In the summer months, all the tables of La Juanita are moved onto the sidewalk so you can sit outside in the shadow between young laurel trees. During lunch hours there’s a nice cool breeze, while you become part of Sa Gerreria’s beautiful scenery at night. After years of experience in different kitchens on the island, Marc Albert Medina opened his own small restaurant next to the barrio’s community center about four years ago. Ever since, La Juanita Cuina Fresca has been popular with neighbours and travelers alike.
I love to come at night for the Surprise Market Menu, when Marc spoils you with four most tasty dishes plus dessert. Often, he doesn’t yet know what’s for dinner until he gets to the market in the early morning. The abundance of local, seasonal produce is always a reliable source of inspiration for him. And a true surprise for his guests. Just the starters we had the other night were outstanding: I never knew that water melon and chopped black olives are such a great match. Or the wafer-thin coca with red peppers, sardines and horseradish – estupendo! The two mains came with fish and meat, both creative modern variations of traditional Mallorcan recipes. And for someone with a sweet tooth like me the semifreddo was the perfect completion.
You can watch the chef and his team prepare the food in the large open kitchen, the heart of the restaurant. I never asked Marc about Juanita and why he named his restaurant after her. A close friend, maybe, or someone he met, who handed the passion for cooking to him? A good reason to come back soon and find out.