A starry night trickled with laughter, a joke shared over a table strewn with the remnants of an exquisite dinner, a tender kiss, electric with the scent of summer. In a culture filled with speedy entertainment options pulling us in all directions, finding those moments can seem rare. But there is one place where you are guaranteed to experience romance in its purest form: luxurious Ibiza boutique hotel Cas Gasi. Now open to non-guests (via reservation only), the divine Agroturismo is the embodiment of island elegance, radiating pleasure in a luscious rural setting.
Cas Gasi belongs to that class of grand European private hotels dedicated to the pursuit of discreet luxury and unique experiences. Owned and operated by the same family for decades, headed by Margaret von Korff, the ambience at Cas Gasi is worldly, bohemian in the true sense of the word, and constantly evolving. Over the past 18 months, Cas Gasi Restaurant has emerged into its own, delivering a fine-dining quality menu and exceptional service surrounded by the soothing gardens of this landmark hotel.
Stone steps lead to a petite courtyard scattered with a few tables and rattan shades dangle over a covered porch where armchairs and low tables present the perfect pre-dinner drink spot. Inside, past the immaculate and modern open kitchen, Cas Gasi Restaurant’s interior dining room is sunlit in the day and candlelit in the evening. Through arches, a small terrace contains romantic fairy-lit tables overlooking the garden and valley views – truly magical as the golden hour settles over the countryside and the sky begins its transformation into darkness at sunset.
Cas Gasi Restaurant at twilight is truly something special. The sun sets over the valley casting a rainbow of colours across the sky, birds flit by going about their evening rituals while the Cas Gasi staff light lanterns and candles. Dinner is irresistibly romantic, whether you are a couple or with friends. The gardens cast soft shadows, the scent of damp grass and jasmine waft on the breeze and everything seems to be right in the world. A carefully curated soundtrack of music floats across the airwaves – never too loud to hinder conversations, yet just obvious enough to garner appreciation.
An aperitivo as the moon rises over the hills is the perfect way to appreciate the beauty of the Cas Gasi grounds. The sommelier’s refined selection of wine has been calibrated to complement the flavours of the dishes and those wanting to try something local will be as delighted as those craving something from mainland Europe, including some of Spain’s best natural wines. The staff at Cas Gas Restaurant are understated and knowledgeable, offering just the right amount of attention.
Sharing starters at Cas Gasi Restaurant will allow you to taste the full gamut of the chefs’ expertise. The leek and almond praline tatin is a pleasing surprise, where confit leeks lie on a crisp pastry bed smothered in sweet praline – an unexpected combination that’s hard to beat as the flavours settle on the palate dancing between sweet and savoury. The tiradito of local sirvia and prawns is tangy and sharp in all the right places while the hotel’s famous homegrown tomatoes with house-pickled cucumber doused in a smoked tomato sauce are sublime.
Moving on to the mains, do not bypass the chlorophyll rice. Its creaminess is packed with fresh herbs, taken straight from the Cas Gasi garden that morning. Fragrant and comforting, it’s the ideal summer risotto. There’s a lot of talk these days about farm to table but Cas Gasi was one of the first hotels in Ibiza to establish an organic vegetable garden, well over 20 years ago. Today this expanded and well-established natural supermarket supplies the Cas Gasi Restaurant kitchen with much of its fresh produce – from the herbs within the risotto to seasonal Mediterranean vegetables, fresh eggs from happy hens and more.
The sea cucumber and black porc (local pork) terrine comes with crunchy celery, apple and mint salad while the lamb with roasted onion and is served on a purée of date and galangal. These two dishes alone bring the Cas Gasi Restaurant menu into the realm of Michelin territory. The free-range beef forerib, local salmonete and octopus are also likely to inspire you to make reservations for another night or two. One way to make the most of this secluded island restaurant is to order a degustation and request an alfresco table under the olive trees.
Ideal for a group, as well as a couple of lovebirds, dinner beneath a canopy of stars peeking through the branches of centenarian olive trees is a truly authentic Ibiza experience. Although they are hundreds of years old, the olive groves at Cas Gasi seem made for this kind of experience – the tinkling of laughter and the clinking of glasses marking joyous occasions ranging from engagements (how could she say no in this setting?) and birthdays, to weddings, anniversaries and reunions of all kinds. With the moon casting its glow, the cicadas buzzing in the distance and the feeling of being at one with nature, it’s one of the most magical settings on the island.
One of the things that make Cas Gasi stand out from other hotels is the feeling of being amongst family. And like family, the staff go above and beyond so don’t be shy in having a word with Margaret should there be any dietary concerns or if you require some assistance organising a special moment. The dishes on the Cas Gasi Restaurant menu come together in a symphony of flavours. At once familiar, with just enough innovation to experience something new and interesting, it’s clear every morsel is made with the same dedication and love for which the hotel itself is famous. Finally, Ibiza’s best-kept secret is open for all to enjoy.