Food review: Tapas & cocktails at year-round favourite La Cava | Ibiza Spotlight – Ibiza Spotlight
Welcoming, conveniently located with a relaxed ambience and uncomplicated menu, La Cava is one of those ‘great little places’ we love to know and share with our nearest and dearest.
Situated on the famous Vara de Rey square just a short stroll from Ibiza Town’s bustling port, if you find yourself in the island’s cosmopolitan capital the stylish restaurant and bar offers a great spot to sit down and watch the world go by.
Part of the renowned Mambo Group, La Cava is open from lunch all the way through to late night cocktails, and there truly isn’t a bad time to pop in.
Whether you are looking for a spot with strong Wifi (and strong coffee) to work from, a central location to enjoy lunch with friends or a place for a romantic date, you will receive a warm welcome.
The Ibiza Spotlight team came together for a late summer dinner at La Cava at the end of September.
Taking our seats on the terrace that spills out towards the middle of the beautiful square, surrounded by flowering trees and colourful town houses, we sat back and soaked up the atmosphere before getting stuck into the menu.
Needless to say, we couldn’t resist the offer of a cocktail to start the night.
We choose the floral and elegant ‘Flowers for Jack’, boasting an interesting fusion of lavender and elderflower aromas. The punchy ‘El de Mezcal’ was fuelled by the potent agave spirit, smoky tamarind and zesty lime, while a bespoke concoction made especially for Ibiza Spotlight with vodka and passion fruit completed our trio of tipples.
Those who prefer a refreshing G&T also have plenty of choices available, with eight different gin brands on the menu.
La Cava offers a modern and accessible take on the traditional Spanish tapas, and so we decided to sample a variety of different sharing dishes between the three of us. However, while ‘tapas’ typically describe small apetizers or snacks, the portion sizes La Cava are rather generous – something to keep in mind to avoid over-ordering!
Alas, we had arrived hungry, so felt confident we could tackle a hearty selection of fish, meats, cheese and potatoes in all shapes and forms. We started with a round of crispy battered ‘calamari’ squid rings – a staple that should not be missing from any tapas meal, frankly – and some of the tastiest ‘patatas bravas’ potatoes we have ever tried.
Meanwhile, the Cantabria salad made with crisp rye bread, tuna, a boiled egg and salty anchovies, came beautifully presented and wowed with a variety of contrasting flavours and textures.
It wasn’t long before the next round of dishes arrived.
To do the variety of the menu justice, we had chosen a few more iconic Spanish dishes, such as the ‘huevos rotos’ potato chips, topped with savoury mini sausages and a fried egg that is meant to be ‘broken’ into pieces before stirring all ingredients together.
A generous portion of ‘albondigas’ meatballs – like the Spanish grandmothers make them – swimming in gravy and accompanied by more fries tasted delicious and was like a big, warm, comfortable hug on a plate.
To cleanse our palette between all these indulgent treats, the healthiest option in our selection was a vibrant and light sea bream ceviche with fresh tomato chunks and spicy chilli slices.
It was brimming with flavours and served a nice little kick at the end.
Last, but not least, the baked black pork ‘sobrasada’ sausage topped with molten Manchego cheese was as naughty but delightful as they come.
We washed down all this delicious goodness with a bottle of fragrant Terra de Godos Albariño white wine from the Rias Baixas region in Galicia, one of Spain’s most important culinary destinations.
If you thought we couldn’t possibly have any room left for dessert… you’d not be wrong, but the promise of a caramelised French Toast with vanilla ice cream was too tempting to resist.
Let us tell you, it was one of the most addictive and heavenly sweets we have enjoyed on the island, so good it almost made the Pure Chocolate melting fondant with fresh red berries pale in comparison. But only almost…
After such an indulgent dinner, there was only one solution to avoid a food coma: every Ibicenco’s favourite aperitif, the local herbal liqueur ‘Hierbas Ibicencas’, served on the rocks and sipped like medicine.
Once again, we felt the appreciation for La Cava.
The recipe – a top location, welcoming ambience, a great variety of food to share and friendly service, all at fair prices – sounds simple, but is executed to perfection.
A place that you will want to visit time and time again, whether it’s just for a cold beer in the afternoon or a blow-out dinner in the evening…
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