Friends and readers often ask me how I choose restaurants to review. Some are recommendations from friends or Jason (the editor); while others are places I have eaten at before and want to tell you about. In the case of Erizo de Bar, I have known it since its previous incarnation as Pollito Café, where I have had some of the tastiest brunches in town. I also wrote about Pollito for another publication back in the summer. I like their philosophy of using local organic produce wherever possible and changing their menu seasonally.

Passing by, coming from another meeting in Portixol, I saw that they had a very reasonably priced menu del día, full of fish and seafood options. It was already late, about 3.30pm, so my first choice of fish was no longer available. Still, there were other dishes I wanted to try, so I settled in at a corner table on the terrace – a nice spot to watch people walk, cycle or rollerblade by. I started thinking about the title for this week’s column and an old client back in the UK, named “Seafood and eat it”, popped into my head. Isn’t it a great play on words?

The waitress brought out a basket full of fresh, home-made sourdough bread, warmed up on a grill with some nice, light alioli. I hungrily scoffed down a couple of slices of that while waiting for my starter. I have always loved the bread here.

A glass of wine was included in the menu and the waitress recommended Petit Caus, “a blended young wine made from grapes farmed organically and picked by hand”. It was dry, slightly acidic and for some reason reminded me of white peaches. In any case, it went really well with the food I chose.
I started with steamed mussels in green oil. The portion was very generous; the mussels were large and tasty, but perhaps just slightly “over steamed”. I dunked some of the remaining crusty bread in the sauce, and scooped some green pesto with it. Very satisfying!

For the main course I went with grilled baby squid served with black ink sauce, roast potatoes and green salad. The squid was excellent; it melded in my mouth, it was not chewy at all. I have a love-hate relationship with anything made with black ink and it was the same today: I loved the taste of the sauce, but it’s colour was off putting. The already small baby potatoes were cut into even smaller chunks, which I thought was unnecessary. They were nicely crispy, but would have been even better if all excess oil was drained. I really liked the simple green salad made of just shredded lettuce and thinly sliced onion, with a very light dressing. It was refreshing and went really well with the squid and the potatoes.

For dessert I wanted something chocolatey, so I opted for a brownie served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Despite the calendar showing December, it was 19 degrees outside, so eating ice cream on a terrace felt perfectly fine. The brownie was made with walnuts and it tasted great, although I would have preferred it if it was warm. Ice-cream seemed home-made (I forgot to ask whether it was), with a good strong vanilla taste.

All in all, the food was good and there was plenty of it. At 18.50€ for a three course meal, plus wine, it was also a great value for money. There was not much atmosphere in the restaurant, as we were at the tail end of lunchtime, and only a couple of other tables were busy. However, this is a perfect spot for “people watching” and getting a sense of Portixol life at any hour. The service was polite and efficient, but I missed chatty, energetic Nico who talked passionately about brunch options and preparation methods every time we went to Pollito in the past.

The place

Erizo de Bar
Carrer de la Sirena, 1, Palma
971 24 25 32

The bill

3 course menu inc. bread, alioli olives and wine