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Haute cuisine in an idyllic beachfront setting at Cala Bonita

This rustic-chic restaurant is the ideal place for top-flight cuisine while spending the day on one of Ibiza's most secluded beaches.

At the end of a long dirt track lies the stunning cove of S’Estanyol and the restaurant named Cala Bonita. It’s an apt name for a tiny slice of unspoiled paradise on the white island. True, getting there is something of an odyssey but - believe us - one that’s entirely worthwhile.

The location is breathtaking: a tiny bay ringed by a rocky shoreline, with lots of typical vegetation and supreme sea views all the way over to Formentera. On the beach, there are sun loungers and a narrow jetty that makes it easy to access the crystal-clear waters. All in all, it’s a spot where you feel in touch with the elements, the refreshing midday, onshore breeze, the brilliant blue of the sea and the sky and the natural surroundings. A promising start, then, for what was to be an unforgettable lunch.

Our friendly maitre'd, Juan Carlos, immediately escorted our group of diners to a table on the interior terrace. Thanks to the soft tones of the masonry, marine-like decor, wickerwork lampshades and amphorae, the stylish restaurant gives you the impression of being at one with the landscape. 

Add to that its isolation - there are no buildings around it - and the presence of pines, palm trees, towering bulrushes and other native vegetation and you have a truly unique setting. 

The soundtrack to our meal, a nostalgia-inducing mix of famous Latin songs, was low-key and entirely appropriate.

We began by ordering some refreshing cañas of lager, a cocktail and a mocktail. The mocktail consisted of a healthy beetroot concoction with lime and lemon juice and hibiscus leaves. The appropriately named signature cocktail, Lucifer, was an original take on a margarita, with lime, roasted chilli syrup made with homegrown peppers, and triple sec. Spicy and feisty, we loved it! 

Another distinctive drink was our choice of white wine, a Trenzado 2022 from Tenerife with a pronounced bouquet that reflects the volcanic soil on which the grapes are grown. Ever eager to sample new varieties, our resident wine experts delighted in its originality.

First up in what was to be a memorable banquet was a dish of alioli, a platter of brightly coloured olives, and some thick slices of a delicious, crusty sourdough bread. 

The service is fast, friendly and extremely professional. 

Our entrées were grilled avocado with tuna, which had an intriguing smoky flavour;

a crispy, Andalusian-style calamari in batter with a homemade soya sauce dressing; a mouth-watering sea bass carpaccio with citrus, pomegranate, mint and the welcome addition of aromatic, slightly tangy shiso leaves;

and a succulent tuna tartar. 

The mains consisted of Cala Bonita’s interpretation of a classic Ibizan dish, black rice. In this case, it featured octopus and sobrasada, adorned with sprigs of briny sapphire grass.

Along with it came a very generous portion of the highly appreciated local fish, now in season, the rotja. Weighing in at well over a kilo, the shell cleaned and the flavoursome meat presented in battered chunks, it was today’s pièce de résistance. 

The accompanying side dish, aubergine tzatziki filled with tabbouleh made of lentils and quinoa with a rich tahini sauce, was a welcome and original surprise.

After such a satisfying feast, the team found space for dessert: no easy feat! We opted for the cheesecake and slim caramel churros with dulce de leche. The former was outstandingly tasty thanks to the liberal use of that renowned Balearic product, Mahon cheese, grated cheese and a touch of creamy dulce de leche.

Despite its proximity to Ibiza Town, Cala Bonita feels like a corner of paradise where time has stopped still. The quality of the food is simply outstanding; high-class Mediterranean fare with plenty of creative touches. For a special meal in a relaxing, unspoiled beachfront location, you’d be hard-pressed to beat this restaurant.

Gourmet diners, put this on your radar, ASAP and reserve direct at calabonitaibiza.com!

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