Sandro Putignano and the famous Bolognese. | Julian Aguirre


Sandro Putignano arrived in Mallorca 23 years ago when he was 25. In Italy, he had studied hospitality management and had won the national hospitality competition.

His first job in Mallorca was at the Tristán restaurant in Puerto Portals. He was there for twelve years and remembers that time fondly. He left because he needed a break. The intention was to take a six-month sabbatical, but he didn't. Someone well known, whose name he prefers not to mention, encouraged him to join him and start a restaurant business. He didn't know how to say no. And so the Sandro restaurant in Palma was born.

It was a small place, one where he could ensure high-quality service. That paid off. For two years, the restaurant was number one on TripAdvisor. And now his restaurant is known for being where Morgan Freeman dined on two occasions in the space of three days.

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Sandro says that he didn't recognise him. "It must have been a customer who told me that this was Morgan Freeman. I had to google him to confirm it was." And the actor paid him high praise indeed - "the best Bolognese I've ever eaten".

What is the secret of his Bolognese? "We are Italian. If we make a bad sauce, they will take away our passports. I can only reveal that the special flavour is achieved by cooking it for a long time, using a family recipe and an ingredient that I will perhaps take to the grave."

The Hollywood actor's two visits have led Sandro to offer two menus with the Morgan Freeman name; they are the courses he ate. The price per menu is 18.50 euros, and one - quite obviously - includes the now famous pasta Bolognese.