For laid back lunch times and easy dinners with a beach view head to El Bistro on Puerto Pollenca’s waterfront strip.
El Bistro is a chilled out surf bum of a restaurant, mainly because it’s run in conjunction with the Sail&Surf school which is located on the Puerto Pollenca beach opposite the restaurant. The building is used as Sail&Surf’s unofficial hangout, they rent out the apartments upstairs to people coming out on sailing holidays and the restaurant often has more than one Sail&Surf t-shirt lounging at the bar or enjoying a leisurely lunch.
The water sports and beach vibe is continued in the décor of the place with surfboards lining one wall of the terrace and the white and pale blue S&S colours on the awnings, signs, menus and tables. There are comfortable lounging chairs tucked around the corner of the terrace and the walls display more than one starfish and seashell design. All in all a proper seaside vibe hangs over this place and leads to a very relaxed atmosphere for food and drinks.
Don’t let the mellow mood fool you though the staff are not slacking when it comes to the service, they are friendly and welcoming to every guest making you feel like a regular from the start, but they are quick and efficient as well. The food certainly doesn’t suffer in the laid back atmosphere either, the menu is un-pretentious and the food is excellent, they offer a range of Mediterranean and Spanish favourites with great pasta dishes plus daily specials generally offering fresh fish and seafood dishes. When I visited the specials were fresh grilled tuna and grilled sea bass with vegetable tumbet each for €13.90, there was also a two person mixed tapas platter for €12.80.
The menu is simple and un-crowded but there are several variations of each dish, making for plenty of choice and tricky decisions. Both the raviolis as well as the seafood spaghetti tempted me, the mushroom risotto also caught my eye as did the bistro burger with bacon, cheese and fried onion. There were several good salad options including seafood, nuts and apple, and tomato and caper and a sizable pamb oli section too. The tapas options come as half or full sized portions and are well priced between €5-9 small and €8-14 large. The rest of the menu is varied in price but nothing is overly expensive, you can have a light meal for under €5 or anything up to the shoulder of lamb and the sirloin steak which top the bill at €18. El Bistro offers a children’s menu with 9 options all €5-7.50 and a breakfast menu with fried, continental, Mallorcan and English offerings from €4-7.50 coffee and juice included. The drinks menu holds all the usual suspects plus a fruity sangria made with your choice or red wine or cava, very fancy.
I eventually plumped for comfort food and ordered a Jacket potato with fresh cheese and herbs although I was very tempted by the Mexican chilli topping. When my spud came it was still rustically wrapped in tinfoil with a spoon sticking out the top like a flag. It was perfectly cooked light and fluffy all the way through with a crispy skin and lashings of cream cheese topped with pesto, it came on a bed of simple salad and was filling and hearty and wonderful.
I lingered for a long time over my jacket and then nursed an after lunch coffee whilst I indulged myself watching the passers-by and enjoying the beach front view, I could see some of the Sail&Surf equipment out and watched the colourful windsurfers zigzagging out at sea. I was checked on once in a while by the staff but ultimately left to my own devices and in no way made to feel that I should stop taking up space or leave any time soon so I spent an extremely pleasant and relaxing hour and half on their terrace and will definitely return to enjoy their food and atmosphere again.
You’ll find El Bistro if you wander along the beach front from the port until you reach the bridge over the stream where the ducks live, almost opposite the volleyball courts and S&S equipment. You can sit on the shady outdoor terrace or there is some seating and cosy booths inside the restaurant. If you’re set on dining on the terrace in peak summer it’s probably worth booking a table for dinner.