LA PALOMA IBIZA
Luckily we’re spoilt on this island with an incredibly forward-thinking restaurant scene. Ibiza seems to be turning into a foodie destination where the emphasis is on organic, sustainable eating.
Sophisticated farm-to-table, you know.
However, La Paloma is not a new pop-up. The fairytale restaurant in the tiny village of San Lorenzo was serving organic, delicious “real food” right from the start.
And they just keep getting better!
It is one of the island’s most loved dining destinations, and always the first place I recommend to anyone craving the taste of real Ibiza.
Since the restaurant opened in 2004, La Paloma has gradually evolved into the must-visit island institution it is today. Everything that the passionate Paloma family does seems to be touched with magic – the setting, the décor, the ambience and of course, the food.
La Paloma owner Prasuna came from Italy to Ibiza in 2000 - and as we all know, the Italians know a thing or two about food.
Prasuna had a strong desire to open a restaurant where food was made and given with good intention – food made with love. She scoured the island introducing herself to everyone looking for a place where she can express herself.
A magical little house appeared in San Lorenzo and in 2004 La Paloma was born. Of key importance was to only prepare fresh food - nothing processed, and this principle of using fresh ingredients still informs the menu today.
Of course, being Italian, certain ingredients must be flown in from the motherland, such as capers from Pantelleria in Sicily, speciality ham and salami from a little farm in the heart of Chianti in Tuscany, and parmesan made in the traditional methods by a small family. The olive oil used is an award-winning blend from Cataluña and another star ingredient is Prasuna’s own homemade ghee, used as a health-giving substitute for butter.
As you take your seat in La Paloma’s beautiful garden restaurant with its signature aqua-blue tables, it is impossible not to feel right at home. The intimate, cosy setting is the perfect example of a cosmopolitan ambience mixed with an authentic, bohemien attitude, however there is nothing forced about it. Everything just flows effortlessly here. Happy diners fill the garden, their faces glowing from the warmth of the sun.
The staff is professional and attentive, yet super relaxed and always smiling - a rare combination. Embracing their customers as though they are part of the family comes naturally to the Paloma team. Enjoying a late lunch here makes you feel like you’re sitting at your best friend’s garden party.
The Paloma Cafe & Restaurant is open for lunch from 12.30 to 17.00. At 8pm the action shifts and the space turns into a fashionable dining destination (I once had Paul McCartney at the table next to me). The evening restaurant is run by a different chef with a cosmopolitan, seasonal dinner menu.
In the summer months there’s the candlelit garden for dining, whereas during the colder months the indoor restaurant space comes to life. It’s a delightful and super cool space oozing effortless style.
If the restaurant space is full of soul, then it is the kitchen that houses La Paloma’s heart.
Prasuna has long been an advocate of using organic produce and is passionate about sourcing the very best to put on your beautifully presented plate.
Picky eaters like me are thoroughly pleased by the menu, fusing the very best of the Mediterranean with exotic flavours. The lunchtime menu offers delicious salads, seasonal soups, roasted veggies, fresh quiches, country chicken, burgers, and more. Glutenfree and vegan is no problem here.
My favourite is still the homemade falafel salad, possibly the best falafel I have ever tasted. And if you still find room for dessert, their homemade cakes with local ingredients are insanely good. Try the almond-orange cake, it’s orgasmic.
Dinner is a culinary adventure of healthy but hearty specialities. You’ll find gorgeous risottos, sirloin steak, juicy lamb chops, country chicken served with the tastiest vegetables, grilled fish and homemade pasta dishes.
Dessert is a mix of Italian classics like panna cotta, tiramisu, creme brulee and chocolate fondant, as well as lighter options like sorbet and insanely good ice cream.
I can honestly say that everything tastes divine. "Simple" real cooking bursting with flavour. But La Paloma offers more than that. I had the best nights and the most relaxed and fun lunches here.
Are we hungry yet?
La Paloma really is such a special and integral part of the island’s gastronomic scene.
Do check it out!
To make a reservation please visit the La Paloma Ibiza website or call +34 971 325 543.
Delicious food photography by Sara Andjelkovic @saraandjel