Di Benedetto - Mallorca
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Directions to Di Benedetto
All roads lead to the Di Benedetto restaurant in Bendinat - or at least that's how it seems! Very well positioned in the plaza just off the big Bendinat roundabout, the restaurant manages to be an oasis of calm while being easily accessible from all directions, with ample parking close by. The restaurant also has its own underground parking (entrance opposite the Lindner Hotel), with a lift up to the restaurant. Di Benedetto's is set into the hillside below road level and this, plus carefully placed shrubbery and a large floodlit fountain take care of any traffic sights or sounds while creating a soothing ambience.
Di Benedetto's website includes an interesting historical background, but the important thing to note is that it is a family restaurant run by Giorgio, his wife Pamela, and their two sons Daniel and Michele - it's business, yes, but very personal as well, and the warmth and friendliness of the family comes through from the minute you arrive. This is not one of those snooty places where you can feel a bit intimidated by the atmosphere - the Di Benedetto's make sure you are made to feel at home, and there's a buzz of relaxed conversation and laughter from contented customers. It's interesting that a lot of very well known people (take a look at the User Comments below for a few examples) go to Benedetto's - I guess they like to relax just like the rest of us!
There are three seating areas at the front of the restaurant, open air for most days and nights on Mallorca, but fully protected when the weather demands it, and an elegant, slightly more formal room linked to the main restaurant building. This layout allows the restaurant to cater for functions and special occasions of different sizes, up to a maximum of around 100 guests. Special mention must be made of the toilet facilities, which are spotless, and state-of-the-art. Even the taps turn themselves on and off!
Reading the menu at Di Benedetto is great fun - the descriptions are so sexy and enticing, you'd like to try everything! How about Medaglioni di Cappasanta su crema di broccoli i pomodori confitati con bacon croccante (seared sea scallops over a broccoli velouté with roasted tomatoes and crispy bacon) or Gambero fritto in manto di patate e foglie di spinaci (prawns wrapped in spun potato on a bed of tempura spring vegetables) for a starter, and perhaps Tagliata di Tonno su puré cremoso all’aglio e cipollotti (seared tuna fillet with garlic spring onions and mashed potato) or Costolette d’Agnello all’ aglio e rosmarino con riso agli scalogni (lamb chops flame grilled with garlic and rosemary served with shallot rice) for mains? Oh dear, but what about the Tuna Sashimi and the Spaghettini with half a fresh lobster in a cherry tomato sauce?
Having finally made your choices, you immediately decide to come back as soon as possible to try some of those other dishes you were tempted by. And the little things impress - the bread, made fresh in house from imported Italian flour, is the best we've tasted on Mallorca, the little tomatoes accompanying the main course, sweet and packed with flavour. Giorgio will proudly tell you of the lengths he goes to procure top quality fresh produce for the restaurant, and there's no doubt this policy pays off. Even the salt that's added to the water the pasta is cooked in is mined salt, not sea salt, to be sure that the water is at the perfect temperature. Our meal was perfect. Fresh green asparagus soup, followed by baccala (cod) on a bed of spinach, with an olive paste topping and a caper sauce. The soup had a marvellous colour and texture, and tasted wonderful, while the baccalo dish looked and tasted great, with all the ingredients in harmony, including the beautifully cooked serving of vegetables that came with it. The food on the other tables also looked fantastic - we definitely have to go back!
You won't get a sea view at Di Benedetto's but you will get really good food, served in a delightful atmosphere, while being treated like a member of the family. Tell them I sent you, and that I'll be back soon.
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