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Food review: Rio's Ribeye and party deal

Dine and dance in sumptuous surroundings.

Rio Ibiza is the ideal hub for meeting friends, serving as a sublime meeting point in the beautiful boat-filled harbour of San Antonio. Easy to find and within close proximity to the resort's top attractions, including the world-renowned Sunset Strip, this venue represents a great option for swanky night out or daytime chill.

Whether you seek breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or maybe just some great drinks, Rio Ibiza caters for all. We visited to sample the latest addition to its food menu: the Ribeye Steak & Party combo - available exclusively through Ibiza Spotlight. As both foodies and party people, the concept of combining two of our favourite activities was an opportunity not to be missed.

Alfresco pre-drinks on the rooftop

We arrived in the evening with the sun still in glorious force. It was no shock to find that Rio Ibiza was teeming with people in the main downstairs dining area. The decor is modern without veering into pretentiousness. A complimentary flute of cava helped loosen our tongues and we descended into conversation after a clatter of glasses.

Already the rooftop was hosting several different groups, with couples as well as larger parties, including hen groups. Rio Ibiza is a great place for those special evenings that you might only have one or two of during your holiday.

The views out and across the marina are pretty impressive - and you can spot some lavish vessels moored in the harbour. It's a scene of pure Mediterranean bliss.

The main event

Our starters arrived in the form of king prawns and a creamy brie and walnut salad. We felt no shame in getting stuck in with our fingers, tucking in with abandon.

After this, the Ribeye arrived pre-sliced into succulent strips of tender beef, which we were invited to cook ourselves on a mini grill. This was a meal for two-diners: one who prefers generous portions served medium-rare and the other, whose preference is well done and more modestly-sized. This experience is ideal as it allows you to split the meal, according to each person's hunger and how you like your steak cooked.

When it comes to romance, it's always a toss-up between taking your loved one out for dinner or preparing a meal yourself. Well, this is the best of both worlds. You can take the plaudits for cooking and get the brownie points for eating out. With no requirement to partake in washing-up duties, you get all the perks without any downsides.

Red-on-red - the classic dinner date combo.

One taste of the salted steak with its umami charcoaled exterior and soft red centre reminded us why we should reserve steak for those special, once-a-trip excursions. Red meat calls for red wine and none of us wanted to risk making the faux pas of ordering anything else, plus when a bottle comes as part of the package it would be rude not to imbibe.

Even this unashamed carnivore has to give special mention to the vegetables: the red peppers, onions and courgettes were bursting with flavour. Leave them on the portable grill long enough and they almost caramelise, melting in the mouth.

Stunning views across the marina all lit up after nightfall.

After nightfall, the view is no less than spectacular, with San Antonio's bright lights illuminating the town. You have the best seat in the house - your very own light parade. Wanting to sample as many of the refreshments on offer as possible, we turned our attention to the cocktail list. The restaurant's tribe of experienced mixologists were more than happy to be put through their paces, as we reeled off a range of choices to order.

Our caipirinha was even mixed, poured and delivered by a native Brazilian, giving it an added touch of authenticity. It definitely hit the spot. So potent in fact, only the sugar saved us from screw-face embarrassment. A sure sign these beautifully-crafted drinks are to be savoured and not flushed down.

Our sweet-tooth pulled rank once the dessert menu was presented.

Good desserts can be hard to come by and our interest was piqued when we saw the menu. They aren't included in the deal, though are definitely worth being naughty for. So good were they that we decided on a future return visit purely for puddings.

Full stomachs and prolonged exposure to the sea air might have taken the wind out of our sails. Fortunately, the caffeine kick from the frothy Espresso Martini would offset any risk of flagging. We're not nutritionists, but the frozen Strawberry Daiquiri made with fresh fruit surely counts as one of our five-a-day?

After party

Having finished eating, the conversation turned to the subject of "what next?" We'd indulged long enough and it was time to burn off some of those calories. The dance floor was calling. We're on Ibiza after all. Fortunately, we didn't have far to go.

Rio Ibiza's middle floor is a dedicated dance floor and hosts the occasional club night. Just a few steps down the spiral staircase and you can bust a groove. Catch a selection of seasoned DJs to take you through the evening until the early hours.

Rio's club floor has a 05:00 license - dance off dinner downstairs.

Names such as Harrie Summers, Ash Varsani and Raze play everything from urban and Latin to commercial dance and chart, depending on the night of the week.

With the clock pushing at 02:00, we felt like we were ready to move on. Although Rio Ibiza does provide a one-stop-shop for dining, drinks and disco, the icing on the cake of this offer, is that you get admission to one of San Antonio's super-clubs to end the night.

In case it needed saying, the entire experience is tremendous value for money, ticking every box. You are watered, fed and entertained. With the the Ribeye & Party combo, you really can strike the bullseye.

WORDS | by Stephen Hunt
PHOTOS | by Michael Tomlinson

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