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A resident’s guide to Ibiza restaurants – Part 2

This week saw Ibiza shift into Phase Three of the Spanish government’s de-escalation plan, which gives islanders the freedom to enjoy the best Ibiza has to offer – as much of it that is open, for now, that is. More and more Ibiza restaurants are opening their doors, in a slightly more limited capacity and adhering to the new health, safety and social distancing protocols – we say the more the merrier. Below is part two of our two-part guide to the best places to eat in Ibiza in June, from Dalt Vila and Marina Botafoch to Santa Gertrudis, San Juan, San Lorenzo and San Rafael, plus more – watch this space for the best beach restaurants next week.

Can Mimosa Ibiza, Santa Gertrudis, Centre

When Pedro Cervero, Holly Rees Thomas and chef Tim Payne opened their gorgeous finca restaurant Can Mimosa Ibiza this time last year, they had planned to become a year-round hub for island residents seeking great quality food, warm service and an all-round laid-back ambience that felt like the Ibiza of old. The restaurant celebrated its first birthday this week, after working hard throughout the lockdown to provide home delivery to hungry islanders in isolation – from Sunday roasts to barbecue packs and ready-made meals. Thankfully now, Can Mimosa Ibiza is now open to one and all, from Tuesday to Saturday from 1pm to 5pm for lunch, then again from 7pm to 11pm for dinner. Sundays is an all-day lounge-around lunch affair from 1pm for the roast and barbecue. There’s a daily menu del dia, a new seasonal evening menu and all-day fish and chips on Fridays, all to be enjoyed in the charming garden – its status as island social hub has been immediately resumed.

Visit the Can Mimosa website to read more and request a table.

Nagai, San Lorenzo, North East

From week one of the lockdown, the team at Nagai remained busy feeding Ibiza’s sushi and fusion cuisine lovers – albeit via home delivery. These days, Chef Reina is still in her kitchen but now customers are allowed to come to her, from 7.30pm to late from Monday to Saturday. Start with a bespoke cocktail by the bar, then take a seat on the starlit terrace, where you can feel right at home as you choose between the island’s best sushi and sashimi, and signature Nagai dishes such as Japanese curry, tempura langostinos and veggies, fennel tartare, agedashi tofu, beef pad kra pao, black cod, karaage and so much more. There’s a true sense of community amongst the Nagai regulars – you can be sure to see someone you know, in addition to being warmly welcomed like an old friend by the team.

Kasamore, Mikasa Ibiza, Marina Botafoch, Ibiza

Perched on an unassuming little corner on the cusp of Marina Botafoch, Mikasa Ibiza is a boutique hotel that welcomes islanders – and later, people from all over the globe – to enjoy its two chic terraces, complete with views over the Marina and to Dalt Vila. The venue, which is normally open all year round, reopened its restauarnt Kasamore last week to the happiness of residents looking for a place to enjoy sundowner cocktails and Mediterranean classics like mussels with marinara sauce, grilled fresh carabineros, Andaluz style calamari or a hearty Burrata salad. There’s also delicious rice dishes, such as lobster risottos, mushroom and truffle risotto or linguini with pesto, plus fresh fish, succulent cuts of meat and more. A daily menu del dia is an affordable way to tuck into three courses, while bespoke cocktails and a great wine list are ideal to wash it down. Be sure to either arrive or stay for sunset – the views are incredible.

Shamarkanda, San Juan, North West

Like a glowing beacon on the left hand side of the road as you’re heading up to San Juan, Shamarkanda is a fusion restaurant of epic proportions, offering a soulful collection of dishes from all around the world, hopping from cultures, flavours and textures for a one-of-a-kind dining experience in Ibiza. Now open from Fridays to Sundays, from midday until late, the gorgeous space is ideal for catching up with friends for a sunny lunch or a decadent dinner alike. Fridays in June are ‘Gastro Fridays’, with a special set menu on offer for just 18€, designed to showcase the new 2020 menu. On Sundays, enjoy live music in the garden – which has been laid out to respect the new social distancing measures of course – from 4.30pm. Reservations are essential.

Wild Beets, Santa Gertrudis, Centre

If comfort eating during lockdown has got you seeking a more healthy alternative back out in the ‘real’ world, or if you’re naturally a vegan or plant-based food enthusiast, Wild Beets in Santa Gertrudis serves up some of the most creative and taste sensational healthy food in Ibiza. An institution in Ibiza for its iPurify juice cleanses, raw desserts and of course, its tasty plant-based menu, Wild Beets is also a hub for parents on the post-school run hunt for somewhere to catch up with friends, check emails or just enjoy a great meal. While school runs are a thing of the distant past right now, that’s no reason not to return to your favourite healthy eatery – open from 10am until 8pm daily, plus… kids are always welcome!

Visit the White Ibiza restaurant guide to read more and request a table at Wild Beets

Casa Maca, Ibiza, South East

In just two short winter seasons (literally in the case of 2020, which was unexpectedly cut m-u-c-h shorter than the first), Casa Maca’s in-house restaurant has established itself as the place to eat, drink and socialise in the off-season, as well as in summer. The impressive open-air barbecue is the major drawcard, along with fresh veggies plucked directly from the onsite farm. Dine alfresco on the fairy-lit terraces, which make it easy to be responsible and socially distanced from the next-door table, and take in the iconic view of Dalt Vila in the distance – if that’s not enough to make you swear allegiance to your island home after all these months indoors, well… perhaps the Balearic soundtrack will help you get a little teary-eyed. Just a few minutes outside of Ibiza town, Casa Maca has plenty of parking and is easy to access from anywhere on the island – opening on Friday June 12, 2020, reservations are highly recommended. For the next few weeks, the restaurant will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7pm.

Visit the White Ibiza restaurant guide to read more and request a table at Casa Maca

Finca La Plaza, Santa Gertrudis, Centre

Just a little over a week until hip Santa Gertrudis hangout Finca La Plaza reopens its stylish little picket gate to island residents. Put Friday June 19, 2020 in your diary – and we’d advise you to make a reservation too, as openings are proving to be very popular right now – and call on your nearest and dearest in Ibiza to join you in the beautiful garden restaurant, where festoon lights hang casually between palm trees and the scent of the grill wafting out from the kitchen is one of the most deliciously tantalizing aromas you’ve ever experienced. With a Mediterranean focus, all dishes are made using season, local and organic produce where possible. This is not just another farm-to-table claim to fame – Finca La Plaza work with local farmers to source their high quality payes chicken, spring lamb and more, only looking to the mainland and beyond when it can’t be found in Ibiza. Support our local farmers, by supporting the restaurants they supply.

The Giri Café, San Juan, North West

It’s been a long time between lunches at The Giri Café – the gorgeous garden restaurant in the heart of San Juan in the island’s north – and the news that it is reopening just in time for the famous Noche de San Juan on Tuesday June 23, 2020 has got island residents buzzing. While the charming little village won’t be able to host its regular fire-jumping Midsummer celebrations to celebrate the night of its patron saint, the restaurant’s re-opening will no doubt be lit – after the initial opening dinner, The Giri Café will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, for lunch and dinner. In addition to the beautiful garden space, the restaurant also boasts a spacious – and easily socially distanced – interior that’s ideal for those nights when it’s still a little cooler up north after dark. Reservations recommended.

La Veranda, San Lorenzo, North East

There are only a few tourist-free days for Ibiza residents to enjoy all the farm-to-fork goodness at La Veranda, the stunning countryside restaurant housed within the iconic Atzaró Agroturismo. When the hotel reopens on June 26, 2020, so too does the restaurant and its stunning onsite farm, bringing back lovely sunny lunches looking out over the orange grove. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t book a table at La Veranda once the borders are open – Atzaró has always welcomed locals and been a much-loved resident’s hangout over the years – it’s just that this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (we really hope it’s only once!) to simply relax with just your family, friends and fellow islanders and really savour these authentic Ibiza experiences without any rush or stress. Only 50% of the restaurant space will be used during this time too, so reservations are recommended.

Visit the White Ibiza restaurant guide to read more and request a table at La Veranda

A feast for the senses

Ibiza is an island that thrives on authenticity. Despite being a pioneer of the avant-garde, it remains true to its roots, carefully evolving rather than deviating too far away from the heritage that makes it unique. The island does, of course, get assistance from one-of-a-kind venues which dedicate themselves to preserving and maintaining the island’s true essence. The luxurious, rustic and authentic Agroturismo Atzaró is one such place and summer 2018 sees the iconic venue promising to weave together a magical gastronomic island experience. Nestled deep in the heartland of the Ibiza campo, among pastoral hills that hum to the sound of fertility and 10 hectares of zesty, fragrant orange groves, Agroturismo Atzaró is a true island gem. Offering that hard to come by combination of purity alongside absolute luxury, the hotel has long been admired and adored by locals and visitors alike. After a recent re-launch – in which a series of renovations were made to take advantage of its stunning rural location and typical Ibicenco architecture – it’s even more exclusive than ever. This season and beyond, Atzaró will be indulging hotel guests and visitors more than ever before.

Take La Veranda, for example. Agroturismo Atzaró’s beautiful onsite restaurant is already known island-wide for delicious organic dishes and a relaxed, bucolic setting, but this year it’s been elevated even further into the upper echelons of dining. On a hot summer’s day, take a stroll around the spectacular grounds, feel the warm breeze on your face as the aroma of orange blossoms floats past, and and then head to La Veranda for a lunch spent delving into plate after plate of first class gastronomy. It’s a luxurious feast for all the senses. Naturally, the quality of produce and culinary flair at La Veranda is unparalleled. Stop by for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or try the beautifully fresh Healthy Veranda Menu (available from 1pm to 4pm every day), which includes three starters, a main and a dessert for the extremely reasonable price of 30€ per person. It’s all to be savoured in La Veranda’s stunning setting, an alfresco terrace ensconced by rustic walls, archways entwined with gorgeous vines, and the intoxicating scent of local, indigenous herbs from the organic garden.

The menu itself also takes inspiration from these same traditional Ibicenco flavours, spruced up on the plate with a modern, Mediterranean twist. To start, try dishes like Iberico ham focaccia, cod croquettes with ajoarriero and pil pil, and a quirky twist on the classic patatas bravas. From the garden, tuck into grilled vegetables with celery puree, aubergine and romesco sauce, Burratina with pesto, tomato salad and homemade jam, and an Ibicenco favourite – tomato gazpacho with pickled mussels. For something more filling, try the fideuà with prawns and mushroom alioli, or risotto with vegetables from the garden and tous des tylers cheese. The myriad of delectable options doesn’t end there. From the sea, sample inventive dishes like squid served with ham, apple and osmotised celery, tuna tartar with artichoke, Nipon style, or grilled turbot with potatoes and mojo picón sauce. From the farm, try the hearty shoulder of lamb cooked at low temperature with truffled parmentier, or the divine free-range chicken terrine with plumb crumble, dried apricot and pine nuts praline. In terms of outstanding flavour, there’s simply too much to choose from.

High summer 2018 sees the iconic venue launch its Summer Garden Restaurant, in addition to La Veranda – a concept that sees Atzaró extend its culinary offerings into the stunning paved courtyard during the enchanting Ibiza night for a very exclusive limited period, promising to weave together a magical island experience. Every night until the end of August sees a special event take place in the luxurious gardens, with live music, exhibitions or DJs as part of the Summer Vibe programme. There’s always stimulation for the eyes and mind to be found at Agroturismo Atzaró. This summer, the hotel hosts exhibitions from internationally acclaimed photographer Jimmy Nelson, who’s bringing his ‘Homage to Humanity’ project to the space, as well as contemporary photographer Rohit Chawla, who’ll also be showcasing his work. As ever, Agroturismo Atzaró continues to forge the way with an innovative eye for detail that showcases all that’s wonderful about this island and everything it has to offer. Experiences don’t come any more authentic than this.

Visit the Ibiza restaurants guide to read more and reserve a table at La Veranda
A midsummer night’s dream

Rare – because it’s only open at night during July and August, a true midsummer night’s dream. Beautiful – because have you seen Atzaró? And prized because it’s a sanctuary, attended only by those in the know. If David Attenborough did a documentary about restaurants his dulcet tones would turn positively excited about La Veranda on a summer’s night. Crisp white tablecloths are dressed with vases of wildflowers; lanterns swing from the branches and bushes in lush pockets of greenery. Huge circular pendant lights hang from the pergola casting a warm glow over the refined yet relaxed space, shadows from the palm trees are playfully reflected in the content faces of fellow diners. There’s something really special going on here, something that many attempt to imitate but few are able to achieve.

Starting with a cocktail is the perfect way to ease into the occasion. Resident mixologist and all round cocktail obsessive, Rubén Ruivo, presents a beautifully curated list of his greatest creations and classics. The Umami is concocted with premium sake infused with cucumber and a splash of Atzaro’s homemade organecello – like limoncello but made with oranges grown in the garden directly behind the restaurant. It goes perfectly with anything but comes into its own when accompanied by a sushi board. When ordering Rock & Ron make sure you watch the making. A cup is placed over burning cinnamon. A few slices of ginger, a splash of Kraken rum, a little cane sugar and a squeeze of lime are shaken with ice. As the cup is lifted, the smoky cinnamon aroma is captured by the icy liquid and topped with Thomas Henry ginger beer. A tiny cup of dehydrated pineapple is added as a sweet, crispy counterpart. Lift cup, sip, and relax…

The La Veranda menu has its roots in the Mediterranean with some delightful side trips through Asia and South America. Appetisers come under the title ‘Something to nibble’ and are straight up Spanish delicacies including Santoña anchovies, homemade croquetas, morcilla from Burgos, grilled red prawns and the highest quality hand sliced jamón. Enjoy these as a little pre-dinner snack with an aperitivo. Entrées are where things start to really infuse the Atzaró vibe. Bright beetroot and watermelon gazpacho with kefir and sauerkraut is refreshing and delicious. Sweet and savoury combine beautifully in the foie micuit with figs, onion jam and torrija – a traditional eggy toast. Three hearty salads are designed to be enjoyed by one or more, plus the creamy burratina makes it difficult for your dinner companions to keep their forks away.

Even though there are touches of the traditional about La Veranda, diners can feel free to break away from convention and order a bunch of mains to share at the table. The sushi boards are as varied as they are colourful and make a perfect beginning to the rest of the taste bud popping show. Don’t forget to order sushi with the aforementioned Umami cocktail – a match made in heaven. Moving right along to the ceviche, which is served in a whole fresh coconut shell where succulent sea bass and cubes of sweet potato swirl in a piquant and perfectly sharp chilled broth. The red tuna is tender and thinly sliced and comes resting on a dense dashi consommé accompanied by crispy sesame crackers. Order as much as the table can fit because the scallops and rotja are also divine.

Beef sirloin is served with three Jerusalem artichokes stuffed with a creamy filling sitting atop homemade kimchi – this dish is surely the La Veranda signature. Or perhaps La Veranda has created a whole menu of signature dishes when you consider the local sucking pig and the marinated rack of lamb. Plus everything is a work of art, even the olives and aioli comes out with the daintiest scattering of miniature red and purple petals. As if magic really does exist, an elegant gentleman sits alongside a young man with a guitar. A gentle beat emanates from his weathered hands. This enigmatic character begins to sing a Flamenco deeply rooted in the culture of Sa Penya – the neighbourhood under Dalt Villa where he resides. The ambience is electric with the knowledge that something unique and authentic is being transmitted via his heartfelt song.

Eventually the musicians move to the bar area where more cocktails, drinks and snacks are on offer at oversized sofas and beds. The atmosphere is so alive with joyfulness that it’s not long before everyone is up and dancing to shouts of olé. No doubt later on the resident DJ will continue the festivities but for now everyone is in the moment, one they know few other tourists will ever get to experience. Except the lucky ones, of course…

Made with love

The interior dining room glows with an antique chic, a dash of modern colonial and laidback Mediterranean style. Head chef Lucia Ferrer has spent the winter travelling and percolating ideas for the new season menu, which is as fresh and exciting as ever. “I love to travel,” says Lucia. “Every place I go I always bring something back with me and add our own Mediterranean touch, or really, I should say an Ibicenco touch.” The 2017 La Veranda menu is testament to her imaginative cuisine and illustrates her deep respect for the produce of the island. “When it comes down to it, I just love it here,” she says of her role in the restaurant. “Everything is made with love.” Which also pretty much sums up what Agroturismo Atzaró is all about.

New dishes on the menu this year cover the gamut of everyone’s preferred local ingredients. Grilled octopus has been a favourite of Mediterranean fishermen for millennia and Lucia’s version brings it full circle into the Atzaro vibe. Juicy, locally caught octopus sits on a bed of mashed yellow potatoes with tender vegetables, all of which are suffused with a smoky, chilli piquancy. It’s a classic dish brought to a whole new level. Another of Lucia’s favourites are the chicken tacos, a dish inspired by her travels through South and Central America. “We are very particular about the provenance of the chicken we use,” she says. “It is always free range, country raised. The tacos are so simple yet so tender.” They’re served with tomato tartar, fresh avocado and the sweetness of pineapple to bring out the flavours.

Sweet and delicate Santoña anchovies served with Arbequina infused tomatoes are another delicious example of a Spanish classic done to perfection. Lucia describes the Bluefin tuna from Galicia as “spectacular” and is particularly enamoured with this year’s local red prawns, which she sends out with potatoes and suquet. “We use produce from the island – a lot of it from our own gardens,” she says. “My inspiration comes from the natural flavours of local, seasonal produce. I love simple things.” This is Lucia’s fourth year at the helm of the La Veranda kitchen and she is as enthusiastic as ever. Overseeing the two daytime menus, plus events and fine dining offerings in July and August, she has developed a keen sense of what people are looking for. “It’s very intuitive,” she says of evolving the Atzaro menus. “This is my place. I instinctively know what is going to work”. This year, that means creating a new daytime menu that reflects the changing ways clients’ view food and wellbeing.

Working with Oliver Morgado Alfonso, a long-time friend and now collaborator, Lucia has launched a new daytime menu available on the terraces, in the pool area, spa and for delivery to the private villas of the hotel. The theme is based on the principles of Ayurveda, an ancient Hindu system of medicine that balances the body using food, herbs and conscious intent. It may sound complicated but the culinary results are completely sublime. “We put a lot of intention behind the preparation and development of each dish,” says Oliver. “Each ingredient carries a healing property and acts as preventative medicine.” Despite, or perhaps because of, this intention the menu is brimming with healthy, light and incredibly delicious dishes. “We wanted to continue on from the theme of wellness that stems from the Atzaró Spa,” adds Lucia. “Its about people relaxing, sharing a plate by the pool or on the terrace and knowing that it is good for them as well as being tasty.”

Contrary to preconceptions, Ayurveda does not mean vegetarian and the menu features a Vitamin C Antiox salad of langoustines with wakame seaweed, pomelo, edamame, spouts and chlorophyll alongside Oliver’s favourite Revitalising Cold Soup made with coconut, turmeric, garlic, ginger, avocado, and hemp salt. “It’s probiotic,” he says. “All the ingredients are in harmony both at a health level and a taste level.” Regular La Veranda diners can still get their classic Atzaró dishes, such as the juicy Hamburger Duo – one made with legumes and the other with ‘happy’ Wagyu beef. And the Peruvian Ceviche remains a lunchtime pleasure, as are the popular Beef Tacos and Falafel Royal. As always behind the innovation and imagination at La Veranda lies a Mediterranean heart and soul. Lucia sums the Atzaro concept perfectly: “In the end, people do want to try new things as well as their favourites. For me it is always about fresh, quality ingredients and love.”

The cool pool

As readers of my blog would know by now, I live within the beautiful ancient fortress walls of Dalt Vila. And I love it. But I have to admit, there is one thing that my esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site address is missing… and it’s something I can’t live without.

A swimming pool! But of course, I’m not planning on moving… err, EVER… so over the years I have learned to compromise! Sure, I know the beach is great, the beach is close by and Ibiza’s beaches are among the best in the world, but let’s face it – some days you just don’t want to get sand in your shoes (and the rest!). Surprisingly, there are very few swimming pools in Ibiza that are open to the general public (with the exception of the child-filled, over-chlorinated public pools that I wouldn’t dare dip my toe in!)… but there is one, that is considered an islander’s best kept secret, an oasis in the middle of the countryside that I make a point of visiting as often as I can.

Ladies and gentlemen, without any further ado, I give you… Agroturismo Atzaro!

 What? I hear you think. Isn’t that just for hotel guests? No my friends, Atzaro is for everyone! All you have to do is ask*… (click here to request time at the Atzaro pool through White Ibiza) And the best part is, it’s not just one pool you get to use, it’s TWO!

I love Atzaro. To me, it is pure and simple Ibiza magic. As I start driving up the dusty camino that leads towards the hotel, I feel as if I am on holiday. And sometimes, despite what people think, here in Ibiza, we need a holiday from our daily lives!

So it was a sunny Ibiza Saturday when chief White and myself (plus little miss mini-White) decided we were definitely in need of some sun, a good healthy meal and all-round relaxation, so we made ourselves a booking and made haste to San Juan! We could even use the excuse that we were there for research, checking out the location of our upcoming fashion show on July 23!

First stop: Atzaro Spa, where we collected our towels and locker keys and grabbed ourselves the premium spot on the oversized cushions at the end of the pool (well, it’s my favourite of all the day beds, anyway – you can choose your own!). From here, you get a birds eye view straight across the beautiful, glimmering lap pool, finishing with the blaze of bougainvillea that covers the hotel walls. Not a bad place to set up camp for the day, especially once I had a strawberry daiquiri in my hand!

After a quick dip to cool off (high summer is well and truly here now), we basked in the sunlight for an hour or so before our tummies (and our little person) reminded us there was a restaurant awaiting our arrival, so it was off to La Veranda – which now has a much-appreciated cover over the terrace for those who (like us) love an alfresco experience.

Our starters arrived first, a pretty little jar of beetroot gazpacho, a millet and red pepper salad plus a smoked tofu dip with homemade bread – having walked past the Atzaro vegetable gardens just a few moments before, we knew the ingredients were as fresh as they could possibly be, having been plucked from the earth that very morning!

Agroturismo Atzaró, Ibiza hotel

For the main meal, a melt-in-your-mouth ravioli of artichoke and ricotta, with fresh rocket and a coconut brown rice risotto with fresh boletus mushrooms. We were served beautiful flavoured water, with cucumber, strawberry and mint but since it was a Saturday and all… we ordered a lovely bottle of icy cold rose to wash down our meals.

Just for the record, our mini-me tucked into the kid’s menu special penne Napolitana and gave it her mini tick of approval. With a chocolate shake, which, by the sounds of the slurps coming from our little companion, was pretty tasty indeed.

Dessert was a delicious mango mousse, with a side of fresh berries and by this stage I was feeling a serious need for a lie down. Lucky we were just metres from the hotel swimming pool… where we took the closest three sun loungers and proceeded to drift off in the warm late afternoon sunshine (after a hefty application of sunscreen of course).

I cannot tell you enough how much I love this pool. It instantly transports you to that holiday feeling, an escape from reality and has an instantly calming effect on me. Surrounded by beautiful palm trees, with the sounds of frogs in the lily pond, sheep in the field and Balearic music playing on the cabana bar stereo… there’s just something about it that you can’t get anywhere else. Not even Dalt Vila.