Cala Sol Den Serra, Cala Llonga, 07849 Santa Eulalia des Riu
Visit the Website +34 971 196176
Area: Santa Eulalia
Amante describes itself as Ibiza’s “most beautiful beach restaurant”. Such bold claims are rarely advisable: beauty, a fickle notion at the best of times, is in the eye of the beholder. But spend a few hours here, and that assertion starts to seem more than reasonable.
It’s not that Amante is exclusive. Assuming you haven’t booked in advance (which is essential at the height of summer), you can get lucky if you show up and hover around until a table or a sun lounger comes free. The place exudes elegance and professionalism – yet the staff is friendly, in that humble, homely way that suggests that they like each other and the place in which they work, and that is no small thing.
What Amante does is offer an experience that’s hard to beat on this crowded little sunburned island. Experimental Beach Club on the southern coast, and Sunset Ashram allows you the perfect vantage point from which to bid farewell to our great friendly radiator in the sky for another day. Yet both, notably in the high season, are perhaps too accessible, too packed with casual vacationers.
Amante is manifestly not a mass experience. It’s too small for a start: not small per se, but bijou. Twelve tables line a long restaurant terrace, all of which boast the same view: the twinkling blue Mediterranean, a few feet away.
Beach clubs – and Amante is definitely one, despite proclaiming itself to be ‘just’ a restaurant – can be hit-and-miss affairs when it comes to food, offering a few knockout specials and too much cheap filler. This is not that kind of place. The food is great. Not stellar, not Michelin-star-worthy, but really, really good.
We arrived with a booking on an early and hot September afternoon, they couldn't find our reservation but that didn't stop them quickly finding us a table on the front line of the upstairs restaurant, we settle down at an available table, and order a pair of starters: for me, the Andalucian gazpacho - chilled, thick, just bitter enough; for her, the carpaccio of prawn – ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ good. From there, we move onto mains of chargrilled octopus and fillet of cod with thyme and spinach and potato puree. Both are also mouth-melty good, perfect partners to the hot sun and the light lapping of waves on the shingles below.
We wash this light-but-filling Mediterranean fare down with an Amante Passionate cocktail, a blend of gin, passion fruit, strawberry and chilli, and, since I am giving my liver a day of much-needed rest, a detox juice loaded with green apple, cucumber, celery, and ginger. Amante is proud of its desserts, and for good reason: we go for the classic cheesecake on a bed of passion fruit coulis, and the chocolate ganache with olive oil foam and flaked sea salt.
Then the real fun begins. We nab a prime lounger and stretch out. Amante is ideally placed in a little nook of a cove, far from the bustling beaches and resorts of the south and northeast. Situated south of the tiny and past-its-best town and mini-resort of Cala Llonga, it isn’t easy to find (one of the reasons why Amante isn’t overburdened with hungry patrons).
But this also gives the place its biggest advantage: it feels like a place that only you and your friends (and a few other, lucky souls) have managed to stumble upon. A secret world, hidden behind a door at the back of your wardrobe. We read, listen to music, enjoy the sun on our face, order a bottle of crisp white Spanish wine with two glasses (to hell with the detox!) and both enjoy a half-hour on Amante’s massage table.
There’s more to Amante than serene views, great food (and service) and a seriously wealthy wine, cocktail and spirits menu. The place hosts a pretty mean wedding reception, and offers yoga classes four times a week, for an hour from 9am. Nor does it wind down early. The clientele – which from a cursory glass are of the wealthy-but-not-super-entitled type – can stay all day, drinking through the afternoon and evening, with last orders accepted just after midnight. Amante is the kind of place where time just slips by comfortingly and enjoyably, without anything really having happened. And that, in my mind, makes it an ideal day out.