There is something not just iconic but also romantic about the 300 year old converted windmill restaurant in Es Mercadal which has become one of Menorca’s most famous landmarks on the main road between Maó and Ciutadella. Having seen several changes of ownership since this restored windmill first opened as a restaurant 27 years ago, Moli d’es Raco (literally, windmill on the corner) is now run with passion by brothers Juan and Jaime who took over the premises four years ago.
The restaurant has always specialised in authentic Menorcan cuisine where the emphasis is on the freshest local ingredients, readily available from the fertile agricultural land surrounding Es Mercadal. In fact, Moli d’es Raco, goes one stage further having its own farmland which produces vegetables as well as lamb, pork and beef.
Ca N’Aguedet has a unique style and elegance that sets it apart from other restaurants in Menorca, the reason no doubt lying in the fact that it is Menorca’s oldest restaurant still in operation. Originally founded by in 1936, it was then run by Agueda Vadell Pons and her husband Miguel Mariano for many years during which time it built up an enviable reputation for producing some of Menorca’s finest cooking.
Continuing as a family run restaurant, the day to day management has since passed onto their children who have inherited the same passion to deliver high quality, traditional Menorcan cuisine for new generations to enjoy. However, far from retiring, at 88 Agueda still keeps a sharp eye on what’s going on and can often be seen in the restaurant making sure everything is in order and the guests are happy. Today, front of house is son Crispin with his brother Miguel Mariano and sister in law Margarita Fullana as head chef and pastry chef respectively.
Recently under the new management of Xavi who has worked at the restaurant for many years, Ets Arcs continues to offer traditional Menorcan cooking but with some changes and new additions for 2011.
The restaurant size and style are deceptive from the outside. Once inside, the grand staircase leads to a large, bright and airy first floor restaurant with an equally large open air terrace area at the back, with stunning views towards Monte Toro. In summer, the focus is on outside dining where you can enjoy grilled shellfish, seafood and meats simply prepared and cooked on the wood fired open grill. An early evening drink or dining on the terrace while the setting sun casts its glow over Monte Toro can’t fail to please.
Las Vegas can be found right in the heart of the pretty market town of Es Mercadal. However, don’t let the name of this town centre bar / restaurant fool you. Far from having an American theme, this is very much a place for locals who know a thing or two about good value Spanish cooking. The only similarity perhaps lies in the huge number of people who flock to dine ‘in Las Vegas’ each year…!
Tast offers a wonderful dining experience bringing together old and new into an eclectic mix of rustic and contemporary architecture, with antiquities from a modern and historic past.
Situated in a sympathetically converted town house in Mercadal’s paved square, the restaurant is deceptively large with a bar area at the front and dining both at the front and back, which enjoys natural light from a cleverly designed glass roof, as well as upstairs. With tables and chairs outside, Tast is also perfect for a coffee in sun and has become very popular with those sampling a selection of imaginative tapas at lunchtime.
Located in one of the side streets in the centre of Es Mercadal, Ca N’Olga has to be one of the prettiest restaurants on the island. Set in a 200 year old beautifully restored townhouse, this little gem of a restaurant is full of character, offering either indoor or outside dining on the covered courtyard style terrace, surrounded by flowering plants and foliage. During the summer months, the terrace dining area extends further with more tables overlooking the quaint walled garden.