To celebrate, the four of us decided to choose a romantic setting for a double date. Mrs. FORT (who, I should mention, has impeccable taste in both men and meals) made the suggestion to head to Mallorca on Carson Street for the occasion. Mr. FORT, PID and I could not have agreed more enthusiastically!
Being a Saturday and all, I made sure to call well ahead to make reservations. The last two times I'd been to Mallorca, I remember having shown up for my reservation well on time and still having to wait in the tiny bar. So this time we shot for an exact arrival time. But whaddaya know, as we were pulling in to the complimentary valet lot at five 'til seven we received a FORText telling us that they were seated at the table and waiting for us. Splendid!
I was excited, because this was my first time sitting in what I'll call "the room to the left." I had eaten in what we'll call "crazy wallpaper room"
We started with the bread. The butter was of factory descent (i.e. we had to unwrap it at the table) which doesn't ever bother me, but doesn't add extra points, either. We appropriately referred to the bread as "butt bread." Not because it tasted bad, but because...well, see for yourself:
Then, we moved on to the wine and the appetizer. The table decided unanimously on a bottle of Pinot Noir and and an order of the Champignones Relleno (or Fresh Stuffed Mushrooms).
What I love about Mallorca's menu is that it's not only extensive and authentic, but it's completely in Spanish -- helps me to brush up on my conjugation! That may deter some, but the staff is extremely friendly, knowledgeable so they are always around to help answer any questions (and believe me, I had them). Anyway, the Champignones Relleno were excellent! Very juicy and the seafood and Parmesan stuffing with roasted red peppers melted in my mouth.
After the salads (Which, I'll admit I completely forgot to take a photo of but in the way of simple house salads, they hail almighty. The house dressing is a delicious mystery and the heart of palm was a unique-to-the-region accent that I wished there were more of), we moved on to the hard part. Choosing an entree...
Here's where the impeccable service comes in to play. Put aside, for one moment, the fact that the staff is so extensive that you have one person to greet you and take your order, another to make sure your water is always full, still another sommelier to ensure your wine is just right and even more to brush your table clear of crumbs (these guys have their hands full with the likes of us). And is it me, or do every single one of them have a beautiful Spanish accent? But the part that impresses me the most is how many darn specials this place always has and how no waiter has ever once read it off of a piece of paper. They KNOW what their kitchen is serving. Not just the names of the meals, but how it's going to taste, wine pairing suggestions, the works. I was so impressed! That being said... our waiter rattled off so many specials I couldn't remember a single one of them when it came time to order.
Mrs. FORT and I requested that he repeat the Pescado specials because we were 84% sure we'd heard something interesting among them. Sure enough, we did. In fact, we all ordered specials since the lot of us had been there a handful of collective times in the past and were, for the most part, familiar with the standard day-to-day menu.
Mrs. FORT chose the Stuffed Flounder (which I found appropriate since Mr. FORT has been called "Flounder" since approximately 2002).
Stuffed with lobster and crabmeat, Mrs. FORT genuinely seemed to enjoy the flavors. I gave it a shot myself and agreed that they did a great job cooking the flounder to perfection. A particularly boring presentation, the taste was far from lacking.
Mr. FORT had seen (/smelled) a sizzlin' steak go by our table earlier in the evening. It's sheer mass attracted him to try it for himself, so he ordered the 32 oz. prime rib special. He didn't say much...because he didn't stop eating it until it was completely gone, all 32 ounces, which made me think he really liked it!
PID ordered the Veal Osso Bucco which I totally called. His meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, the sauce was delicious and he enjoyed sucking the marrow out of the bone in the most inappropriate manner possible. He told me the ziti was "lame" but that wasn't what he cared about.
I chose the Chilean Sea Bass -- yes again. I think I may have been so jaded by my amazing Sea Bass experience at Bistro 19 that I'm always expecting the most delicious meal of my life. Though it wasn't the same caliber, I will say that this meal was extremely tasty. The sauce was excellent! I would absolutely recommend it.
Another great part of Mallorca is the family style rice, steamed vegetables and homemade chips that come with every meal. Big eaters? Yes, you can order more for no extra charge.
And then it was on to dessert!!
The Spaniards sure know desserts. PID and I shared the triple chocolate cake (chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and white chocolate filling) which was rich and dreamy and far too caloric for how delicious it was!
Mrs. FORT ordered the Flan which we all tried and racked our brain for a good five minutes trying to figure out the flavor that was on the tip of all of our tongues...literally. Finally it came to me (nailed it.), Pumpkin Pie! The smooth pumpkin flavor paired with the sticky caramel seriously brought a tear to my eye. Dare I say it was Flan-tastic?
Mr. FORT ordered the Tiramisu. I think PID hates that I'm "allergic" to coffee because you could see a glimmer in his eye and a quiver in his lower lip when the waiter brought it around. But dear old Mr. FORT let him have a bite and both agreed it was outstanding!
Address: 2228 E. Carson Street
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-10:30pm
Beverages: 2 bottles of Montoya Pinot Noir @ $39
1 glass of diet coke @ $2
Appetizer: Champignones Relleno @ $9.95
Entrees: Chilean Sea Bass @ $39.95
Veal Osso Bucco @ $32.95
Stuffed Flounder @ $29.95
Prime Rib @ $27.95
Desserts: Tiramisu @ $6.00
Triple Chocolate Cake @ $6.00
Flan @ $6.00
Tax @ 7% (Allegheny County only): @ $16.55
Total for Four: $253.30
Obviously, Mallorca is a restaurant that keeps me coming back for more. The unique cultural cuisine and service make it TOP-notch in my book. My only complaint is that I believe that as tasty as their menu truly is, I can't be sure it's 100% worth the high price. Once a year? Sure, absolutely. But the costs deter PID and I from frequenting.
|(VERY close to four stars)|