Gastro / 26 May 2020

Sant Antoni: good enough to eat

S

ant Antoni adds even more spice to its already extensive repertoire of attractions. Its spectacular natural environment, with idyllic beaches and coves and charming rural landscapes, is complemented by a full range of cultural, sports and leisure activities. In all these aspects, Sant Antoni has made its mark with attractive and innovative proposals.

This comprehensive portfolio has always included a wide range of culinary options, whose success is based on the quality of local produce. This is especially true in recent years, when it has undergone a meteoric rise that has made it a true gastronomic destination. Sant Antoni: good enough to eat.

It all stems from the ambition and hard work of a group of restaurant owners who have promoted a high-quality, varied, creative and innovative cuisine with options for a diverse range of customers: from the keenest trend scouts to lovers of traditional and international cuisine and fans of the simplest recipes.

The list is extensive and names like S’Mari, Es Nàutic Restaurant, El Bistro de Stephan, La TorreLas Dos Lunas, es Tancó, La Mesa Escondida, Es Rebost de Can Prats, Es Gerret, Grill Sant Antoni, Can Mussonet, Sa Punta des Molí, Sa Capella, El Chiringuito de Cala Gracioneta, Zebra Steak & Grill, Es Verro, The Curry Club, Cantina Canalla, Ample 32, Villa Mercedes, Bésame Canalla, s’Avaradero,  as well as Es Tragón and Es Ventall, are now some of the regular venues for lovers of good food and the culinary options of the municipality.

These last two establishments deserve a special mention. The Es Tragón,restaurant, under the guidance of its chef Álvaro Sanz, has earned Sant Antoni the first Michelin Star to be awarded on the island of Ibiza. The constant experimentation of its promoter has led him to invent a cuisine full of superbly crafted culinary delights overflowing with creativity, with a generous dose of astonishing trompe l’oeil made with carefully selected products from the island. Rooted in tradition, they create explosive morsels by applying innovative techniques while carefully respecting the product.

The Es Ventall restaurant, meanwhile, has reinvented Ibiza’s most traditional recipes under the guidance of chef José Miguel Bonet. Heir to a family business devoted to Ibiza’s most popular cuisine, José Miguel and his team prepare dishes that combine the contributions of new culinary techniques with extraordinary care for local products and a deep respect for the essence of local cuisine. And this has been recognised with the first Sun in the Repsol Guide.

Speaking of local produce, Sant Antoni has a lot to say. One example is the Peix Nostrum, initiative, the brand promoted by the island’s professional fishermen, which identifies the products caught and sold by the traditional fleet of the fishermen’s guilds of Ibiza and Sant Antoni. The Peix Nostrum seal assures consumers that the fish they are going to eat is fresh – no more than 4 hours from the time it is caught until it reaches the guild -, that it has been caught in a traditional and selective way and properly handled, refrigerated and protected.

Other clear examples of the quality of local produce are the wines produced by the Sant Antoni wineries.

The Can Rich winery

began its activity in 1997 and currently produces organic wines and sparkling wines, Ibizan herb liqueur and other liqueurs, extra virgin olive oil, vinegars and Ibiza salts. They organise tours of their winery, where you can learn the history and the process of making their organic wines and local products.

The Can Maymó winery, located in Sant Mateu, is another brand that produces local Ibizan wines from native varieties such as Monastrell (Mourvèdre) and Malvasia, and also from other varieties such as Muscat, Merlot, Tempranillo and Syrah.

The Sa Cova winery is also located in Pla de Sant Mateu, an area with a long winemaking tradition, and is a pioneer in producing and bottling Ibizan wine. The first vintage was released in 1990 and since then it has gradually increased its range of products, which include several reds, as well as its Blanc de Blancs and rosé.

Can Rich winery

With such a rich heritage, it is not surprising that Sant Antoni is emerging as a centre for the promotion of gastronomic events of all kinds. One of the most popular ones is the Pintxa Sant Antoni, which essentially revolves around a product whose popularity never wanes: the pincho (Basque: pintxo) – a tapa on a skewer. Every Thursday between March and April, dozens of establishments offer their own pincho or tapa, accompanied by a drink, at a very reasonable price.

Restaurat is the name of another gastronomic event in which a specific local product is promoted every year. The participating restaurants draw up a closed-price menu in which they prepare their particular dishes based on the selected star ingredient. More than ten years of history demonstrate the success of the initiative.

At a community level, many annual initiatives are organised where the public can enjoy a wide range of dishes. At the Fira de sa Llagosta, the spiny lobster fair, for example, the participating establishments and associations prepare stews and other dishes in which the main ingredients are spiny lobster and rock fish. It is held in the month of May in the port of Sant Antoni and is accompanied by workshops, concerts and boat trips to the Cap Blanc Aquarium.

The world arròs de matances championship is a fun-filled event where a multitude of participants gather in the streets of Sant Antoni to prepare this typical rural winter dish with rice and meat. It takes place in January and is always a great success with the public.

The same is true of the sofrit pagès contest held in Santa Agnès in January. Partying and fun accompany this event in which the contestants compete to prepare the best stew, with the blossoming almond trees of the Pla de Corona as a backdrop.

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Festivities