Made With Amore: A Mediterranean Feast At Bottega Il Buco

Posted on August 2, 2018

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: La Skimal

It is no secret that the picturesque village of Santa Gertrudis has developed into a veritable gourmet hotspot. Home to a wide array of restaurants and delicatessen stores that range from vegan cafes to mezcal bars, organic wine shops to Iberian ham specialists, the people who frequent the quaint settlement at the heart of the island know a thing or two about good food. And so the arrival of the latest gem in Santa Gertrudis’ cuisine crown, Bottega Il Buco, had village tongues wagging long before its official opening in June.

As the first Balearic outpost of the renowned New York dining concept of the same name, it came as no surprise that when we popped in for dinner with friends six weeks after the ribbon was cut on the Mediterranean eatery, we were welcomed by a buzzing terrace filled with happy guests. With the famous name greeting us from the awning, and a warm glow emanating from the shabby chic dining room filled with carefully curated antiques and curiosities, we felt as if we were arriving to a friend’s house, ushered to our table with warmth and a relaxed manner by the welcoming front of house team, as if we were already long-standing regulars.

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Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal005

With its origins rooted between Italy and the Iberian Peninsula, Il Buco prides itself on fine Mediterranean fare made with simple, fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Inside the restaurant, a six-metre counter is the stage from which Executive Chef Guido Trombettoni and his team prepare each mouth-watering plate, with one section, the “Alimentari” tempting diners with the best charcuterie, cheeses, cured and smoked fish, and pickled vegetables from across Italy, Spain, and Portugal, to stock up their own larder.

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Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal008

Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal009

Renowned for its expertly curated selection of wines, in honour of its new home in Ibiza, the Bottega’s list focuses primarily on the indigenous grapes of Spain before adding Italian and Portuguese producers. We began our meal with crisp glass of the 1497 Blanc de Blanc Raventos i Blance sparkling wine, a fresh yet elegant bubbly perfect for a balmy summer’s night. With Il Buco’s philosophy encouraging to share a selection of dishes, we entrusted our knowledgeable and enthusiastic host Danny with the responsibility to choose for us. First out was a delicate and zesty octopus carpaccio from the ‘del mare’ section of the menu, a colourful plate that combined this classic Mediterranean seafood treat with a fruity topping of orange zest and a kick of chilli.

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Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal011

Those familiar with the Il Buco brand will know that the concept is famous for its delicious selection of focaccia breads, baked in-house with organic ancient triticum durum grain sourced from the small village of Cantinisetta in Sicily – which, to you and me, means that the dough is high in protein and easily digested. This classic Italian speciality is served with a variety of different toppings that can change several times throughout the day depending on Guido’s creative flair and availability of produce. Brought out on a long wooden board, we swooned over our selection, topped with baked eggplant, pumpkin flower and molten mozzarella cheese – easily as good as any pizza and incredibly moreish.

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Another Il Buco speciality, of course we couldn’t say no to a huge charcuterie board laden with the finest cuts of meat, the generous selection of ‘salumi’ found on the menu hand-selected by Il Buco co-founder Alberto Avalle, who picked the finest Jamón Iberico de Bellota and other cured meats from Salamanca, as well as his own curated salumi from the Umbria region. Served with chunky cubes of focaccia dressed with olive oil and sea salt, it is a meat connoisseur’s dream come true!Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal012

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Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal017

Onto our mains, and we were treated to a delicious grouper confit served on a bed of eggplant and sundried tomatoes, and topped with fennel pesto and breadcrumbs. Slow-cooked to perfection, the chunky pieces of fish were moist, tender and full of flavour, a heavenly light and aromatic summer dish that we won’t forget in a hurry! Our mouths had begun to water as soon as Danny had made the suggestion to try the lasagne, but far from the slab of pasta and béchamel layers we were accustomed to be served at home, a delicate nest artfully shaped and decorated arrived at our table. Served on a fresh tomato sauce, the crispy exterior revealed a gooey core of mozzarella cheese and slices of zucchini, with a crown pancetta finishing the textural feast. We washed this tasty selection down with a smooth Rosso di Montalcino, savouring every last bite.

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Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal021

Suitably wowed by our culinary journey so far, there was no question that we would stay for desserts. A childhood favourite that had our Italian friend exclaim that it was ‘just like what my grandmother used to make’, a sweet ‘salami’ made with rich chocolate and crunchy pistachio nuts went down a treat, while the traditional ‘granita’ – frozen shards of coffee topped with a light cream – was not only incredibly tasty, but also refreshing and energising in the high season heat. We recommend this treat to all you tiramisu lovers out there as a lighter alternative. Those with a real sweet tooth should pair it with a dessert wine, like the Jorge Ordóñez Nº 2 Victoria from Malaga we sipped on recommendation from Danny. The offer of coffees and/or grappa ended our relaxed evening, and we happily concluded that we had surely found a new favourite hangout perfect for a multitude of occasions. And judging by the groups of friends, families and couples surrounding us, it would appear that foodies-in-the-know from all over Ibiza – if not the world – would agree!

t: +34 971 19 76 76

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Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal022
Bottega Il Buco Essentialibiza 2018 By La Skimal024