Ibiza, the beautiful party-island is coming of age and is adopting a more responsible attitude towards the environment. I am not suggesting that Ibiza’s disco vibes have died down, however since the Sustainable Tourist Tax was first levied in 2016, important investments have been made to compensate for the impact of tourism on the land.
Eco-minded chefs are leading the way in having more sustainable food available on the popular island. The Amante Beach Club is not exempt from this movement and is always mindful of delivering quality; impressively, the kitchen has now fully embraced the SLOW food movement (Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wellness).
The Amante offers an all-encompassing experience to its guests. You can start your day with an early morning yoga session which helps you embrace the well-being aspect of the island. Sumptuous daybeds allow you to embrace the bay’s relaxing characteristics, and of course, you can enjoy the iconic restaurant that is famous for its healthy and gastronomically rich Ibizan menus. The Amante was named as Ibiza’s ‘Best Beach Restaurant’ and was voted ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ for the last two years.
Owned by Yorkie David Piccioni, a former international DJ and founder of the world-renowned Azuli record label, the Amante is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It is popular with the island’s residents, which is always a good sign, and don’t be surprised if you spot A-listers or celebrities dining next to you!
An aesthetic place
Located next to the Cala Llonga on a dramatic cliff, the restaurant takes full advantage of the stunning Sol d’en Sierra bay’s exceptional ‘Balearic Blue’ panorama. Situated on several levels, the place works in perfect harmony with its environment. At the top, the open-plan restaurant’s aesthetic is delivered through the attractive light wood, open fireplaces and the exposed sandy coloured stones. Needle grass and towering cacti surround this restaurant.
The bar, situated on the level below, is a rustic, elegant and tranquil retreat with comfy seating and sunbeds; all of which are framed by palm trees and set on soft sand. Last but not least, you will find the wooden stairs that lead to one of the few private beaches on Ibiza island. Wherever you happen to be in the club, your eyes will always return to the hypnotic panorama, and its beautiful cove.
The Ibizan Way
In all likelihood, every memory made on the island, will start with a drink. At the Amante, the choice is yours, whether you want to detox with fresh juice or go for wine, Champagne or a cocktail. Top tip: cocktails are a good way to be learn about the island’s seasonal produce. Piel de Sapo, aka Frog Skin Melon because its skin resembles that of a frog, pairs well with local basil, rosemary, mint and lime. If you add rum you will have an excellent, if not slightly unusual Mojito!
Considering that food production is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, Amante’s menus are designed to require a minimal amount of fossil emissions. Amante considers the emissions involved to get food from the field to the table and so ensures that most ingredients are produced locally. They intend for the produce to be transported with the lowest amount of fossil fuel emissions and food is cooked using a minimum amount of energy.
Sampling the Menu
Dishes are prepared with love and care and are in line with local culinary traditions. Amante’s SLOW dishes offer a delicious selection of modern Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Juan Benavides Martinez, told Living, “In the kitchen, we use mostly local produce. We work and create our dishes with traditional Ibizan ingredients. The sea is all around us, and we make the most of it, for example, we serve Sirvia, a local fish".
This commitment to cooking with traditional ingredients was evident in our two starters, ‘Tuna and Watermelon Tartar’ and ‘Chargrilled Galician clams from the Amante’s charcoal Josper oven'. Clams, often cooked in sea-water can end up being a little soggy but when cooked in the Amante’s way, they stay firm. Galician clams are renowned for being harvested by hand and they are also larger than other clams.
When it comes to meat, the same attention is paid to its provenance. In Ibiza, sheep are traditionally raised in small free-range flocks. In the past, there was little need for meat because Ibizan cuisine favours fish dishes whereas meat is usually reserved for celebrations. Overtime this tradition has changed. Roberta Esposito, Amante’s Marketing & Press Manager, told us, “We serve lamb, pork and sometimes we add chicken to the menu for our English guests” before adding with a smile and a giggle “English people eat a lot of chicken".
The restaurant has a large organic garden at the back which has reduced in size since all the vegetables are produced inland, by local farmers. “We are very proud to give work to local farms which otherwise may not have a future", said Chef Juan Benavides Martinez.
Amante’s chefs are not only inventive but also display a range of impressive skills. The Chargrilled Formentera squids served with Ibizan mashed potatoes, Sobrasada (traditional spiced meat) and Salicornia seaweed were perfection.
There was only one way to end our visit and that was to tuck into the ‘Amante`s Classic Fresh Cheesecake Served with Passion Fruit coulis'.This dessert has been on the menu for the past 10 years and is the ideal postre to end the experience on and to then say adios to this memorable place.
Recently, the Amante acquired a sister venue, Aiyanna on Cala Nova near San Carlos. For more information and bookings visit their website.
Words: Solange Berchemin