It’s Friday night, and now that the madness of August has passed and the summer season enters the last few weeks, we start to get the days of the week back, and the weekend is alive and kicking once more. What better way to start our weekend than with a trip into the countryside to Atzaro, as the hotel concept launches another party, Hot Ice, a mixture of food and grooves, promising the ultimate cabaret evening under the Ibiza stars every Thursday and Friday.
Atzaro’s garden restaurant is possibly my favourite dining experience on the island, although I have a few favourites, I think this one just pips everyone else. The setting is more Bali or Thailand than Ibiza, the attention to detail is meticulous, the staff are friendly but completely on the ball and the food is never anything short of perfect. As we come down the steps and into the garden, the first thing we notice is the giant tent that has been erected above it, covering the dining area and providing shelter for the slightly less predictable weather of September onwards. It’s Atzaro, so of course it looks amazing, it changes the look of the restaurant slightly and with some other minor changes, gives our favourite a new image for the last few weeks of its season, around mid October.
Tonight, it’s all about Hot Ice, the brand new Thursday and Friday night concept brought to us by White House Studios, combining eats and beats, with a live band delivering the music and the kitchen providing a set menu of delicious food, Atzaro has something for your mind, your body and your soul. This is a genius idea for me because the only problem I ever have when eating in Atzaro is trying to decide what to have, so amazing is the choice! I am also a big fan of being fed, I love when we get to a restaurant for a review and are told, have a seat and we will bring you a selection of food. Tonight promises to be a great evening. Before the food arrives we order some delicious cocktails to help us on our way, a mixture of Mojito’s, strawberry and normal.
As our first nibble arrives, Tuna Tataka, the house band for Hot Ice has started playing, the volume is perfect for the time of night and they deliver a cool, soulful background to our meal. They have clearly been playing together forever as they are as good as any band I’ve heard, playing their own soul and funk and breaking into mini cover versions every now and then that has us nodding along and singing in between bites. Next up on the menu is an amazing combination of Borrata with tomato jam and pesto with a thin crispy wafer, the quality of food and mixture of flavours has come a long way I the last few years and whoever concocted this delightful dish should be given the freedom of whichever city he or she is from.
The Hot Ice flyer invited us to eat, drink and get funky, the food is already being taken care of, we have since swapped the cocktail for a nice bottle of red and as the band delivers a wicked version of ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’, I can feel the feet moving beneath the table. There could be some dancing later on! When I think of a dinner dance, I think stuffy occasion, formal attire, cigar smoke, brandy and some regimented playlist but this is dinner dance Ibiza style, cool surroundings, lots of cool people casually chatting, enjoying some amazing food and the music washing over us, getting into our subconscious and ensuring that our feet take over when the time is right.
When the prefect amount of time has passed, allowing the second course to move on, the third arrives and it is a delicious piece of fish, Turbo to be precise. The flavour is amazing; it’s set on a bed of puree and a lightly spicy tomato dressing, another amazing flavour combination that ensures that the plates are cleared in quick time! The new food and music concept is yet another idea of the forward thinking that goes on behind the scenes at Atzaro. Here is a hotel concept that works, people love it, all it has to do is open its doors and people are more than happy to make the journey to the centre of the island but rather than rest on its success, it constantly evolves and offers it’s residents and friend more. Thursday and Friday nights look set to be a huge success, if tonight is anything to go by.
As the belt starts to tighten ever so slightly, the meat course arrives and it’s beef tenderloin with fig and strawberries. Cooked to perfection, the beef melts in the mouth, with the added bonus of the fig and strawberries providing a sweet flavour. The presentation of all the dishes is almost a work of art; it almost makes you hesitate before tucking in, almost. Back inside and the band is now tackling the Police, in their own funky way. With the band at one end of the inside area, comfortable couches surround the edges and the floor is ready for the dancing that will inevitably come, there is no way we can sit and listen to this amazing band al night and not get on the floor at some point, our feet just won’t allow it!
Just when you think that you’ve eaten more than your body weight and that you couldn’t possibly put another morsel of food into your mouth, dessert arrives. Chocolate cake with strawberry sorbet, sounds like a normal straightforward dessert right? Wrong! The thin slice of chocolate cake has a caramel flavour through it that gives it a kick, it should come with a warning, this could be the most addictive thing on this island! The cool strawberry sorbet s rich in flavour and compliments the chocolate cake perfectly and within seconds it has gone. Looking around at other tables that had been eating at the same pace as us I know exactly what they are all thinking. “Can I lick the plate without getting caught?”
Throughout our meal the band moved effortlessly between soul, funk, Spanish, African and even a little rock as they went about their business of providing background music. Now that the food has been served and devoured, people have started moving towards their domain, sitting around the couches, enjoying some after dinner drinks, sitting in the garden just outside the band room, enjoying the clear night sky and getting ready to hit the floor. The dancing is about to begin. Once again Atzaro has delivered a concept that makes you feel instantly at home, puts you at ease and lets you lose yourself in an evening designed for your maximum enjoyment. Thursday and Friday is all about eating the finest cuisine and enjoying the finest performance, see you on the dancefloor.