The port of Alcúdia is awash with eateries, although most of them – aimed at tourists – are fairly unremarkable. The family-owned-and-run business The Wine Side is different. Located in a street between a useful large free car park and the port, it doesn’t have a view of the bay or boats, but does offer high-quality cuisine and an impressive choice of reasonably priced wines, by the bottle or glass.
Strictly speaking, The Wine Side is a gastrobar, rather than a restaurant, but you can eat lunch or dinner well here. Owner Toni Cabanellas tells us he is obsessed with quality produce and his maxim is ‘sustainable where possible’. His cheerful mother Joanna Valls is in the kitchen, turning her son’s carefully sourced ingredients into perfectly but simply prepared dishes.
The place itself is small with just a few tables, although there is some front-terrace seating (with awning for cooler weather). The décor is dominated by wine: one wall has wooden shelves full of bottles – above which hangs a bicycle!
The cuisine is predominantly seafood, but meat eaters will find a few dishes – based on carefully sourced (organic where possible) beef, pork, or lamb. The menu changes daily, according to what Toni has bought. He buys small quantities of seafood locally on a daily basis to ensure freshness.
On the night we were there the tempting menu included dishes such as brown crab (‘buey de mar’), grilled Galician razor clams, ‘pulpo a la gallega’, three varieties of home-made croquettes, ceviches and tartars, and grilled fresh squid and red mullet from the Bay of Alcúdia. Other shellfish comes direct from Galicia. Meat dishes included baby lamb chops from Burgos, and Iberian pork cheeks. The four home-made desserts included a cheese plate. Depending on availability of the main ingredients, you could share a mixed seafood plate (‘mariscada’) or broken eggs with lobster. What’s evident eating when eating here is the high-quality ingredients.
The Wine Side has a list to please any wine enthusiast, with labels from Mallorca and the Peninsula. Catavinos in Palma supplies them with interesting wines – many available by the glass. They ensure the freshness of wines by the glass by their use of the Coravin Wine System; this device allows wine to be poured from a bottle without removing the cork. It’s the same system auctions use to prove that expensive vintage wines have not deteriorated over time.
More than 80% of the customers here are locals, so if you want to enjoy excellent-quality Spanish food and wines – and enjoy the ambience of a place buzzing with local people – take a walk on The Wine Side.
Opening hours are reduced during the winter months.
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