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Tuesday 26 September 2017

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Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol – the best restaurant in the world!

Sa-Pedrera-d'es-Pujol

In the sleepy little village of Torret on the Spanish island of Menorca, you’ll find a culinary experience to surpass all others

Imagine the perfect night out; you arrive at your restaurant against the purply orange glow of a soft, mediterranean summer evening, deep in the countryside of a lazy Spanish isle. Your head waiter then leads you into a rambling courtyard, seating you at a candlelit table for two as he takes your aperitif order, and you sigh that most wondrous of sighs, as you realise that something very special is about to take place.

The location is the sleepy little village of Torret, at Sant Lluis on the Balearic island of Menorca, and the establishment one Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol, lovingly presided over by head chef Daniel Mora and his partner Nuria García. The couple, both from Northern Spain, bought the house in 2003 and then set about the major task of turning it into their dream restaurant. But I actually hesitate to call this just a restaurant because, in my opinion, this is probably the best restaurant in the world. A profound and sweeping statement, you may think, and you’d be right. But the thing is, I’ve sampled the cuisine of many restaurants all over the world and there have been some pretty fantastic ones, I can tell you. But if you take the best of the best, and then look at what each of them individually does best, Sa Pedrera simply does it all that little bit better. In fact, to perfection.

I’m a huge believer in the fact that dinner out should not be hurried; I don’t ever want to feel that I’m being processed quickly so they can squeeze another cover into my table as soon as I’m out the door. From the moment head waiter Matthew (from Surrey) shows you to your table, the evening is your own. You can take as long as you like over ordering, eating and, well, just sitting and chatting if that’s what you want to do. The food is an exquisite blend of gourmet excellence from the island itself, where Daniel’s mother was born, and Asturias, the home of his father. With such resplendent starters as home-made duck foie paté with green pistachios and figs cream or white Mahón cheese breaded into sesame with tomato and cardamom chutney, you can only await the drama of your main course with mouthwatering anticipation. Oh, and you might get a beautifully presented quail’s egg while you’re waiting, between trips to the perfectly kept wine cellar in the middle of the restaurant. And then the magic continues, mine with an unbelievably good beef Wellington with gravi sauce and my partner’s with the superb Menorcan lamb, slowly cooked in oil and accompanied by velvety oven-done potatoes. All, of course, washed down with an extremely palatable Rioja. Just when you think things couldn’t possibly get any better, you’re faced with Daniel’s heavenly desserts, my favourite being his very own apple pie, served with home-made apple ice-cream and a majestic apple ‘crisp’.

A post-gastro Xoriguer Menorcan gin, either with tonic, or local-style with Fanta lemon, makes the perfect nightcap as you drift into the garden to soak up the last of the tranquil decadence while awaiting your carriage.

Dinner at Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol is so outstandingly good, not just in terms of the superb food cooked to perfection, but also the unfussy, unobtrusive service and sheer delight of the surroundings. There’s a danger, in fact, that your evening is so blissful that you decide not to return; you know, that silly thing we do when we don’t want to spoil perfection by trying to repeat it. Well relax, because I’ve been back every year since 2004, and believe me when I say that it just keeps getting better.

Daniel and Nuria, I salute you both – and thank you for some of my most special memories. Nos vemos!

For more details, visit: www.sapedreradespujol.com

Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol
Caserío Torret
23 – Sant Lluís
Menorca
Tel: (34) 971 150 717
Email: sapedreradespujol@hotmail.com

main image © Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol

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2 Responses to “Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol – the best restaurant in the world!”

  1. Matoses says:

    Great article Nige.
    Please find my opinion about Sa Pedrera D´es Pujol and a compilation of Menorca´s best restaurants. Hope you enjoy it.
    Sorry, in Spanish.

  2. Gonzalo Casielles says:

    I went to Menorca for the first time when I was seventeen and fell deeply in love with the island. I go back whenever I can since. I have even heard all about the restaurant, because I have sometimes met the cheff Dani Glez. Mora and Nuria when they come to Asturias, their homeland. But, believe it or not, I have never happened to try their cuisine. When I read the excellent, accurate comment written by Mr. Burton, I thought: How can I possibly be so stupid ? I promise I shall try all those delikatessen as soon as I can and encourage all of you to do the same. You will not regret it.

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