Restaurants. The lobster, and the "Hairy Crab of Minorca"
Fornells means a lobster on the dinner table. Lobster and fresh fish, from Fornells own harbour. This identity of Fornells, fish and seafood has created something unique in the whole of Minorca, and possibly in the whole of the Balearics: a small village with a high concentration of top quality restaurants. All of them base their menu on seafood, they’re all good and they all offer characteristic variations on the grand theme of seafood and shellfish. See below for an interesting recipe using our very own “hairy crab” by one of Fornells, Minorca’s and perhaps the world’s most sought after and successful cooks.
Restaurant Es Cranc Pelut de Menorca.
- Tel.: 9184.108.40.206
- Three stars. Excellent seafood prepared with the greatest care and skill. At the risk of restricting your choice from the outstanding variety of the menu, I’d like to recommend the rice in shellfish and lobster broth, “tramontana mussels” and octopus meatballs, all dishes personally created by the Minorcan chef, Diego Coll.
- Pasaje des Pla.
- Tel. 9220.127.116.11
- I think this is the longest established and its clientele is well known, some of them internationally, at least to gossip column readers. It’s right in the harbour, with car park and terrace. Baked fish, rice and fish dishes and lobster “caldereta”.
- Paseo Marítimo.
- Tel. 918.104.22.168
- In the harbour with car park and terrace. Seafood and lobster “caldereta”. The prawns here are famous.
- Paseo Marítimo
- Tel. 922.214.171.124
- In the harbour. Tapas.
- Paseo Marítimo
- Tel. 9126.96.36.199
- In the harbour, car park and terrace. Fish dishes and lobster “caldereta”.
- Escuelas 29.
- Tel. 9188.8.131.52
- By the church. Slightly different; fish dishes, rice in broth, shellfish. “Caldereta”.
Bar Restaurant Sa Nansa
- By the Platgeta d’Es Viver, where the new path to the Fornells Towers begins. Sa Nansa is located in a quiet corner removed from the hustle-bustle of the main promenade. It commands fine views of the bay. The cuisine is based on informal mixed dishes
- Gabriel Gelabert 12
- Tel. 971 37.65.66
- Elaborate, high-quality food.
- Tapas are served on the large terrace, by the harbour.
All the restaurants are near the harbour, except Es Cranc Pelut, which is at the entrance to the village on the road bordering the sea, and they all consider the fish and lobsters of Fornells as the best possible basis for exquisite cuisine, although each restaurant has its own character and specialities.
In summer it’s best to book and make sure of a table beforehand as they are usually packed.
Rice with Menorcan “Hairy Crab”
As a change, and to get away from the lobster caldereta’s star role, I’m going to give one of my favourite recipes created by a friend of Wind Fornells, a native of Fornells, Diego Coll from Es Cranc Pelut de Menorca. Diego was born in Fornells and is a master of local cuisine. The recipe is from his book, “La Cocina Marinera de Fornells”.
Among the hundreds of different species of crabs which carry the island’s name, we find this one of the dromidae family, whose major characteristic is that both its carapace and legs are covered with hair, just like its cousin, locally known as the “doormat crab”. Of medium size, it enjoys its placid but carnivorous existence in cracks and holes in the rocky coast and sea bed. Its flesh is much appreciated by local gourmets.
Ingredients (4 persons)
1 kilo of Minorcan hairy crabs
500 grammes of rice
2 cloves of garlic
1 small green pepper
4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
1 1/2 litres of water
Remove the shells from the crabs and chop the meat, crush the pincers. Sauté the crabs and shells in an earthenware dish. Season. Chop the onion, pepper and garlic and poach with the crab. When tender adds the chopped tomato. Once the sauté is well melted add the water. Once boiling point is reached, add the rice and cook gently till the rice is done.