Set in the bustling square of Plaza del Parque is the stylish urban eatery Locals Only, a breakthrough Osteria and wine bar created by restaurateur Tito Piazza, whose distinguished career as a chef spans over 30 years, including time spent honing his craft in iconic restaurants such as Harry’s Bar in Venice before working his way up to the esteemed position of corporate chef for the Cipriani USA group. Most people who find themselves plonking their toes into the sand of Ibiza to live have a story – Piazza and Locals Only are no different. “You know, there’s actually a funny story behind my head chef,” Tito divulges as he leans back into his chair and begins to explain that he’s known the man in question, Stefano Righetti of Capovalle, for over ten years. They’ve collaborated in the kitchen on different endeavours in the past and while Tito was projecting the Locals Only concept for Ibiza – the dream of Stefano at the helm of the kitchen was always at the forefront of his mind.
But it wasn’t meant to be – at the time Locals Only was becoming a reality, with Stefano slated to be the Chef de Cuisine at the launch, an incredible opportunity came through as he was proposed a work experience position at a Michelin star restaurant, Combal.Zero in northern Italy. Tito wouldn’t let his star chef and valued friend miss the chance to develop his craft at the famed restaurant and while it was a good move for Stefano, Locals Only was left without a star chef and Tito rearranged his plans. Under Tito’s expert guidance and experienced hand, the kitchen team forged ahead and the restaurant launched to much fanfare. But two years down the track, his dream of working together with Stefano was still on his mind, which leads us to 2016 and the restaurant today. This new summer season is a special time for Locals Only, undergoing a ‘second opening’ phase as it may be described. Tito’s dream is now being realised, as after two years of sharpening his skills in the kitchen and working under Italian Michelin maestros, Stefano is back to where the vision began, ready to add his passion and flair to the beautifully simple, delicious dishes being curated from the kitchen, here in Ibiza.
Simplicity, sophistication and a passion for providing an authentic experience is the heart of the concept at Locals Only. Stemming from Tito’s desire to create his own ‘Osteria’; an origin of the Italian word ‘oste’ – meaning to host; or an owner offering his own homemade products and wine in a simple and inexpensive way. “No matter where we had opened a restaurant – it would be like my home,” he muses. Hanging on the wall in the restaurant’s chic interior space is a beautifully bold, prominent wooden structure of a world map. With 30 years of extensive travel under his belt, Piazza wanted to represent the concept that we are all citizens of the world, walking this planet, and to create a space where ‘locals of the world’ would feel at home. Isn’t the best way to travel by diving into a culture with no reservations, to absorb a proper education of the different personalities, traditions, customs and tastes you may come across? Tito believes this is so, and this is how he travels. Thus welcoming like-minded travellers and islanders to Locals Only.
The menu reflects an international mentality with an emphasis on honest and local Mediterranean cooking where fresh, high quality and locally sourced ingredients is the ethos. Think freshly picked seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs daily, meats from nearby farms, and only the best extra virgin olive oil and salt coming from the island – even the craft beer being served comes from a brewery in San Antonio. The sustainable restaurant is committed to supporting the island, but also providing a local retreat for all international visitors and residents alike. Visit Locals Only like you would a genuine and original Osteria, sample Tito Piazza’s simple, authentic food and feel like a true local – a local of the world!