Top Tapas!

    It’s been another stunning day on the island that has us questioning if it really is October! Santa Gertrudis is the perfect base of operations for Essentialibiza, it provides easy access to both north and south of the island during the season so we are never far away from the madness but also offers a tranquil home just far enough away from it. There’s nothing quite like an evening in the village and tonight, we have been invited by our good friend Maurizio to check out his restaurant, Le Monde.

    It was a great first summer for the latest addition to the impressive list of eateries in Santa Gertrudis. Le Monde captured the imagination early on; it was where we watched all of the Euro 2012 matches and the scene of numerous great meals for us, and became one of the busiest spots in the village throughout the summer, which is an impressive achievement, given the company they find themselves in. Santa Gertrudis is not a big village but, for some reason, it has an abundance of fine restaurants, making it a popular destination for islanders and tourists alike.

    Having spent some time in Le Monde already this summer and enjoyed numerous delights from the extensive menu, we challenged Maurizio feed us, a task he took very seriously indeed. While he decided what to give us, we snacked on fresh olives and shaved cheese, with a nice bottle of red to wash it down, the restaurant has a comprehensive wine list, the walls inside the restaurant are covered in wines of all colours and flavours. Maurizio has opted for a variety of tapas, starting with gambas con patatas, esparragos y seta (prawns with potatoes, asparagus and black trumpet mushrooms), which are delicious, I feel like I’m a judge on masterchef, making sure I have a bit of everything on the fork to appreciate fully the flavour combination. Hot on the heels of the prawns is ensalada de Pulpo (octopus salad), which is a delicious fresh salad using the crisp lettuce leaves as the bowl.

    No sooner have we demolished these than Maurizio brings a second bottle of wine and another couple of delicious dishes, this time round we are looking at gambas kadaifi (prawns in Greek pastry) and albondigas a la Siciliana (tomate, albhahaca y parmigiano) (meatballs with tomato, basil and parmesan). The dishes are not too heavy but after two or three you definitely know you have been fed. The meatballs are my favourite so far, although it’s not the easiest decision to make as everything tastes amazing, so fresh and full of flavour.

    Le Monde has built up quite a reputation in a short space of time, the quality of the food is now common knowledge, another great thing about village life, when something proves itself to be very good, it’s not long before everyone knows about it. The friendly service is the other major plus point for Le Monde, Maurizio and Mila have created a real family atmosphere and many of the diners are repeat customers. There’s nothing better than finding a place that serves amazing food where you feel right at home.

    There are several outstanding pasta dishes on the menu and for us, its tagliatelle negre con calamares (black tagliatelle with squid). It’s my first time trying the black tagliatelle but it won’t be the last. Just when we are considering undoing the top button of the jeans, before they pop, the final tapas arrives, lomo de atun a la plancha con verdures ‘stirfry’ y salsa de remolacha (tuna fillet with stir fry veggies and sesame seeds), the tuna that almost melts in the mouth with veggies to compliment the flavour of the fish cooked in sesame seeds. Perfect!

    Le Monde is on the left hand side of the main road up to the village square, the perfect location for people watching or, as it turns out tonight, for spotting friends as they walk past. French photographer Jerome Ferrier is a celebrated local who joins us briefly for a catch up, yet another quality about living in a small village, friends are around every corner! The last batch of tapas has done the trick; especially the dark tagliatelle with calamari, my mouth is watering again now just thinking about it. We admit defeat but give in immediately when Maurizio suggests that we try a dessert. Chocolate cake with a passion fruit sauce and tiramisu are amongst the house specialties and before long we understand why. They are both light enough to squeeze in after numerous tapas dishes and the sweet taste is the perfect way to round off an amazing diner. The first year in Ibiza is never easy for any business but Le Monde managed to make a huge impact in a relatively short period of time. We are already massive fans and tonight’s meal has only served to reinforce that, we can’t wait to see what its second season will bring!