There are countless places in Ibiza that are described as magical – it’s a superlative that is endlessly drawn upon to describe the views, architecture, scenery and skies of the beautiful white isle. Whether you’re a first time visitor, a regular holidaymaker, a permanent island resident or even a born and bred local, there’s no denying we are lucky to experience this magic – even more so when various layers of this oft-used description combine in a dining destination like Finca La Plaza.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the bustling church square in Santa Gertrudis, this divine village restaurant has a friendly and easy-going ambience that invites you to come in, slow down and relax for the evening. As one would surmise from the name, Finca La Plaza is set within the walls and grounds of an ancient, beautifully restored Ibicenco farmhouse, where the cool, calm serenity washes over you the moment you step through the charming palm-flanked gates. It’s a restaurant so special you’ll want to return again and again.
The leading attraction at Finca La Plaza is its lush, private garden, where tropical palms, banana trees and ferns grow alongside native olive and orange trees for a truly eclectic horticultural mix. The alfresco dining space feels like a Mediterranean jungle that has sprung up in the middle of busy and vibrant village; a soothing and calming oasis far away from the hectic summer crowds. It is little wonder that the garden tables are the first to get booked up, and reservations are advised if you want to secure a place for delicious dining beneath the stars.
Although Finca La Plaza has been in the village for many years, 2019 is the second season under the expert management of Ibiza My Love – who also gave the restaurant a stunning renovation last season. The group’s portfolio includes island favourite beach restaurant, Beachouse Ibiza and Mikasa Ibiza, a boutique hotel with a Levantine restaurant and rooftop bar overlooking Dalt Vila in Marina Botafoch. Victor Rodriguez is the executive chef for the group, and his philosophy for Finca La Plaza is one of gastronomic purity. Here, premium quality seasonal produce and ingredients are key, their exquisite natural flavours and textures shining through in each dish.
The Finca La Plaza menu is thoughtful and supremely concise; a testament to the belief that less is more when the authenticity of the produce is the star of the show. Every dish at Finca La Plaza is deserving of its place on the menu and stands out on its own. A selection of small starter plates are designed to share, and give a good taster of the quality that’s yet to come. Think grilled fresh artichokes with local lemon, baby spinach and a sublime fresh mint and rosemary dressing, and baby squid, sautéed to perfection, draped with roasted Iberico ham, and drizzled with parsley and garlic oil. The chilled beef tartare with piquant flavour spikes of horseradish, is topped with a perfectly timed poached egg yolk.
For the main course at Finca La Plaza, the charcoal grill is fired up for juicy corn-fed baby chicken, local lamb chops and succulent fillet of beef, with local seafood represented by a chargrilled octopus with a zingy kumquat confit. Along with a small selection of soups and salads, the purist take on Mediterranean market cuisine continues here, with a steamed lobster paella for two and a heavenly wild sea bass fillet with tomato, caper, lemon and basil sauce. Wines are handpicked to be recommended with each dish and carefully crafted cocktails are designed for both before dining as an aperitif, or for after the meal to accompany a delectable dessert.
In a relatively short period of time since its reincarnation, Finca La Plaza has gained a solid reputation for authentic food lovingly presented in an idyllic environment. Restaurant manager Luca Schiavon takes pride in ensuring all his guests enjoy an exquisite experience, with friendly, unobtrusive but knowledgeable service from his carefully honed team of smiling staff. On many evenings, Schiavon takes a seat in a corner of the restaurant for a few minutes to observe the service from the client’s point of view, with an attention to detail that ensures premium, seamless service for all who come to dine there.
Word of mouth reviews are the holy grail of successful restaurants, and the hugely positive rumours and insider tip recommendations for Finca La Plaza have spread quickly as requests for tables in the delightful garden fly in from international visitors who have heard about it on the grapevine. The most popular booking time at Finca La Plaza is as dusk starts to fall and the skies above Santa Gertrudis turn pink. The fairy lights strewn from the trees around the garden glow warmly and softly, adding to the sanctuary-like ambience that can only be described as – yes, magical!