Ibiza foodies

Living la dolce vita – Amalur

The timeless garden terrace at this iconic Santa Gertrudis fine dining destination evokes the essence of Italy.

The brand-new garden terrace at Amalur evokes the timeless essence of Italy. A natural extension of the Italian fine dining destination’s open-walled dining room, it’s hard to believe that the elegant alfresco space wasn’t there all along.

Words: Kristie Rogers | Photos: Luana Failla, Miguel Cuesta & Daniel Balda

From the very first moment Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni were projected taking a midnight dip in Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain in Fellini’s 1960 masterpiece, La Dolce Vita, people around the world have sought to pursue pleasure by emulating the Italian way of life. In Ibiza, there is no place that captures the essence of the sweet life more than Amalur, the revered Italian fine dining destination set in the bucolic Santa Gertrudis countryside.

This summer sees Francesco Manzoli – the renowned restaurateur behind Amalur’s noteworthy transformation over the past few years – elevates the restaurant’s elegance even further with the addition of a breath-taking garden terrace to its blue-hued finca setting. For discerning diners coming to Ibiza in search of la dolce vita, there is no place more beautiful (or Instagrammable) than this elegantly landscaped, mezzanine-style space, connected to the stylish main dining room via a set of wooden stairs that feel like such a natural extension of the open-walled restaurant, it’s hard to imagine they weren’t there all along.

A natural extension of the Italian fine dining destination’s open-walled dining room, it’s hard to believe that the elegant alfresco space wasn’t there all along.

A vision beneath maroon-striped parasols that evoke the glamour of clifftop Italian five-star hotels and luxurious beach clubs, this new scene set by Manzoli is as beautiful as any of the nostalgic settings in Fellini’s extraordinary film. Natural stone paving intertwined with soft tufts of grass creates a timeless setting while the stylish, organic fencing created by using a ring of tall Mediterranean trees gives the feeling of total privacy and discretion. Unlike La Dolce Vita, there are no prying eyes or paparazzi to be found here – one of the elements that makes Amalur so popular with the visiting cognoscenti and island glitterati.

Pretty green and maroon mosaic tiled tables are complemented with contemporary wicker seating, glistening metallic tableware and sparkling crystal glasses. The feeling is both pared-back yet sophisticated, relaxed and yet glamorous, all at the same time, as you take your seat beneath the Balearic sky and begin your evening in the Amalur garden with a sunset cocktail. Brand-new signature cocktails have been added to the menu to coincide with the opening of the garden terrace – a mix of flavours that are perfect for alfresco celebrations and romantic summer nights alike.

Start with a Trini Tiki Mojito, a zesty blend of rum, lime, cardamom and Angostura Bitters, or sip on a refreshing Alcapone, made with summery gin, mint, lime, cucumber and ginger. The Vodka Soda is a high-society version of the classic, given an upgrade with jasmine and lime while the Dirty Mule is a must-try for lovers of mezcal, fusing its smokiness with lime, ginger beer and a dash of olive brine. There are old favourites too, of course – a Champagne Spritz, the French 75, a Margarita and the Amalur favourite, Vodka Grey, a martini-style cocktail made with Earl Grey tea and pink pepper.

As the sun goes down over the garden, witness the gorgeous golden light softly transforming into shades of pink, peach, crimson and violet before turning dark to reveal the twinkling of the stars and moon in the sky above. Now, it’s time to turn thoughts to dinner and this is where Amalur really excels in channelling la dolce vita. The menu – with an intro handwritten by Manzoli himself – is an ode to Italy with an Ibiza twist, flecked with international flavours and made with the freshest local ingredients. From the finest cuts of meat, freshly caught fish and seafood, plus vegetables plucked straight from Ibiza’s rich, red earth – with a select few ingredients flown in from the motherland – each and every meal at Amalur is a special occasion.

With incredible fine dining fare, a sophisticated ambience and a stylish international crowd, every night night spent at Amalur is a special occasion.

Chef Antonio Boriello’s new à la carte menu follows a decadent four-course style that allows you to really settle in for an entire evening of epicurean delights. There’s no reason to hurry – start by perusing the all-new raw menu, which includes the seriously impressive shellfish and seafood plateau to share, or take your pick from delicacies like Siberian caviar, carabineros, razor clams, baby scallops, oysters and more. Turn your attention to the starters, where the farm-fresh zucchini tartare with tomato, pine nuts and Parmesan vies for attention against cuttlefish carpaccio with Bottarga; a classic Vitello Tonnato; oysters served ceviche-style and the now-famous Amalur sea bass tartare toast with caviar.

First courses showcases the delicate pasta made in-house daily, and the flavour-bomb gnocchetti with red prawns, lemon and cherry tomato is hard to beat – that is, unless you’re tempted by the egg tagliolini with caviar and chives. Purists will love the ‘gentile’ paccheri with fresh red and yellow tomatoes and basil, while those who like to push the culinary boundaries should try the Amalur twist on Cacio Pepe – homemade tortelli, Gricia-style, stuffed with Caciocavallo cheese, black pepper and guanciale from Amatrice. Save room for second courses such as the spiniata – thinly sliced beef with wild sage, laurel and rosemary; the succulent sea bass fillet with rock clams and yellow tomatoes; or the Mediterranean red tuna tagliata with Sicilian caponata.

The sweet life continues well into the night, as Manzoli’s carefully curated soundtrack floats over the airwaves along with the chatter and laughter of the beautiful people of Ibiza. Speaking of sweet, no evening at Amalur is complete without sharing a table-full of desserts, and the new coconut tacos with two types of chocolate and the classic tiramisu are ideal for teaming with a selection of homemade ice creams, including a fresh lemon and mint that tastes like Dolce & Gabbana on a plate.

There’s no need to travel to Puglia, Lake Como or Portofino this summer to live la dolce vita – simply immerse yourself inside the one-of-a-kind world created by Francesco Manzoli at Amalur. Incredible food, delicious cocktails, fine wines, great music and timeless Italian style – just like Fellini, Manzoli has conjured an iconic experience for a steamy summer night. All that’s missing is the midnight swim – but who knows? Anything could happen after you leave Amalur and head out into the Ibiza night…