When you enter IT Ibiza, your first impression is that you are not just another diner; the staff go out of their way to pamper you, take care of you and make you feel unique. So much so that at IT Ibiza they consider hospitality and service to be as important as good food, which has made them a true benchmark in Ibiza. This is perfectly understandable when we meet Toni D'Agostino, manager of IT Ibiza, and ultimately responsible for the ins and outs of this impressive venue. Toni combines the great values of Italian culture: the importance of family, closeness and friendliness, so typical of the south of the country, which he inherited from his father and mother, natives of Calabria and Salerno, respectively; and the sophisticated touch of having grown up in Turin, one of the great cultural epicentres of Italy and Europe.
Despite its Versailles-like palaces, its wide boulevards and the impressive Alps surrounding the city, the capital of the river Po soon became too small for D'Agostino, who one day decided to emigrate to London, where he lived for almost two decades and imbibed the city's cosmopolitan je ne sais quoi. There he grew professionally until a few years ago when he packed his bags again and went to Ibiza to take the reins of the IT group's project on the island.
Taking the world by storm Italian style; the IT universe
IT is a world unto itself. It is a little piece of Italy, i.e. the real Italy, in Ibiza. Apart from Ibiza, it is also in London, Mykonos, Tulum and Milan, where it already boasts a Michelin Star, in addition to the two already held by Nino di Constanzo, the group's executive chef, at his restaurant in Ischia (Naples). IT is a way of understanding life, or at least gastronomy, in the Italian way. Hence the play on words implicit in its name, which sounds similar to ‘eat’ and is the abbreviation for Italy. This is a bold statement.
IT Ibiza provides Italian cuisine Spanish-style. In other words, although the menu is purely Italian and much of the produce is imported directly from the transalpine country, the menu has a certain Spanish accent, especially the dishes for sharing, which are not very common in Italy where everyone usually orders their own dish, but also the use of typically Spanish products such as Ibérico pork and, of course, the magnificent Ibizan produce such as the extraordinary fish from the Balearic waters and the magnificent vegetables from the islands.
Davide Rotondo, the head chef at IT Ibiza, has prepared a menu for this season with an abundance of dishes for sharing such as carpaccios, sea bass tartare and a wonderful tuna belly fillet prepared with his own special touch. According to Toni D'Agostino, ‘IT Ibiza is a combo of Spain and Italy. Mind you, the spaghetti or pizza you eat are exactly the same as if you were in Italy. The tomato we use for the pasta is imported from Italy because we want to be faithful to the country's flavours’. As for the signature pizzas prepared at IT Ibiza, they are a classic on the island. For example, this year they are preparing a Capricciosa bianca pizza with basil and sun-dried tomatoes from the island, which is a marvel.
More than just a restaurant
One of the premium products of all the IT Group restaurants is the impressive signature cocktails they prepare. Nevertheless, each restaurant has its own selection of five cocktails that can only be enjoyed there. In the case of Ibiza, both tequila and mescal are fundamental ingredients in the mixed drinks and in the drinks menu since both are in great demand by those visiting the island.
The wine cellar also offers a wide variety of references, not only from Italy, but also from Spain, France and even spectacular wines from the American continent, carefully selected by Giovanni Rapagnani, the Wine Buyer, and Michele Vivenzio, the sommelier of IT Ibiza.
Another thing that makes IT Ibiza unique is the music, played live by a selection of the island's best DJs, which contributes to creating an atmosphere of sophistication and exclusivity that is so characteristic of Ibiza. In the words of Toni D'Agostino, ‘That's why everyone wants to come to Ibiza’.