We are always on the look-out for decent lunch spots in Palma, where you know you'll get a decent quality lunch at reasonable prices in convivial surroundings - preferably outside on a terrace. So after an impromptu shopping trip on of Avinguda Jaume III, we found ourselves on C/Bonaire (which is just off this main shopping thoroughfare). There are a number of cafes and bars on this street, and it's a popular lunch spot with local workers as well as visitors.
The Bonaire Bistro & Cafe caught our attention with its stylish large private pavement terrace and colonial styling of wicker furniture and wooden decking. The Frenchman and I checked out the menu with its range of salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes, and we eyed the clientele sipping cava and enjoying plates of sliced Serrano ham. An elegant buzz was emanating from the dining area. A few micro-seconds later our decision was made, and we found ourselves seated on the terrace and being offered menus & drinks. A funky pepper mill and rose-coloured salt, and an unusual oil and vinegar mixer (that looked like it belonged in a chemistry lab) were placed on the table and our order quickly taken.
We greedily ordered most of the tapas selection (five dishes) and an additional pasta dish. Wishing that we didn't have a busy afternoon ahead of us, we went for a bottle of water rather than the wine we desired. The ham and spinach croquettas were first to arrive - smooth and creamy on the inside, with a crispy coating on the outside. Very good they were too. Next up were strips of marbled ham - elegantly laid on the dish, it looked very enticing. Served at room temperature, the ham simply melted in the mouth. Ten out of ten. Our next dish was pieces of calamari that had been lightly battered and fried. Not your usual concentric rings, these beauties came in all sorts of shapes. They had a fantastic sweet flavour and were super-fresh with no residual oil taste. A plate of Manchego cheese completed the line-up, again served at room temperature so that the cheese tasted mature in its flavour.
We were impressed by the tapas dishes - all were freshly prepared and used quality ingredients. Our final dish was a seafood linguine - a large portion of pasta with prawns, squids and slivers of super sweet mange-tout and carrot. It was simple, fresh and delicious. Overall, we were impressed with this stylish bistro. It is set up along similar lines to the chain of cafes, Cappuccino, with its smartly dressed waiters and background jazz music, but in our opinion, the food is better at Bonaire. It is a perfect place for day-trippers to stop for lunch whilst the shops close for their afternoon siesta, and it is very pleasurable place to sip cocktails or cava and nibble on tapas or salads at any hour of the day. Open non-stop from 8.30am to 10.30pm, the Bonaire Bistro & Cafe is definitely one for the address book.