Food For Thought

Posted on August 15, 2012

There really is no part of our work at Essentialibiza that we don’t enjoy doing, there are, however, some things that stand out from the rest and a visit to Atzaro Agrotourismo is right up there. This is a concept that takes staying in a hotel to a completely different level, one of the reasons that it is virtually impossible to get a booking throughout most of the summer, such is its popularity. Anyone that has experienced the hotel concept once is spoiled for anywhere else! As we head through the countryside towards the hotel, on an invitation for dinner from GM Alex Reyners, the temperature has thankfully dropped slightly and there is a coolness in the air as we reminisce about previous dinner experiences in Atzaro, like the time we enjoyed the taster menu, with slightly larger than normal portions and couldn’t sleep the full night after having over eaten!

Atzaro Food

It’s still light but in that transition period towards night, the hotel is bathed in carefully chosen lighting, giving it a warm and inviting look as we walk along the catwalk-like path that leads to the restaurant reception desk, where we are met by Miguel. One of Atzaro’s most trusted employees, Miguel splits his time between the hotel concept and the newly opened Atzaro Beach concept at Cala Nova, so we seem to bump into him everywhere we go. As we say hello, we hear a shout of “tell them we’re fully booked” from one of the large bushes at the entrance of the restaurant, where we find Alex, hiding behind it! That is one of the most impressive things about Atzaro for me and I believe one of the reasons it has such a strong and loyal clientele, not only do they operate at an extremely high level and offer an amazing product but also they do it with a real passion and love of life. They are very good at what they do and are not afraid to be human and have some fun while they do it.

Atzaro Food

Coincidentally it is the launch of the Night Of Lights party, a weekly Tuesday night party that will run throughout August and which features live music, performance and visual stimulation. There is a real buzz about the place, the atmosphere is always a busy but friendly one but tonight it has an extra edge. Another added bonus is that the art galleries, specifically created for Urban In Ibiza last week, are still fully operational, giving diners and hotel patrons something to check out in between courses. Miguel shows us to our table and we order some delicious cocktails while we peruse the extensive menu. mojito’s – strawberry and normal – and a caipirinha hit the spot very nicely as we order our starters. As an appetiser, while we get set to order our starters, the chef sends over a little glass filled with melon soup with yoghurt and pine nuts, almost a teaser for what we are about to let ourselves in for!

Atzaro Food
Atzaro Food

For starters we choose burrata from Buffalo with tomato jam and pesto soup, scallops on olive cream with coral emulsion, Tuna tataki with Thai salad and assorted sushi, courtesy of the Sushipoint pop up in the Music and Sushi Lounge, not only giving our table a huge splash of colour when they arrive but also a diverse set of flavours for us to tuck into as we have a taste of everything. The menu offers an amazing choice for every course, so no matter what your culinary pleasure is, there will be at least one thing on the menu to capture your imagination. With our cocktails well and truly destroyed we are advised on the merits of a nice, light, crisp rose wine. There’s nothing that the Atzaro staff doesn’t know when it comes to making sure you have the best dining experience ever!

Atzaro Food
Atzaro Food

On to the main course and the carnivore in each of us takes over as we try and recreate Old Macdonald’s farm with a choice that includes Duck magret with fig sauce, fruit strudel and blue cheese permentier, oranje style suckling Pig with nuts and pak-choi, Beef tenderloin with grilled baby vegetables and mushroom cream and roasted rack of Lamb on mint flavour with vegetables strudel and roasted potatoes. Normally, when we are out on our travels, reviewing the finer eating establishments, we have a rule that no one order the same dish, and this can quite often lead to some interesting discussions. Such is the diversity of the Atzaro menu that each one of us opted for a different dish first time round – unheard of! When our meals arrive it hard to decide whether to take a picture of them or tuck in, they wouldn’t look out of place on an easel in the gallery behind us! It is safe to say that, judging by the complete silence that descends on the table, everyone enjoys their main course. No thoughts of sharing here then. At this point we are lifting our imaginary hats and paying homage to our chef, who has delivered a magnificent meal for our enjoyment. On an island that is famed for elevating DJs well above their status, we are considering starting a petition todo the same for these culinary geniuses!

Atzaro Food

Before the serious business of dessert is tackled we have a walk round the Urban In Ibiza exhibition of some of the finest street artists around. From Goldie and Inkie to Ben Allen – who Jo Mills casually claimed responsibility for discovering – before our main course has moved just enough to make space for the dessert and we get down to the tricky business of negotiating who would order what. Millsy, hot on the heels of her artistic revelation, opts for the assorted mini desserts and takes first prize, an amazing display of miniature desserts arrives almost putting the rest of our choices to shame – these include royale of jijona nougat cream and sheep yoghurt, fig biscuit with orange sauce and hot chocolate and spiral of crunchy almonds with mango panacotta and raspberry sorbet.

Atzaro Food
Atzaro Food

Atzaro offers numerous options when it comes to dining, tonight we are in the garden and even in the garden you can have two or three completely different experiences. Nothing says Ibiza more than being outdoors for me, the a fresco meal is by far the finest way to dine. As we sit quietly after an amazing feast, wondering who will be the first to pop a button, we can hear the music of Bahramji and Ohm G washing over the restaurant from the Music & Sushi lounge. Grabbing the last of our wine, we decide to take a wander round and check out Night of Lights.

Atzaro Food

The party is busy and people are already dancing in front of the band, which consists of Ohm-G dropping beats accompanying Bahramji. I am tempted to get my groove on but the food inside my stomach dictates otherwise. It’s an example of the diverse nature of the Atzaro concept that we can step for the tranquillity of a stunning meal into the cool vibe of a party. Night Of Lights will appear every Tuesday in August and on the strength of our brief interaction, it’s definitely something to check out. With a performance from Maya Bundanza, visual stimulation from Bamboo and an after show dance party until the early hours still to come, we admit defeat and head home. Once again Atzaro has made a huge impact, once again I have over eaten without regret and once again I may have a problem getting to sleep tonight but I wouldn’t change a single thing!

Atzaro Food

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