Ibiza restaurants: Las Dos Lunas – Food for the soul

There are few truly iconic venues in Ibiza. Many lay claim to the title, but living up to it requires the optimum combination of many factors – longevity, style, class, and of course, food that makes your mouth water year in, year out. One place that manages this seemingly effortlessly, however, is Las Dos Lunas, a restaurant now in its fourth decade with no signs of stopping. Consistently delivering dishes rooted in its hearty Italian heritage, while simultaneously infusing an international twist, it’s no wonder this restaurant has become a favourite among the A-list, and is now ranked among the island’s true culinary gems.

Located just outside San Rafael, within walking distance of both Amnesia and Privilege, Las Dos Lunas has been casting an ineffable spell over diners for years. Tucked away behind towering rustic walls, shaded by bountiful bougainvillea and drenched in a shameless cloak of romanticism, there’s just something about the setting here that sets it apart from other restaurants. That’s all part of its unique appeal, because while trends come and go, Las Dos Lunas remains true to its identity, and that’s what draws people back like magnets each and every summer.

Someone who’s played a pivotal role in the restaurant’s continuing allure is head chef Luciano, who has been at the helm of the creative kitchen since 2000. Hailing from Italy but with long periods spent in Germany, Scotland, and of course, Ibiza, he is proud to have created a menu that has stood the test of time, while also being able to showcase his natural flair for the craft. “The plates at Las Dos Lunas look very simple,” he explains. “But actually, they’re not simple at all. Our plates have taken inspiration from some of the world’s best restaurants.”

The deliciousness of each dish can in part be attributed to first class, organic ingredients, some of which are sourced from a local, ecological farm, but primarily what makes them sing is the chef’s passion for authenticity – all the dishes you eat at Las Dos Lunas are the real deal – there’s no need for fancy trickery when the recipe speaks for itself. “Everyone thinks that a Milanese is just breaded meat, but it’s not,” he smiles. “This is the only place on the island where you can eat a truly authentic Milanese. Or a risotto, or fresh pasta, or tomato sauce.”

For Chef Luciano, creating magic is all about the products used and the original spirit of a recipe. “We try to work without transforming too much, without changing the essence” he explains. “A fish needs to taste like a fish. Money has never been an issue when it comes to buying products, and this is reflected at Las Dos Lunas.” But he’s modest of course, because a menu’s success also lies with the aptitude of the chef. “I’ve been here for so many years that what’s on the menu now has been chosen out of 500 dishes,” he says. Nevertheless, two or three specials are still added to the list every day. “It comes from inside of me,” he adds. “I suppose it’s like an art.”

This all feeds back into the Las Dos Lunas ethos of purity. Here, they’re not chasing fame and fortune. It’s just all about the experience; the craftmanship. With this in mind, this year Las Dos Lunas has launched a menu in memory of the famous 19th century composer Gioachino Rossini, who was a well-known gourmet enthusiast. This one-off menu features an exquisite selection of carefully curated dishes: Meat Cannelloni, Tournedó Rossini, Chocolate Cake with lemon sorbet and mint, to be paired by Las Dos Lunas’s iconic Cocktail Rossini, a bubbling combination of champagne and strawberries.

Even this uniquely designed menu is rooted in Italian gastronomy. “The thing is, these are all things that my family at home would make,” explains Luciano. “My grandmother and mother would be in the kitchen making these dishes. I’ve grown up with these flavours.” He continues: “What’s important for us is to stay classic and traditional. We have no plans to modernise what we’re doing.” What you get at Las dos Lunas is food for the mind, body and the soul, and there’s nothing more iconic than that.