Ibiza foodies

The beating heart of the Marina – IT Ibiza

IT Ibiza is the beating heart of the Marina Botafoch dining scene, where islanders gather with their chosen family to celebrate the magic of everyday life in Ibiza.

Making an indelible mark in the kitchen at IT Ibiza in Marina Botafoch is Michelin-starred new executive chef Francesco Sodano. With music respect to his homeland and IT Ibiza's culinary roots, Sodano's new menu plays tribute to Italy, the Mediterranean and Ibiza.

Kristie Rogers | Photos: Luana Failla

Strolling through Marina Botafoch at sunset is a quintessential summer experience. Whether you’ve just stepped off your boat, fresh from a day in Formentera, you’re passing through for a sunset aperitivo, or it’s your main destination for dinner, nothing beats the feeling of breathing in the fresh sea air while gazing across the harbour at the iconic old town skyline. As the lights of Dalt Vila begin to twinkle and the sun’s glow starts to fade into shades of peach, pink and lavender overhead, there’s one dining destination on the waterfront that has become truly synonymous with the experience: IT Ibiza.

The Italian fine dining destination has long been known for its exceptional cuisine – locally sourced seasonal produce, fresh fish and seafood from the Mediterranean, and select ingredients from Italy – and bespoke cocktails, along with one of the best wine cellars on the island. Also beloved for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, IT Ibiza is well and truly the beating social heart of the Marina. Here, friends from across the island (and the world) come together to catch up on the beautiful terrace, knowing they’ll be greeted and treated like family, while crossing paths with other like-minded islanders and forging new friendship bonds at the same time. The same close-knit vibes continue behind the scenes, as the loyal IT Ibiza team have worked together for many years – brothers and sisters in arms, they consider each other their ‘chosen family’.

Making an indelible mark in the kitchen at IT Ibiza in Marina Botafoch is Michelin-starred new executive chef Francesco Sodano.

When IT Ibiza first opened its stylish doors in Marina Botafoch in 2015, it quickly cemented its reputation as the place to be, night after night, all year round. Thanks to its combination of contemporary design, a frontline harbour setting with breath-taking views of Dalt Vila, world-class cuisine, impeccable service and a carefully curated soundtrack, the fine dining restaurant continually attracts discerning foodies from across the globe, cosmopolitan jetsetters and in-the-know island residents. Eventually, the IT experience became so in-demand that the brand expanded into five additional style-setting locations: London, Milan, Tulum, Mykonos and Porto Cervo.

The flagship outpost in Ibiza remains the jewel in the crown of the IT Restaurants empire, and this season sees it raise the gastronomic stakes as Italian-born, Michelin-starred chef Francesco Sodano joins the ranks as new executive chef – yet again, IT Ibiza is the talk of the island. This exciting new hire is further proof that the restaurant takes its position in the Ibiza culinary world seriously – rather than rest on its well-established laurels, the team are always evolving, relentlessly striving for excellence, and forever seeking to give their customers an unforgettable experience and even more reasons to return.

Hailing from the Campania region in southern Italy, Sodano grew up in a family of foodies, restaurateurs and chefs, and spent years spent traversing Italy perfecting his craft in high-end restaurants of Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Rome to gain experience in specialities such as molecular gastronomy, sous vide, baking and pastry. He credits his mentor, the famed Michelin-starred chef Anthony Genovese of two-starred restaurant Il Pagliaccio, with developing his management skills while working alongside the legendary Pierfranco Ferrara in the same kitchen.

Before being lured to the white isle in 2023 by IT Ibiza, Sodano took on high-level roles at the renowned Nikita Malibu in Los Angeles, Quattro Passi in London’s Green Park, Annabel’s in Mayfair and the award-winning Enoteca Turiin Sloane Square. It was on his return to Italy that Sodano was awarded his first Michelin star, during his tenure at Il Faro de Capo d’Orso Maiori in Salerno. Here, he also received three Cappelli from Guida L’Espresso (the Italian equivalent of the Michelin Guide) and many other accolades that made him one of the most in-demand chefs in Europe.

With much respect to his homeland and IT Ibiza’s culinary roots, Sodano’s new menu plays tribute to Italy, the Mediterranean and Ibiza.

Sodano’s creative new à la carte menu elevates the IT Ibiza fine dining experience to new heights. Constantly innovating, he works with varied techniques such as smoking, fermentation and oxidation, while always allowing authentic flavours to shine. Take the IT Fish Market menu for example, where the purity of raw carabineros, plump red Ibiza prawns or Gillardeau oysters need little in the way of enhancement – although Caviar Beluga Giaveri is the perfect accompaniment. Delicate carpaccios and tartares are perfect for sharing on hot summer nights – the smoked amberjack carpaccio with pickled vegetables and josper mayonnaise is a standout, as is the savoury twist on Mediterranean bluefin tuna tartare with tomato foam, capers and olives.

Lovers of classic Italian cuisine will find it hard to bypass the crunchy aubergine parmigiana, while eagle-eyed foodies will spy the meunière baby squid with sautéed glasswort or the josper artichoke with free-range local egg, potato mousse and summer truffle as must-try starters. An extensive pasta menu is an ode to Sodano’s homeland – and IT Ibizas heritage – ranging from the classic (and exceptional) spaghetti pomodoro and basil to the more decadent linguine with sea urchins and caviar. Fresh off the charcoal grill are dishes like the mighty tomahawk steak, a juicy Angus ribeye, giant langoustines and either Balearic or blue lobster, plus the fresh catch of the day.

The chef’s passion for pastry and baking is evident on the dessert card, with a tropical-inspired (and gluten-free) coconut mousse with mango and passionfruit sitting alongside the seriously addictive banana split and bourbon pie; or the mouthwatering hazelnut ingot. With this innovative new menu and an ambitious new chef (Sodano makes no secret of his desire to earn more Michelin stars in the not-too-distant future) in their arsenal, there’s no doubt IT Ibiza is one of the island’s hottest culinary addresses right now.

And speaking of addresses – the restaurant’s harbourside location is undoubtedly the best place in Ibiza to take in unparalleled views of the jaw-dropping St Ciriac fireworks display this Tuesday night (August 08, 2023) – reservations are essential to experience sparks flying in both the kitchen and the sky. The annual event celebrating the patron saint of Ibiza culminates at midnight, when the sky above Dalt Vila is illuminated with thousands of colourful and creative fireworks. Front row seats at IT Ibiza are the perfect place to enjoy the spectacle with a glass of Champagne, fine wine or a cocktail, and the ideal way to wrap up a sumptuous summer feast.