The illuminated sign at the end of a row of waterfront restaurant terraces beckoned. We walked past the other eateries … seduced by Quince’s name in lights. Its attractive interior décor includes vintage touches: old wooden shoe lasts, storm lanterns, and colourful ‘cloth of tongues’ cushions. In cooler months it’s intimate and full of charm. When the temperatures rise, the hot ticket is the attractive waterside terrace – with fishing boats moored below and yachts across the water.
Quince opened in 2014 as the second Porto Cristo restaurant for Mario Hekke (owner of Sa Sal). Last September his former employee Martín Segura bought the popular place. The young multilingual Argentinian gained his restaurant experience in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Asia, as well as several fine-dining establishments on Mallorca. Passionate about Quince, he works alongside his friend – and the original manager – Mariano Sasso.
Mariano warmly welcomed us to an almost-full restaurant. We were soon sipping the cocktail of the day (cava-based sangria) and working our way through bread, olive oil, herbed salt, and ‘ramallet’ tomatoes (to rub on the bread), as we scanned the menu’s international/market dishes.
We began by sharing three attractively presented and generously portioned dishes: four grilled scallops with pesto, lime, and chilli; ceviche of the day, and a healthy beetroot salad with red fruit compote and warm goat’s cheese, drizzled with pumpkin-seed oil. The scallops themselves could have had more flavour, but were decently cooked.
Fresh fish arrives daily for the ‘from the water’ main courses, which include a ‘dish of the day’. We tried the latter – a succulent plump hake fillet on a potato puree – and the Thai-style gilthead bream, with lemongrass and a colourful array of delicious vegetables.
Earlier diners had devoured most of the desserts. We’d eaten enough really, so declined a brownie with white-chocolate ice cream and a chocolate coulant, opting for one portion of mango sorbet.
New vegetarian dishes have been added to the menu, which also includes a two-course kids’ offering. Combined with the all-day kitchen, high chairs, and an affectionate welcome for little ones, it’s easy to understand Quince’s family appeal.
The cheerful illuminated sign draws clients to Quince’s door, but what keeps them returning are the friendly staff, great location, and tasty cuisine. Best to book …