cheese, oils, fruit, sobrasada, meat, snails, and yogurt direct from the producing fincas that have signed up to the campaign. The initiative is designed to help local producers and enable consumers to obtain produce at its freshest.
We love… Maria, her cute restaurant, the lovingly made food, the village . . .