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A taste of...Café Montesol

Revelation on Vara del Rey!

Ok, so we knew we’d be having lunch at Ibiza Town’s people-watching spot par excellence - right at the juncture of its main thoroughfare, Vara del Rey, and the port, but we weren’t expecting to be treated to gastronomy of this level.

One of the indisputable Ibiza institutions, Café Montesol - or, to be precise, its terrace, has been one of the most popular meeting points for decades. It’s an ideal spot whether you are looking somewhere to enjoy a coffee or an aperitif, to have a convivial breakfast, lunch or dinner or to relax after shopping in the many shops and boutiques to be found in the tiny streets around the port. 

One of the nice things about its comfy terrace is that you can observe the passers-by from the seating area and yet still enjoy a degree of privacy. 

The late summer afternoon that we went there, downtown Ibiza was hot. Nonetheless, thanks to the lovely breeze from the nearby port and the coolness provided by the shade of the large plane trees, we felt refreshingly cool at all times.

On arrival, we were greeted by its manager, Álvaro. After showing us to our table, he asked the waiter to bring out some sparkling water and cañas of cold beer to quench our thirst. We then perused Café Montesol’s modest but appetising menu.

All the dishes we enjoyed were artfully arranged.

To accompany our lunch, we ordered a couple of glasses of a very nice ecological Verdejo.

The Cordoba-style salmorejo with Iberian acorn-fed ham and hard-boiled egg was as moreish as it was colourful.

A beautifully composed pickled farmhouse chicken salad with Cantabrian anchovies and parmesan cheese that came with a tasty Caesar dressing.

Angus steak tartare topped with a pickled egg yolk and toasted bread. Perfectly seasoned, it hit just the right notes of acidity and piquancy.

Sea bream ceviche in leche de tigre with pipparas and toasted pine nuts.

Getting the meat you ordered done as you like it can be a hit-and-miss affair. However, our sirloin steak was grilled exactly as we asked: “al punto”. Served with potato wedges, Padrón peppers, outsize capers and the spicy Latin American sauce known as chimichurri

Dessert consisted of lemon posset and that Spanish classic, akin to bread pudding, torrija. The former - which came with seasoned peaches and passion fruit sorbet - exuded all the flavour of fresh lemons.

Served with vanilla ice cream, the torrija featured an agreeable mix of textures thanks to its crispy coating and velvety interior. It came with a thin, flavoursome custard.

Regardless of whether you´re an Ibiza veteran or a newcomer, make sure to pay a visit to Café Montesol next time you're downtown.


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