We’ve all been to seafront restaurants with lovely views, but food and service that don’t quite live up to the promise of the location. Well, Las Terrazas is a totally different kettle of fish. In fact, this gem of a restaurant is so good that Spanish publication ‘Expansión’ included it in their list of Spain’s top ten seaside restaurants . . . the only one in Mallorca to feature.
Las Terrazas is the attractive garden restaurant of the charming four-star Hotel Bendinat, enjoying a privileged position on the waterside of the Bendinat development. It’s easy to see why people return repeatedly to this tranquil, beautiful spot on the southwest coast. We weren’t the only ones enjoying glorious weather and an alfresco lunch: seated in the comfortable wicker chairs at other tables (which were smartly covered with floor-length blue striped cloths, topped with a smaller beige cloth) was a mix of hotel guests and locals in-the-know.
Maître d’ Arsenio Ramírez welcomed us warmly. He’s worked here for seven years and clearly loves what he does. He has the knack of ‘reading’ the mood and character of his diners, and interacting accordingly, and he heads a good team. We enjoyed some relaxed banter with Arsenio, who’s one of those special maîtres who make a dining out experience more memorable.
We shared a portion of each of several dishes, chosen by the restaurant. Las Terrazas offers 15 tapas, available any time the restaurant is open, and we began with crispy goat cheese with sobrasada and The Mallorcan Tapa, featuring camaïot, butifarrón, Mahon cheese and sobrasada sauce, garnished with pickled guindillas. Both were flavourful.
From the salad section, we tried mozzarella and tomato mille-feuille with Ibérico ham, basil pesto and cream of balsamic. This attractively presented interpretation of the Italian classic hit the spot with its freshness and flavours. It went well with the basket of bread rolls and garlic bread, served with olives and a very good alioli (€2,50 cover charge).
Next came lukewarm salad with crispy veal sweetbreads, green leaves, fried quail eggs, asparagus and a classic vinaigrette. Sweetbreads don’t often feature on restaurant menus so this is worth ordering if you’re a fan.
We tried codfish on a black risotto with tomato concassé and black olives. The generous portion of cod had been confited at 60 degrees, rendering it perfect; the delicious black rice, cooked in squid ink, tantalized with the taste of the sea.
If you usually avoid roasted suckling pig, try it here Bendinat-style, with caramelized apple, sliced oven-baked potatoes, pomegranate sauce and the obligatory wafer of perfectly crisp crackling. The pork was meltingly succulent, the portion of crackling just enough to enjoy without feeling too naughty, and the apple and sauce added a fruity contrast and balance. For me, possibly the best suckling pig I’ve had.
But the star of our lunch experience was something for which Las Terrazas is renowned: paellas. There are five on the menu (for a minimum of two people), as well as a ‘fideuà’ (a pasta ‘paella’) of monkfish and prawns. And how lucky were we? We can report that the lobster paella is a must-try: a whole lobster, halved (and accompanied by the requisite hardware) was placed in the middle of the table; the rest of the paella served separately. Simply delicious.
No wonder Mallorcan families hot-foot it to Las Terrazas for Sunday lunch. You’ll need to book ahead if you want to do the same this summer!
Chef Sebastián Bellocchio tempted us with two desserts: a white chocolate fondant with passion fruit mousse and raspberry sorbet and fruits of the forest with mandarin sorbet. They tasted as good as they looked. A pot of very good fresh mint tea later, our lunch was concluded.
We enjoyed just a glass of white Macià Batle Blanc de Blancs with our food (work beckoned), but there’s a good list of fair-priced bottles here, and some very good Mallorcan wines, as well as examples from the Spanish mainland’s DO’s.
And what could be more pleasurable on a summer’s day, than savouring Chef Bellocchio’s cuisine, the unobtrusive yet efficient, friendly service of Arsenio and his team, and the to-die-for views as you linger over a bottle of Mallorcan wine? No wonder Las Terrazas made the top ten of Spanish coastal restaurants.
During the warmer months, Las Terrazas is open daily 13:00-23:00hrs: Lunch served until 16:00hrs; snacks such as tapas, salads, pastas and gazpacho served from 16:00-19:30 hrs, then dinner until 23:00hrs.