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La Imprenta - a rich culinary tapestry

The latest addition to Ibiza's diverse array of cuisine.

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As you enter the port area at the end of Vara del Rey, you will encounter La Imprenta. Other than some cool, slim wrought iron furniture and lampstands and the warm smile of hostess Caroline, there is little to indicate from the outside that La Imprenta offers much different from the alternative Ibiza Port venues.

However, step through the heavy, velvet drapes and you unexpectedly find yourself in a different time and place. The decoration dislocates the senses and your imagination is suddenly transported to the heart of stylish Paris.

From the heart of stylish Paris

Jewel of a restaurant

Restaurateurs the Amar Group have assembled a dynamic team in an attempt to make La Imprenta the jewel in their chain of unique venues. Interior designer Ricardo Jorge Coelho has drawn upon the traditional coffee-coloured palette of a Parisian brasserie, with a selection of black wood panelling and window furniture, translucent dark onyx bar surfaces, cream wall paint and touches of gilt on the mirrors and balustrades.

A magnificent antique Italian chandelier dominates the ground floor restaurant, mirrored by two smaller versions in the upper dining area. These illuminate the cocktail bar and mannequins dressed in Parisian haute couture.

The magnificent antique Italian chandelier

Everywhere high-quality wallpapers and sumptuous golden, velvet furnishings complete the feeling of high class Parisian chic. The opulent restrooms are furnished with a huge gilt-edged mirror and elegant swan neck taps. For a discreet party of diners there is long, oval dining table upstairs, which can be curtained off for complete privacy.

Heritage brought to life

La Imprenta's name (The Printing Press) was conceived as a respectful nod to the building's heritage as the original home of Ibiza's newspaper, Diario de Ibiza. Many of the dishes come served on platters that bring the heritage to life; from the hollow books containing the fresh baked bread and choice of butters, to the stainless steel front page, which not only delivered my delicious crispy octopus starter but also a brief introduction to the ethos behind the restaurant.

The stainless steel front page

The menu, created by celebrity chef Pablo Montoro, cleverly manages to balance French haute cuisine with some traditional Spanish favourites, reflecting La Imprenta's seaside location. This fusion is typified by one of the most intriguing dishes on the menu – confit duck paella; a combination that is as likely to bemuse the traditionalists, as much as it will please the more adventurous.

Confit duck paella

Regally dressed

To start, we would recommend choosing a selection of entrées to share, as they come in generous portions. A good example are the spheres of foie gras and wine jelly, topped with gold and silver leaf, and served on thin slices of honey bread and apple compote.

Six incredibly smooth and creamy portions are delivered to the table on large-scale print blocks and they melt gently on the tongue. Similarly, the fresh oysters (a choice of three varieties!) are served on six-arm candelabra, and generous portions of mussels marinière with chunky chips arrive in a huge mussel shell, inviting each diner to indulge.

Bespoke cocktails

From the imagination of coctelero Riccardo Fuggetta, La Imprenta offers a range of bespoke cocktails, along with a selection of the sophisticated classics. Although tempted by the alluring ‘Dr Funk', a heady mix of rum and absinthe, for an aperitif, I opted instead for what turned out to be the finest cocktail I have ever tasted – ‘Ginger and Soul'. A smooth mix of a ginger based cognac liqueur, Domaine de Canton, fresh ginger, camomile, egg white and cracked cardamom pods. Every sip produced a blast of oriental aromas and a gentle fizz on the palate.

Ginger and Soul

For my main course I chose the John Dory (Gallo San Pedro). The fillet was perfectly seared, with a crunchy skin, while retaining its firm texture and remaining moist. Its only accompaniment, a personal favourite, was a rich Tartar sauce.

Gallo San Pedro

La Imprenta maintains an extensive list of fine wines to choose from. Interestingly, sommelier Vito Sagliocco recommended a Finca Nueva Rioja to accompany our fish courses. He considered it to be one of the finest wines in the world and it was certainly a bold choice, appreciated by the red wine lovers. Personally, I preferred the refreshing Avó Marcelo Albariño with the clean, fruity flavour and the appropriate newsprint label.

Sommelier Vito Sagliocco presenting an Avó Marcelo Albariño

To finish, a choice of traditional desserts including soufflé are available, but it is hard to look far beyond the deconstructed Tarte Tatin. This generous portion of poached apple, on a thin slice of delicate pastry and served with caramelised macadamias and Chantilly cream, is enough to share and makes the perfect conclusion to a romantic meal.

Poached apple, on a thin slice of delicate pastry

La Imprenta is a unique dining experience in Ibiza and has already begun to attract the type of beautiful, glamorous clients you might expect to find in the most exclusive Parisian neighborhoods. The quality of the food and the standard of service were exceptional.

Our visit to La Imprenta offered us the opportunity to embark on a culinary odyssey to the home of fine dining.

For high glamour from another age and exquisite food in an elegant and highly individualised setting, La Imprenta will leave a big lasting impression.

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