A world of beauty, magic and traditional Balearic delights await at the beachfront restaurant of El Carmen. With elevated views across the southern coastline, there’s one unmissable sight on the horizon that makes a table at this eatery a speciality in itself. Looking out at the island’s iconic landmark of Es Vedra, you won’t be gazing for too long as dishes here will fast steal all of your attention. As fresh as the ocean beside it, a menu boasting fantastic fish, meats and paellas isn’t all. Classic, Mediterranean cooking is what fuels the philosophy behind family-run El Carmen.
Everything from jamon Iberico to Galecian octopus, green peppers to gazpacho, the menu is one to work slowly through for a true taste of the island. Sample dishes signature to Ibiza in the shape of bullit de peix, fish coated in a rich saffron sauce, or fideuà, a noodle-based paella. Carnivores are suitably looked after with a range of local meats to the tune of entrecôte and ribeye steaks as well as a medley of lobster dishes to dazzle. The chef has its doors wide open as the whole family is invited, kids are catered to with a similarly Balearic-inspired offering.
Keeping in line with the natural, majestic landscape it sits on, El Carmen’s service doesn’t try to boast the worlds of luxury. Instead, it lets old-fashioned, attentive, service be the vehicle for dishes that do all of the talking. Take a seat right at the opening and bask in the sights with an extensive wine menu. Advance booking is advised, however, as the coveted front-row gets booked up fast. Arrive when doors open midday for coffee, Spanish omelette and toasts and stay to watch the sky turn pink over Es Vedra.
El Carmen is popular for sunset dinners as well as locals celebrating special occasions.
Undoubtedly, El Carmen is a firm must-see on any travel itinerary. Situated on the isolated stretches of Cala d’Hort, a serene air of mystique envelopes – perhaps from its neighbouring monument – adding to a dining experience that’s completely unrivalled. And, not forgetting the lush sands that line the front of the restaurant, a lazy lounge on the beach will keep you long occupied before or after your visit. A quintessential restaurant full of laid-back charm, El Carmen is the place to go for unpretentious fare cooked to perfection.