Despite his youth, no-one can say that Álvaro Reinoso, an entrepreneur who hails from Logroño, has not tasted success. Modest, but determined and above all, passionate, his indomitable spirit led him to open a restaurant specialising in Spanish cuisine in the heart of the Big Apple, somewhere which until then had proved resistant to the charms of that type of cooking. He built an exceptional team around him, and achieved unqualified success, not only with the public, but also with the critics: in 2015 he was awarded a Michelin Star, making his the first restaurant devoted to Spanish cooking, and with a Spanish chef, to achieve that distinction in the land of the Stars and Stripes.
Reinoso, who has a fine instinct for sniffing out good businesses to invest in, returned to Spain during the pandemic, and in the summer he travelled to Formentera. And, in his own words, “I fell in love with the energy generated by the island”. And he stayed.
He hunted and searched for a place where he could start a business and then, in Sant Ferrán, he found a traditional house, a little grander than the others, but somewhat dilapidated. He bought it, renovated it and lovingly decorated it. He had a perfect idea of what he wanted. But he needed a name. He rejected several suggestions, and then thought, “Ritmo Formentera? That could be a good name!” After all, rhythm implies energy, the energy generated by the island, continuous, forever in motion... He’d got it!
You are from a family of wine makers, and here you are starting up restaurants. How did you come to gastronomy?
As the son of wine makers, you visit a lot of restaurants. In addition, I am the son of entrepreneurs. But for me, it’s not a business. It’s a way of life.
What is Ritmo Formentera?
It’s a special experience: it’s fun; it’s feeling good; it’s attentive service; it’s delicious cooking; it’s a lovely place; and it’s the way we treat people who come here — with great care and consideration. Ritmo is more than just a restaurant, he states vehemently. It is a special experience, adding: our objective is to make our customers happy, and that is our reward. The happier the customer, the happier we are going home every day.
Our objective is to make our customers happy, and that is our reward. The happier the customer, the happier we are going home every day
And why did you choose this particular building?
I saw the building, and I could see its unique potential. I could feel it. I had no doubt.
And how do you feel about the last two years since you opened here?
“The experience of working in July and August in Spain, in Formentera, has surprised me. The number of people is astounding. Although we opened with that aim in mind, it’s one thing to plan it, and quite another to actually see it. It takes some getting used to, but I’m very pleased.”
How do you expect this season to go?
Well, I’m very optimistic. You can see, and feel, that people want to enjoy themselves, to leave behind all the problems that have affected us over the last couple of years.
You can see, and feel, that people want to enjoy themselves, to leave behind all the problems that have affected us over the last couple of years
Ritmo, the essence of Formentera
Ritmo Formentera is in the centre of Sant Ferrán, a little inland town. The restaurant is in an attractive old farmhouse, with whitewashed walls and an exquisite décor featuring textiles and natural elements. Earthy tones and colours reminiscent of Provence predominate, and contrast with the pristine whiteness of the walls. This cool, refreshing style, imparts to customers all the positive energies so characteristic of Formentera. Not forgetting the covered terrace, a superb space from which customers can enjoy the island’s spectacular sunsets. A complete Sunset Experience!
The kitchen is headed by the Valencian chef Dani Company, a veteran of the island’s kitchens. He has designed a menu whose outstanding features are freshness, creativity, and locally-sourced products. The menu has a distinct Mediterranean flavour, with the occasional nod to the culinary traditions of other countries, as well as highlighting a superb mastery of technique. The stars of the show, naturally, are the fish from the waters around the island, as well as excellent quality products from local farms.