A pocket of tranquility in the hills ofSan José, Casa Linda is the latest project from highly respected restaurateur Tomás Abellán, the mastermind behind Barcelona hotspots Casa Luz and Bar Alegría. For his first Balearic outpost – set within the garden of boutique hotel Jardins de Palerm – Abellán has enlisted the talented hands of Mariano Segura (formerly of Tickets, Barcelona) as head chef, while his sister Júlia Navarro has taken on Ibiza restaurant manager duties. The result is an oasis of calm with kaleidoscopic sunset views and a menu rooted in Catalonian tradition.
Simplicity, honesty and vibrant flavours are at the heart of Casa Linda. Embodying the concept of comida casera, which in essence means homemade, every seasonal ingredient at the Ibiza restaurant is sourced locally, through close relationships with the island’s expert fishermen and farmers. The menu has been designed in homage to an ancient finca, with each section taking diners on a journey through the cold storage room (de la fresquera), the pantry (de la despensa), the garden and henhouse (del huerto y gallinero) and the grill (de los fuegos).
The cuisine at Casa Linda has been elevated to suit modern palates, yet still echoes the nostalgia of days gone by. Start with cured Cantabrian anchovy toast with smoked butter, the Ibiza restaurant’s signature bikini (toasted sandwich) with sobrasada and honey from the island, or the sourdough made with 40-year-old starter and accompanied by sweet, scrubbed tomato or potent black garlic alioli. Prepared with love and precision, each plate is served beneath a stunning canopy of trees on an alfresco terrace that’s atmospherically lit by festoon lights – this secret garden setting already a favourite among the foodie jet-set who make a beeline for the Balearics.
Don’t miss the creamy but light king crab salad or tender Mediterranean tuna loin, while the incredibly fresh and almost meaty tomato tartare with wasabi guacamole would satisfy have even the staunchest meat-eater – especially when scooped into nasturtium leaves to create bite-sized tacos inspired by the abundance of Ibiza. An ever-changing fresh catch of the day and succulent Middle Eastern style lamb are the stars from the Ibiza restaurant’s grill – even more proof that Casa Linda is causing a buzz for all the rights reasons.
Desserts (los dulces) at the Ibiza restaurant include creamy Mediterranean cheesecake; fruity apricot melba; and homemade chocolate and bread-flavoured ice cream served with bread, olive oil and salt – a dish inspired by Abellán’s childhood sweets. The Casa Linda wine list focuses on artisanal brands and makers, with signature cocktails are available from the bar. Tuesday nights see the garden abuzz with live music – another of Abellan’s personal passions – and filled with the who’s who of Ibiza. Service is impeccable, as staff effortlessly transmit the story of each dish – designed with family-style sharing in mind – this under-the-radar gem is unlikely stay secret for much longer.