Located in the heart of Santa Catalina in Palma, this intimate restaurant captures the atmosphere of a sophisticated seaside restaurant. The fresh white beams, the Scandinavian-style lampshades, the accent lighting and pebble-toned tiles paint a fresh and uplifting scene. Between the elegantly laid out dining areas, a long blue table running down the centre of the restaurant provides relaxed seating for those who want to unwind with cocktails and smaller ‘smart food’ dishes, rather than a three-course meal.
Chef, Riccardo di Loreto, runs the restaurant alongside his right-hand man, Francesco Giorgio. For Riccardo, restaurants are in his blood. His father, Marco di Loreto, owns Anima Beach Club and Mar de Nudos. Riccardo trained in Germany under top chefs, Alfons Schuhbeck and Eckart Witzigmann, and the result is a wealth of skill and creativity in Taller de Mar’s menu.
Italian, Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine fuse together with incredible delicacy. Even before tasting the food, the beauty of the presentation visually nourishes you. The finely-cut octopus carpaccio with potato aioli, lime meringue and air of paprika could be an Impressionist painting. The play of textures, from foam to sponge to swirls of crisp melt-in-your-mouth meringue, is proof of the chef’s command of molecular gastronomy.
Our following dishes were no less striking. We tried the ‘Caribbean Sea’, a refreshing combination of baby crayfish with papaya ragout, cashews, salad and guava sauce. The segments of peeled grapefruit and orange added to its delicious juiciness. The ‘Sea of Japan’ was another work of art, arriving on an attractive blue plate. It consisted of tuna tartare rolled in avocado with quinoa salad and ponzu sauce. Thinly sliced radish, spheres of cucumber and mango emulsion decorated the elaborate dish and contributed to the layers of flavour.
Although the name of the restaurant suggests an emphasis on fish and seafood, both the lunchtime and the à la carte menus offer dishes to satisfy the more carnivorous diners too. There’s also a specials board which changes every week. We tried a hearty entrecote with mashed topinambur, seasonal vegetables and demi-glace, which arrived a little too rare, but was soon returned cooked to our taste. We finished with a Sicilian-style cannolo filled with avocado mousse on a bed of English custard and cream of passion fruit.
Taller de Mar promises a fine dining lunch experience, a special venue for dinner and a place for discerning cocktail lovers to kick-start a great night out.