The enchanting country village of Santa Gertrudis has carved out a worthy reputation as one of the island’s most important gastronomic centers, with its multitude of pretty restaurants and pavement cafes. A wide choice of cuisine is on offer in the pueblo – everything from the humble ham sandwich to great tapas, vegan brunches and comforting Italian home cooking – there is something for every palate in this picturesque community.
But what Santa Gertrudis has lacked, until now, is a truly fine dining experience. Well, that is about to change! Finca La Plaza, part of the Ibiza Hospitality Group that includes such amazing venues as Beachouse, Mikasa and Club Chinois, has just raised the culinary standard exponentially.
Under the guidance of Group Executive Chef Gennaro Vittothe team at Finca La Plaza has developed a menu of lightness and elegance that will compete with the best restaurants on the island. Every dish has been so carefully conceived and executed with such finesse that the quality will surely not go unrecognised by higher judges of excellence than this humble website.
The venue itself encapsulates the classic Ibizan aesthetic. Housed in a tastefully minimalistic finca (Ibizan farmhouse)the restaurant opens onto a pretty garden terrace, which is a delight in the summer months. On entry, diners are greeted by both a spotless open kitchen and a walk-in wine cellar – proudly displaying everything the restaurant has on offer. Guests are free to peruse the wares and should not forget to glance at the vast array of liquors available in the cocktail lounge along the way.
We were invited to sample a selection of 8 complex dishes from the a la carte menu, some of which will eventually be components of a degustation menu, come summertime. Most dishes typified the island’s cuisine, utilizing traditional, locally sourced ingredientsbut were enhanced by the subtle addition of east Asian elements such as yuzu, kimchi and wasabi.
Without going into unnecessary detail, we will let our superb photography tell the story of the amazing meal. Your eyes will hungrily devour the fine images but, for the true experience of how the flavors and texture combine, we recommend you make your own investigations at Finca La Plaza.
What better way to start any meal than with some warm, freshly-baked bread? The amazing, locally milled carob loafdrizzled with oil, baked cherry tomatoes and fermented lemon elevated this typical appetizer to an entirely new level.
First up, slow-cooked eggpoached at 65 degrees, sat atop fine, crunchy laminas of crispy artichoke leaves and a sprinkling of fine, spaghetti-like strands of salty Ibérico ham.
Sweet and smooth red pepper croquettestopped with a thin sliver of Wagyu beef made to sweat under a raw flame and topped with kimchi mayonnaise.
Finely-sliced Formentera red legal carpacciounder a wafer of crunchy coral, kimchi mayo and explosive, citrus-flavored pearls of yuzu.
Incredible Blue-fin tuna tartareon a crispy bed of toasted rice with pearls of yuzu, mango caviar, and finished with a hit of spicy wasabi – dramatically served in a giant salmon dish.
A delicate cube of black cod embedded on roasted aubergine with black garlic and a coral wafer of crunchy Parmesan.
It is always such a joy when all diners and unanimously declare their love for the same dish simultaneously. A true eureka moment. Tonight’s showstopper was the most surprising dish of them all – a hotdog!
But this isn’t just any old hotdog… A Finca La Plaza hotdog is smokey, playful and fun. After the exquisitely, delicate seafood courses, it was a treat to roll up the sleeves and get hands-on with this dirty dish. Perfectly silky, milky bread buns are stuffed with unctuous pulled pork and topped with 3 sauces – kimchi, green mustard, and honey BBQ. The super moreish savory snack evoked so many happy childhood memories.
Finca La Plaza employs a pastry chef with true talent, who produces a range of excellent desserts that cater for both local and international tastes.
A deconstructed Carob brownie served with passion fruit and the best use of effervescent popping candy yet.
Classic Torrija (bread pudding) with slices of baked pineapplehomemade pineapple ice cream and coconut cream.
Homemade cherry Magnum ice creams that are sure to become a favorite with kids (of all ages!) in the village and beyond.
To drink, we naturally had to try the signature Finca Cocktail as an aperitif – a delicate balance of sweet and sour that sets the tone for many of the dishes to follow. Without wanting to pair each course, we opted for a pleasant bottle of Quintaluna Verdeco to accompany the meal and it worked harmoniously with the predominantly marine and citrus flavors.
It is clear to see what the team have set out to achieve at Finca La Plaza. Every dish displayed the highest level of technical ability in its execution and presentation. When this is combined with the wonderful ambience of a warm Ibizan summer evening and the ultra-friendly servicethey are sure to hit the target every time.
This is only the start – it will be fascinating to see how high the Finca La Plaza star can rise. Take our advice, discerning foodies should make the trip to Santa Gertrudis an absolute must on their holiday bucket list.
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