The Repsol Guide confirms Sant Antoni as a gastronomic destination
mong the myriad reasons for visiting Sant Antoni, one in particular has really taken off in recent years, namely gastronomy. Throughout the length and breadth of the district, a handful of hotel and catering professionals, local Ibizans and others who have settled here, have put Sant Antoni on the map as an attractive destination for travellers with an interest in all things culinary.
Proof of this is the growing presence of local restaurants mentioned in the Repsol Guide, a national benchmark for culinary endorsements. The Repsol Guide was first published in 1979 under the name Guia Campsa and was designed to be a practical tool that drivers could consult. As well as routes, maps, petrol stations and hotels, the guide included a substantial list of recommended restaurants. Over the years, the publication has developed and adapted its scale of qualifications, establishing different categories of restaurant. Initially, recommendations were represented by “Tenedores” (“forks”) and subsequently “Soles” (“suns”), and the Repsol Guide’s quality indicators soon became an excellent measurement unit for gauging the health of the Spanish restaurant sector.
The Repsol Guide began its journey in 1979
The guide awards each restaurant a quality grade ranging from 1 to 3 Suns, with 3 the maximum category. When a restaurant is awarded 1 sun, it means that it is a place you would recommend to a good friend, a restaurant worth going a few kilometres out of your way for to try its cuisine. It also means that it is a consistent establishment, providing attentive and professional service and an interesting wine list. The category with 2 suns means that the restaurant stands out for putting into practice an endeavour that is already well developed in terms of technique, raw materials, faultless service and a carefully selected wine list. The top category of 3 suns describes places that promise and offer a unique experience, with cuisine that has been developed and researched, always on the cutting edge of modern cuisine and with a desire to surprise. These are restaurants with exceptionally attentive service and a brilliant wine list.
The qualifications awarded are the result of some discreet inspection work by a team of professionals from different sectors with extensive knowledge of the gastronomic universe. They in no way resemble the old-fashioned stereotype of a food critic, instead they may be twenty somethings or seventy year olds, but they are all universally gifted with a trained palate and the requisite skills to employ the criteria of honest and rigorous scrutiny. The qualification system has also been improved by consultation with and advice from the Basque Culinary Center, designed to faithfully reflect the diner’s overall experience, from the moment they enter the restaurant to the time they leave.
The Repsol Guide has a further category which considers other business formats, and these can range from a market bar to a chiringuito or beach bar, or a local tapas place. The Repsol Guide awards ”Soletes” (“smiley suns”) to those that stand out for their quality and innovation.
And here we refer you back to our original comments, as we mention with pride the Sant Antoni restaurants recommended in the Repsol Guide. Es Tragón has 2 suns, an enterprise run by Álvaro Sanz who, thanks to an ongoing aim to incite culinary provocation, along with some thorough research, has managed to provide a new take on local products with his tremendous creativity.
Chef Álvaro Sanz from the Es Tragón restaurant holding the 2 Repsol Guide Suns.
Es Ventall, which has been awarded 1 Sun, is run by José Miguel Boned who has transformed his experience of 35 years of family restaurant into a platform for expressing the new Ibizan cuisine, faithful to its origins yet daring in its preparation.
In 2020, the Es Ventall Restaurant directed by chef Jose Miguel Bonet Cardona received its first Repsol Guide sun.
Las Dos Lunas in one of the island’s classic restaurants and has been operating since 1981. Organised and run with exquisite taste by the Lucarini family, it also treasures its well-deserved 1 sun, thanks to its quality Italian cuisine, based on fresh, top-quality ingredients.
Las Dos Lunas restaurant, located in Sant Rafel.
In the “Soletes” category, there are another two charming establishments: Rita’s Cantina and the Hostal La Torre. The former has a varied menu with Asiatic and Mexican influences, offering efficient cuisine in a carefree environment. The latter, in the enviable location of Cap Negret, adds a quality menu with Arab and Asiatic touches to its basically Mediterranean cuisine, together with bars and areas for sipping and savouring all kinds of cocktails.
Hostal La Torre
However, it is not just all about restaurants, the Repsol Guide also recommends hotels. And in this case, Sant Antoni also leads the way with its legendary Hotel Pikes. A magical place where Freddie Mercury celebrated his 41st birthday, and where Wham filmed a famous video clip. Nevertheless, the recommendation is not based on the past, but firmly in the present, thanks to its atmosphere, impeccable service and the infinite quality that it offers its customers.