Going out for dinner is an evolving experience these days. The spectacle around getting ready and the anticipation of planning where to go are all part of the process, including reading all the online reviews of where you and your friends might be thinking of, and then checking the feeds to see who else has been there of course. And when it comes to restaurant culture, it’s impossible to deny the significance of Instagram and #foodporn in general. Any search for STK Ibiza after only a couple of seasons reveals an extraordinary amount of posts and images from this exciting Ibiza restaurant well exceeding its intimate size, and proving just how popular and well-loved a destination it has become.
The secret is down to the unique concept that STK Ibiza Operations Manager Marco Nuccio calls dinner disco. “People want to eat, but they want to have fun too,” he explains. “We offer entertainment throughout the night and from 11pm onwards, the atmosphere starts to take on more of a disco element, not unlike that of a club. First we eat, then we dance.” The performances are interactive, involving the diners from the first instance, so that the lively vibe can easily evolve as the night progresses, bringing everybody to their feet by midnight.
From the first steps down the red carpet to the enormous – and extremely Instagram-friendly – flower-wall that marks the entrance to STK Ibiza, there are signs that this will be a night to remember. Sleek and smiling hosts are ready to greet you and guide you to your allotted table, either a dimly lit booth around the main stage area, or a LED-lit dining area alongside the bar, both offering views of the giant artworks suspended above and the elaborate and decorative wall feature that dominates one end of the restaurant. Group of glamorous girls gather around tables – according to Nuccio, 80% of the restaurant’s clientele are female – attended to by a fleet of waiters, while a cool soundtrack is just loud enough to hum along to.
Dinner begins with a cocktail, with all the usual classics on offer at the STK Ibiza bar. Signature cocktails include the zingy STK Martini, made with Belvedere, blood orange, passionfruit, grapefruit, lime, sugar and bitters, or the favourite STK Bubbles with Belvedere, vanilla, pink bubble gum and Moët Chandon. For a special occasion, or perhaps just because, you can supersize your cocktail and order a 1.5 litre Espresso Martini or Frozen Fruit Daiquiri, with extra straws optional for the table to share. Certainly one way to get the party started early.
The global STK brand is known for its steakhouses, but as the STK Ibiza location has evolved, so has the varied menu, which now includes gluten-free options such as a deliciously tangy Hamachi Tiradito with aji amarillo and mango dressing, or a vegetarian Chickpea Falafel with raw tomato fondue. The Compressed Watermelon salad with creamed feta, cucumber, olive and mint is intense and fresh, and the popular LIL’ BRGS are miniature USDA beef burgers with truffle sauce on sesame-seed buns that are great for sharing.
But as you may expect, many are still here for the meat, and as far as that goes, it would be hard to improve on. STK Ibiza Head Chef Matteo Bartaletti uses USDA certified and imported prime steak, simply cooked with sea salt and cracked pepper, on an American style broiler. It’s a mouth-watering and juicy way to cook such quality meat that lusciously melts as soon as you eat it. The lean fillet is consistently best selling, but Matteo also recommends the Ribeye, for its marbling texture and flavour. You can choose between small, medium and large depending on your appetite, and of course there’s an extra-large option for anyone looking for one kilogram of Porterhouse or dry aged Tomahawk steak. Sauces and toppings can be added as desired, in classic American style, nothing is too much trouble when it comes to your order.
Pescatarians are well catered for at STK Ibiza with a delectable seared salmon, cooked on a cedar plank to give it a rich smoky flavour, or a light Spanish cod served with sautéed spinach and a saffron alioli. A thorough selection of sides include crispy sweet potato fries, a delicate heirloom tomato and basil salad or giant Parmesan truffle potato chips that are incredibly moreish, as well as a richly indulgent mac and cheese. If there is room for dessert, the Isla Blanca fuses tequila and coconut in a light mousse with a lime sorbet on the side – just the thing to refresh after your meal.
As you dine, a steady succession of performances gently builds atmosphere, from an outrageously attractive contortionist who pops out of a teensy tiny trunk on the stage to a hugely talented saxophone player, who casually flirts with each table as he passes. A Vegas-style cabaret singer performs The Pointer Sisters, whilst a suited magician moves about the room dazzling small groups. By the time dessert comes around, and it’s time for another cocktail, the DJ has picked up the music a notch and most of the room is swaying or tapping their toes. Smiles spread around the room when the drummers come to the STK Ibiza stage, and before long the infectious beats lead everybody to their feet. The dinner is over and the dancing has begun…