Ibiza restaurants: La Dispensa – Cosmopolitan winter dining

Dalt Vila in winter is an entirely different entity to its bustling, noisy, colourful summer self. As the weather cools down, all the chairs and tables on the cobbled streets are packed away as the many restaurants and boutiques go into hibernation mode and the area becomes predominantly residential once more. High summer tourists are replaced with early morning UNESCO walking tours, local residents returning to their ‘castle’ dwellings and the odd stray cat or two!

For Ibiza town dwellers, out-of-season island visitors and island foodies, it’s always been a little perplexing that not a single restaurant within Dalt Vila’s main square remains open in the cooler months – after all, it’s an area brimming with heritage, romance and beauty that certainly doesn’t fade just because the temperature drops. In 2016 however, things are about to change as gorgeous fine dining restaurant La Dispensa steps in to save the day!

Now open all year round, the hip dining hotspot welcomes diners from Thursday to Sunday with a variety of culinary offerings so enticing you’ll be clamouring to visit the famous fortress more than just once a week. Though it’s a relative new kid on the ancient block, having just wrapped up its second summer season, La Dispensa is considered a go-to gastronomic destination in Ibiza thanks to its delicious cuisine, incredible cocktails, warm and welcoming ambience, not to mention its unforgettable design and decor.

So let’s start with lunch. One of Spain’s greatest traditions is the ‘menu del dia’ – a three-course set menu offered at very accessible prices. In the authentic spirit of the island, La Dispensa has embraced this tradition wholeheartedly and from Thursday through until Sunday between 1pm and 4pm, the hip and stylish eatery offers a delicious starter, main course and dessert or coffee for just 20€ per person. If you’re looking for a lighter bite, the tasty tapas menu is on offer – all the more reason to eat here!

This is the perfect way to sample La Dispensa’s signature cuisine, all the while soaking up the glorious winter sunshine on the iconic cobbled streets – alternatively, if it’s a little chilly, holing up within the stunning interior is equally as appealing. After your feast, why not walk off the calories by strolling up to the cathedral at the top of Dalt Vila, and watch the winter sunset unfold before your eyes?

As the sun goes down, the action heats up at La Dispensa, with a dinner service offered between 7pm and 11pm from Thursday until Saturday. Head chef Alessio Puccio has designed a special a la carte winter menu in keeping with the fine dining restaurant’s signature style – think classic cuisine with a twist, while keeping produce local and seasonal.

By night, the gorgeous eatery is softly illuminated by colourful pastel lighting and flickering candles, creating a romantic ambience for the ultimate alfresco fairytale effect! Dine beneath the stars, with oversized heaters on hand to keep you warm, or get cosy inside the Art Deco inspired interior – a host of smaller spaces tucked away like hidden caves or secret dining rooms that are the perfect place to settle in for a long and decadent dinner. Think high end, city-style dining in the heart of Ibiza’s ancient fortress.

On Friday nights, a special guest star steps into the La Dispensa kitchen, as star sushi chef Malcolm returns to slice, dice and flambé up a sushi storm. If you’ve never sampled Malcolm’s sweet sushi delights, you’re in for a taste sensation (he was famed for years as the best sushi chef on the island while he held court at Blue Marlin, before La Dispensa lured him to the old town).

Imagine a fusion of flavours perfectly packed within rolls of rice, be it the most delicate fresh fish, crab and prawn or vegetarian options. As beautifully presented as they are to taste, Friday Sushi Nights at La Dispensa are guaranteed to attract the who’s who of the island.

One the most exciting offerings for local residents is the Sunday buffet brunch! Good brunch spots in Ibiza can be notoriously hard to find, so the news that La Dispensa are serving up a New York style all-day (10.30am to 4.30pm) brunch buffet, with a la carte options also available is like a dream come true. The owners of La Dispensa spent many years dining in the world’s best restaurants, eating their way around the world in search of the perfect menu inspiration, so you just know this is going to be first class food!

Sip Mimosas and Bloody Marys, as you tuck into eggs how you like ‘em, fresh fruit, pastries, salads, sandwiches, cured meats, smoked salmon, cheese, yoghurt, veggies, cakes, sweets and so much more. Whether you fancy a lie-in followed by a hearty late brekkie, or you’re up for an early fuel-up before a sunny day spent exploring the cobbled streets of Dalt Vila – starting your day at this cosmopolitan dining hotspot guarantees a Sunday well spent.

In addition to being open to the public, La Dispensa also offers its private dining rooms to companies looking to host end-of-season celebrations or Christmas parties, or those looking to host a unique special event or birthday dinner. Stepping inside the many dining spaces is like falling down the rabbit hole – attention to detail is evident everywhere you look, be it vintage candleholders, antique lighting, striking tiling, quirky illustrations, eclectic art and more.

Last but most definitely not least, New Year’s Eve looks set to be a treat at La Dispensa, with a special set menu planned for just 69€ per person (excluding drinks). Keep your eye on the White Ibiza Winter Calendar for more details as they’re announced – but you just know, ringing in the dawn of a new year in Ibiza’s most historical setting is sure to be one to remember forever.

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