Last week, I received a most seductive email from Ibiza, the swanky Spanish restaurant at 39 High St. It read: “why not skip school … and go?”
I was obviously sold.
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I won’t be coy: the food at Ibiza was good. This may have been due to a variety of reasons. It could have been that the cook and the ingredients were top notch. It could have been that I took advantage of their Valencia Tasting Menu (priced at a relatively affordable $35 per person). Then again, it could have even been the sangria-colored glasses that I put on very early in the meal. Whatever the case, the net effect was downright pleasurable.
The meal began with an amuse-bouche: a creamy blue cheese croquette and a shot of spicy gazpacho. (This was all told to us in the form of an oddly loud and formal proclamation by Sr. Waiter.) Then came the appetizers. The first, a beet salad (mesclun, beets, toasted almonds, goat cheese), was reliably tasty but also relatively unexciting. The second, a duo of squid, was more interesting. One part featured baby squid legs drizzled with bell pepper aioli and set atop fingerling potatoes; the other was squid heads in a buttery sauce. The heads were silky and soft — it felt like eating little buttery pillows (in the best way possible).
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For the entrée, my friend and I both went for the fideuà, a dish Google defines as “noodle paella.” The fideo was accompanied by skate fish and mussels. The noodles and fish were tasty. The mussels were too chewy for my taste, and in addition, none of the components seemed to have much to do with one another.
By the time dessert came around, I was stuffed. I want to say dessert was good, but we were pretty much done with our pitcher of sangria by that point, so I can’t say much of anything on the subject. And just my luck, the drunken sponge cake was strongly alcoholic. The meal ended with a milky and refreshing shot of chocolate shake.
Contrary to Ibiza’s temptation, I didn’t skip school, but I did go. A monster food baby and a worse hangover later, I’m pretty satisfied.