My first encounter with focaccia was during one of my frequent trips to Italy. After a long and exciting morning of scuba diving on the Ligurian coast the skipper offered us some delicious greasy flatbread sprinkled with salt and black olives. Until today a bite of focaccia evokes that precious moment. Caffè Petrucci brought back this memory recently, along with that unmistakable la dolce vita feeling. A reminder of the popular Bar Centrale at the heart of every Italian town.
The bright café on Plaça Banc d’en Oli brings a genuine touch of Italy to Palma, offering a fine selection of home made dishes, cakes and coffee. Pasta with ragú and panini, salads topped with mozarella or burrata, and always some tiramisu in the cake fridge. There is also a varying lunch menu with a dish of the day. Italians are rather economic breakfasters, having just a cappuccino and a cornetto. Yet Caffè Petrucci also serves granola and even porridge to those who cannot do without a morning dish.
Vincenzo Petrucci spreads the Italian vibe in his lovely café. No surprise, his family had been running the original Café Petrucci in Naples for many years. Living and working abroad Enzo added Berlin cool and Barcelona buzz to Italian style. And settled in Palma where he opened his own cafe, also naming it Caffè Petrucci, a tribute to his father. Mallorcan chef Dani is the perfect match for Petrucci’s kitchen. His grandmother had lived some time in Italy, it was from her he learned all about Italian cuisine. On Saturdays, Dani’s fresh pasta lives up to spaghetti alla nonna.
Every angel needs a devil who invites her to a cup of coffee, says a board next to the entrance. A little seduction to a strong authentic espresso sure does no harm. I love to sit at one of the tables along the large window front. Just looking out onto peaceful Plaça Banc d’en Oli is a treat. Within less than a year Plaça Major’s little neighbor turned from a neglected parking area into a beautiful oasis. Featuring a rose garden encircled with orange trees it is lined with small restaurants and stores like SASU and Suite 13. I should get another espresso and enjoy myself just a little bit longer.