In many aspects, Santa Gertrudis, in the centre of Ibiza, is similar to most of the villages around the island, there’s very much a community feel about the place, everyone knows everyone and activity is centred around the main square, which sits in front of the old church. One way is does differ, however, is the unusually high number, for its size, of quality eateries on offer. The village is blessed with an abundance of fine dining experiences and tonight, as we walk across the square with the last of the sunshine casting a long shadow, we are off to Musset, a long time favourite of the Essential crew and one of the most popular cafe/ restaurants on the island.
Musset has played a significant role in the early life of Essentialibiza; it’s the place we spent most of the early summer last year getting the website ready for its launch and has continued to act as an office away from our office ever since. The staff treat everyone like a part of their extended family, the atmosphere is always happy and positive and it is a great environment to be in, whether you are getting some work done, grabbing an early morning coffee, a sandwich at lunch, meeting up with friends and neighbours or, as we are tonight, sampling some of the extensive offerings from the delicious dinner menu.
We are more of the Musset day time crowd, having rarely sampled its evening ambiance but as we get comfortable and have a look through the menu, I have to say, it’s a great place to be sat as the sun disappears. There’s a real calmness about the village and Musset provides the perfect spot to enjoy it. It’s great to be enjoying the restaurant without our laptops and mobile’s, we get a chance to appreciate the surroundings and enjoy a bit of banter with the staff. As Roberto pops open the first bottle of Rose, we decide on our starters; gazpacho soup Musset for Nic the trusty snapper, VIP Keith opted for padron peppers topped with parmesan, Charlie went straight to the beef carpaccio with parmesan and rocket while I decided on the beef skewers with the interestingly named chimmychurry sauce.
The first bottle of rose didn’t last too long as we discussed the weeks leading up to the launch last summer and the hours that were spent in the back of Musset, writing copy, going through images and building sections of the website in preparation for launch, feels like a million years ago now and not just over a year! The food arrives and the chat promptly comes to an end. We have been eating here for the best part of two summers so we are well aware of the ability that resides in the Musset kitchen, our starters, however, take things up another level. As with most food reviews we all try a bit of each other’s, Nic, clearly the smartest of us all, gets to eat his all to himself before assuring us it was amazing. My chimmychurry sauce is delicious, I contemplated drinking the remainder of it once I had polished off the beef skewers but managed to show some restraint.
As we grab a quick break before the main course, Bianca, Musset owner, drops in and says hello, and makes sure everything is going well. It’s that kind of attention to detail and friendly attitude that makes Musset one of the most popular destinations on the island. You can often spot other Ibiza business owners dropping by regularly to enjoy the café. French photographer Jerome Ferrier has also spotted us sitting at our table and comes to join us for a glass of wine, the village really is the perfect place to be located, friends can be found around every corner. When just enough time has passed the main courses arrive; wok with prawns, vegetables and jazmin rice for NIc, meat ravioli with Bolognese sauce for VIP Keith, roasted tuna with sesame and seaweed for Chazmondo and the famous Musset beef burger for myself. All the other dishes looked fantastic but my I have to say, my burger, complete with ham, fried egg, salad and fries was the biggest feast. I could hardly breath after it.
Musset sits on the side of the playground, halfway down the street that runs away from the main square in Santa Gertrudis and offers al fresco dining on its cool terrace or the option to enjoy the air conditioned inside, where you have the choice of two levels and one of the best floors that you will see anywhere on the planet! Roberto has a huge grin on his face as he sees us struggle to move after the main courses, and as he delivers a third bottle of rose he suggests we take a look at the dessert menu. Knowing that you would want to know about the Musset desserts we decide to push through and go for one last course. Brownie, apple tart, carrot cake and a vanilla slice duly ordered we take a well-earned rest.
Musset is getting busy now, all of the tables outside on the terrace are taken and there are a few tables inside reserved for later. It’s not an unusual occurrence; tables are at a premium during the day as people from the village mix with islanders that don’t think twice before travelling for their daily fix of the café. Desserts arrive and are devoured in no time; no thoughts this time round of sharing our choices with each other. Having been part of the Musset furniture for the best part of two years during the day, the amazing experience at dinner tonight may just have converted us to night time customers. The service is its usual great self and the place takes on a whole new feeling when the sun goes down. After saying our goodbye’s we walk back to Essential HQ, one of the other perks of having some of the best eateries on our doorstep. You’ve got to love Santa Gertrudis!
C/ S’escola, 8
07814 Sta. Gertrudis
t: (+34) 971 197 671