Ca na Toneta: Proving the Future Is Female
Meal #4: Ca na Toneta
Michelin Stars: 0
Total Star Count: 2
This, my friends is the entire reason I added Mallorca to the beginning of my two-week trip to Spain and Italy :Ca na Toneta. I met Chef Maria Solivellas and her sisters (Theresa and Cati, who also work at Ca na Toneta) as well as Chef Fina Puigdevall of Les Cols (coming up later this trip!) at Faviken in January. We hit it off while enjoying an incredible meal and kept in touch. I am so happy I was able to finally come visit her beautiful restaurant and try her food. And I was not disappointed. The entire evening lived up to the hype I had been building for myself for months. Thank you, Chef Magnus, for creating an environment where we were able to meet and become friends!
Ca na Toneta is located 45 minutes northwest of Palma, in the beautiful town of Caimari. The street, as well as the restaurant, is beautiful and quaint.
Upon arriving you can take a moment to enjoy a cocktail on the lovely patio and peruse some of the handmade items the restaurant uses that are available to take home. Chef Maria was incredibly generous and gave me olive oil made by her Uncle Pep, a white Japanese dish used for serving and a Ca na Toneta dish towel to take home. I can’t wait to put them to use!
The outside portion of the restaurant, where I was seated, has an incredible mural painted by renowned artist Albert Pinya. Its beautiful, playful and tells the story of Ca na Toneta. Vines cover the back half of the patio, adding to it’s charming ambiance. It sets the mood well for the dinner ahead.
I began with a bite that represents the summer land of Mallorca — complete with figs, almond and fennel. I then moved on to a refreshing tomato gazpacho with bacon and capers — with the vegetables coming from Chef Maria’s own mother’s garden. The bread was served accompanied by her Uncle Pep’s olive oil. Her sisters, Theresa and Cati, as I mentioned also work at the restaurant. Ca na Toneta is very much a family affair, which only makes it more charming. I also want to note how powerful it is to see such a restaurant being run by women. The Solivellas sisters are a force in an industry dominated by men. I applaud and thank them.
Diving into the heart of the meal, it was no surprise to see an egg come into play — cooked perfectly with eggplant puree underneath, highlighted by truffle shavings. Eggplant is another ingredient I don’t often like, but this combination would win over anyone. More figs and sobrassada made appearances on a juicy flatbread, followed by dishes that once again represent how much Mallorcan cuisine is tied to their sea and local farmers. The blackfish and suckling pig were both juicy and delectable — the latter garnished with a perfectly salty, crunchy skin crumble. It might very well be the best pork dish I’ve ever consumed.
Dessert consisted of a cheese plate I am not embarrassed to say I almost finished in its entirety. And I must say that after eating so many Mallorcan almonds, they are indeed better than California almonds (if that makes me a traitor, so be it). The final dessert was a prickly pear sorbet with mint pesto that wasn’t overtly sweet and gave the body a cooling sensation — muchly (not a real word, but I use it anyways) needed after such a marathon of delicious food on a hot night in Mallorca.
After dinner, Chef Maria and her staff were kind enough to welcome me into the kitchen as they celebrated the end of service and night before a well-deserved day off. I am so thankful for their warm hospitality and laughs. It certainly made the long journey from San Francisco to dine at the magical Ca na Toneta worthwhile. I absolutely plan to return to the magic again.