Chef Charles Clark caused a few arched eyebrows during a recent media dinner when he stated Ibiza was “like your favorite pair of jeans”. Raised brows typically result from increased curiosity or an intriguing thought – and not that this statement wasn’t either of those. It was simple, straight to the point…and true. Ibiza Food & Wine Bar has called Houston its home for over 13 years, and they (like those favorite pairs of jeans) have been consistent.
Although Ibiza has stayed true to its menu offerings and hasn’t changed much over the years, they felt it was time to bring something different to the table, literally. No, they aren’t steering away from the rustic style of French cooking that we’ve all grown to love, and you will still find that welcomed Spanish twist. In actuality, Chef Charles Clark didn’t want to change it up too much. Sometimes just a few”enhancements” will do the trick. Take the Seared Foie Gras with Candied Apples and Pecan Arugula Salad as an example. The meticulous combination alone is jaw-dropping and is reason enough to have us racing to this Midtown restaurant and has already been deemed an Urban Swank fave.
A few more stand out dishes from the evening were the Smoked Scallops (with plum jam and fresh mixed-bean salad with tarragon) and Crispy Pork Belly (with homemade tomatillo salsa and compressed watermelon). The scallops were smoked mildly, and the sweet and slight bitterness of the plum jam made for an interesting combination. If you are ever faced with the dilemma of if it’s okay to sop plum jam up with your scallop, the answer is an overwhelming “HELL YA”! As for the pork belly…we must admit that we have never met a pork belly that we did not like. When Ibiza adds tart tomatillo and sweet watermelon to the dish, it quickly becomes a new best friend.