If the bohemian demimonde of late 19th century Paris went on holiday with David Lynch and a Michelin Star chef, they would no doubt congregate at El Silencio Ibiza. Now in its second season, the darling of Ibiza’s beach club scene – set on the silky sands of Cala Molí on Ibiza’s west coast and founded by Arnaud Frisch – has reopened in 2022 with new menus, new cocktails and new concepts. While you might not see Toulouse-Lautrec types sipping absinthe on the sand, you’ll certainly get a Lynchian vibe and a Michelin-worthy meal. This beach-club-meets-art-space continues to break all the rules in true bohemian style.
In keeping with the dynamism of its sister locations – the eponymously named nightclub in Paris and Silencio de Pres, a restaurant, cinema and event space – El Silencio Ibiza takes the concept of an Ibiza beach club and turns it on its head, creating a place not just to see and be seen but one where the experience encompasses a full spectrum of creative moments. From the front of house, and the back of house (quite literally – this is where the pool is located), to behind the decks, the bar and most importantly, in the kitchen – every single element at El Silencio Ibiza has been carefully orchestrated to gracefully exist in harmony.
Making his Ibiza debut in the El Silencio Ibiza kitchen this season is esteemed chef Mauro Colagreco, alongside his very good friend Federico Desseno and together, the duo helm a menu steeped in fire. Colagreco hails from Argentina and is best known for his three Michelin starred restaurant Mirazur on the Côte d’Azur, which was awarded best restaurant in the world in 2019, while his restaurant Ceto in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin was recently awarded its very first star. Meanwhile, Desseno is known for his skills on the grill and clay-pot cooking, in addition to his role as a judge on Fuego Sagrado, a Uruguayan reality TV show searching for the best amateur barbecue cook. Their shared passion for fire means the new season menu at El Silencio Ibiza is a deep dive into the mastery of the grill.
Whether you stroll in barefoot, straight from swimming in the sea, for a quick snack or sail in from the Med for an extended lunch or dinner, every occasion at El Silencio Ibiza should start with a cocktail. Award winning mixologist Remy Savage blends his French-Irish roots and audacious style into the most sublime libations – think local ingredients mixed into liquid flavour bombs and old-style classics reimagined for the stunning beach club setting. One part bartender and one part philosopher, this much-admired magician is in the business of expanding minds through the medium of drinks, and his creations only serve to complement the culinary adventures ahead.
The guiding philosophy of El Silencio Ibiza is to deliver a casual excellence, evidenced in its rustic chic setting, creative menu and artistic flair.
With cocktails in hand, it’s always advisable to share a few pre-meal snacks at El Silencio Ibiza. Red peppers stuffed with piquant and creamy Scamorza cheese and a plate of hand-cut jamón instantly evokes a Mediterranean vibe, perfectly complemented with a few select dishes from the Crudo de Mar menu. Perhaps the shrimp aguachile with crunchy Granny Smith apple, cucumber, coriander and chilli or the classic Peruvian ceviche, or why not both? The sea bass tiradito with yellow ají and crispy quinoa will be hard to resist, just like the baked beetroot with fried garlic, Manchego and orange and thyme sauce. And that’s just the beginning…
Main dishes reflect the abundance of excellent produce available in Ibiza which, combined with the fiery skills of Colagreco and Desseno, creates a culinary kaleidoscope matched only by the colours of the sun as it sets over the beach. Given Desseno’s mid-pandemic shift to an almost entirely vegetarian diet, there are clay-pot plant-based dishes that vie with Colagreco’s extraordinary choice of meat, seafood and fresh fish – El Silencio Ibiza appeals to all appetites and dietary requirements alike.
Dishes reflect the abundance of fresh produce available in Ibiza, creating a culinary kaleidoscope matched only by the colours of the Cala Molí sunset.
Sizzling and smoking from lunchtime through until late (El Silencio Ibiza is already open for lunch, and opens nightly for dinner from June 1), the blazing grill plays host to cuttlefish, crayfish, clams and carabineros; simultaneously, pulpo, seabass, lobster and turbot all dance across the flames before being whisked out to seaside tables to the delight of those dining with their feet in the sand. Desseno’s famous clay oven delivers the most delicate baked aubergines rolled with fresh ricotta, kale and gratin tomatoes. Fragrant and smoky with a creamy, mouth-watering texture, this dish pairs beautifully with the 300-gram beef sirloin cooked over fire and served with squash, grilled tomatoes and garlic.
Elsewhere, a vegetarian lasagna – layered with silky slices of eggplant, zucchini and spinach – and classic escabeche are exquisite options for vegetarians, and there are also hearty, home-style salads for those looking for a cool summer bite. But it’s prime cuts of meat where the El Silencio Ibiza grill really shines, and the smoking grill yields impressive three sharing plates calling for a table full of friends to share the gastronomic love. Choose between country chicken with sweet potatoes, guacamole and pico de gallo, in addition to lamb shoulder with rosemary potatoes, garlic and lemon spring greens, and notably, the Tomahawk T-bone with ash-baked onions, chimichurri and green salad.
From June 1, those taking a relaxed poolside position instead of opting for the seafront sandy floor of the restaurant (which as already open to much fanfare), the all-new tapas, pizza and flavour-filled snack menu created by chef Guillaume Sanchez is equally as delicious. Don’t miss the crispy fish sandwich with aioli, avocado, lettuce and tomato or the mushroom grill with garlic and mozzarella. The vegetarian salad bowl is perfect for lunch, as is the marinated salmon and wild rice. Naturally, when you have two Argentine chefs in charge there will be empanadas, and the three delectable versions of this classic South American staple at El Silencio Ibiza are heavenly.
The guiding philosophy of El Silencio Ibiza is to deliver a casual excellence. This is evident in the stunning setting designed by local architecture firm Moredesign. The vibe is rustic chic with long wooden tables and natural fibres used throughout. The team’s goal was to recreate the ambience of 1970s Ibiza when royalty mixed with rabble rousers in a devil-may-care attitude to having fun. While not quite as hedonistic as those halcyon days, the earth tones, textured surfaces and dappled lighting help create an otherworldly moment. The beach stretching out towards the sea acts as a continuation of the design, enveloping nature into the El Silencio Ibiza universe.
With its DNA rooted in the creative mind of David Lynch, El Silencio Ibiza is committed not only to the culinary arts but also to the visual arts. Following last year’s whimsical sea-themed art installation by Miranda Makaroff, the 2022 artist in residence is Brazilian born Samuel de Saboia. In his short 24 years, de Saboia has experienced enough heartache to last a lifetime. He processes his experience through a particular artistic language which traverses major concepts such as grief, death and pain as well as Blackness, joy, music and love. Working on a large scale, de Saboia’s work is a riot of colour and energy as he explores his own personal narrative which coalesces into universal themes. His piece for El Silencio Ibiza is yet to be unveiled but already as the art world buzzing.
Blending Ibiza style with Parisian chic, not to mention Argentinian flair and flames, El Silencio Ibiza embraces a deep sense of individualism, eschewing typical Ibiza beach club trends in favour of its own cutting-edge agenda. From bespoke cocktails, a menu rooted in innovation and tradition, and an artistic program promoting emerging artists from around the globe, to a full agenda of special events from poolside parties to musical extravaganzas dedicated to good times, this modern-day approach to bohemianism is nothing short of pure joie-de-vivre.