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Feb 20, 2008 03:06 AM

Ibiza New Haven

Does anyone know if Ibiza serves tapas? I always thought they were mainly tapas, but I just looked at their menu to decide if we wanted to go this weekend and it looks like a standard appetizer/entree menu. Anyone have any first hand experience? And would you recommend this over other New Haven places? We've been to Bespoke/Sabor recently and enjoyed, but want to try something different. We ate at Zinc and Union League a couple of years ago and were underwhelmed by both. Any other recommendations for a nice restaurant would be appreciated!

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  1. I've been to Ibiza a few years ago. I remember it as being a restaurant that had imaginative dishes that were very well prepared and presented. The service was professional and efficient. I don't remember the place offering tapas per se. It's a relatively small space but has a nice atmosphere. I would recommend it.

    Another Spanish place in New Haven I want to try is Barcelona. But looking at their menu I notice that they too don't offer true tapas. The have a "tapas" menu but judging by the prices, they are most likely full plate appetizers as opposed to small plate tapas. I noticed the same was true of Basque Bistro in Milford. The menu claims tapas but they're really not.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Jimmy Cantiello

      We go to the Barcelona in SoNo all the time and it is very good. They are true tapas, maybe a little bigger in size than traditional, but not appetizer size. We usually order about 3 tapas per person for dinner and it is a perfect amount. Definitely try it, the food is great!

      1. re: sibeats

        To reiterate what has been said above, Ibiza in New Haven is really a fine dining establishment (with the emphasis on "fine") with absolutely wonderful food. I have seen people sit at the bar and order appetizers, but it is certainly not a tapas bar in the true sense of the word. If you choose wisely, you can get really wonderful tapas at Barcelona.

        1. re: lsnhc

          I'm very familiar with Barcelona, but we are looking to try something new. Ibiza sounds great, I was just wondering if it was a place you could order many little plates to share or if it was more traditional in that you would just get an app/entree. We do like to be able to try lots of different things, but if the food at Ibiza comes that highly recommended, we'll go either way!

          1. re: sibeats

            No, you won't get little plates to share - it's an appetizer-then-entree place. But it's delicious. So go. (Then report back.)

            1. re: Roundelay

              I'm making the reservation as we speak! Anything you recommend ordering or is it all good?

              1. re: sibeats

                oh you should do the tasting menu! it is soo good. like mind blowing good. you get so much food that it comes out to like $10 a dish. i still think of this one fish that i had there. the fish was light. there were fried fingerling potatoes to add crunch and texture to the dish. there was a nice broth to hold everything together. ibiza is that good. i would say best food in new haven

                1. re: sprinklez

                  I'm so bummed we couldn't get a reservation for a time that's one of those nights where we are dropping off our daughter for a school event and have to pick her up at a certain time. Darnit! The tasting menu idea sounded perfect though. Any other ideas for a different restaurant in New Haven?

                  1. re: sibeats

                    Within a couple of blocks of Ibiza, New Haven is blessed with several really great destination restaurants. As "townies," our favorites include:
                    bespoke/Sabor (bespoke on the ground floor - nouvelle "international, " Sabor on the 2nd - nuevo Latino, from the owners of the late and great Roomba!)
                    Union Leage Cafe
                    there are others - these are my favorites!

                    1. re: lsnhc

                      We have eaten at bespoke/Sabor a couple of times and really enjoyed it. We ate at Union League and Zinc a few years ago and thought they were both okay, but not as good as bespoke. Pacifico we haven't tried. Unfortunately, I've already tried and I can't get a reservation at ANY of these places in our time frame!
                      Maybe we'll try just walking into Ibiza and eating at the bar as LenaNE suggested below. Oy!!

                    2. re: sibeats

                      Eat at the bar in's cozy.. not a "bar scene"... same great food and wine

                      1. re: sibeats

                        Go to Nini's Bistro, in Ninth Square. If you want wine you'll need to BYO, but their food is great and quite affordable. It's a restaurant that grew out of a gourmet catering establishment (that still is in existence). Four course prix-fixe for $35, with some pretty good stuff. The menu changes every couple of weeks or so- here's their dinner menu link:

                        If you're looking for something truly different, try Ahimsa. It's a vegan restaurant with some raw vegan items on the menu. Try the raw ice cream, you'll be astonished.

                        1. re: redfox697

                          Oops!! My apologies to Chef Stu (owner/chef of Nini's). It is a few blocks away, but in my opinion, the best deal in New Haven. We ate there last Sat night and as is the norm, had a totally enjoyable meal. For me, the real plus is the BYOB policy. I always bring a bottle from my cellar that I would never order at 3 or 4 times retail in a restaurant.
                          Definitely worth a try!

        2. Iibiza is good but I sounds like they are booked.
          If you want spanish, Bistro Basque is delightful.
          If you haven't been to Thali, I can highly recommend them.
          I have only been for dinner once so far, but Caseus shows some promise.

          and I don't want to start any fights but I have to give a big thumbs down to pacifico

          7 Replies
          1. re: EastRocker

            I have heard good things about Bistro Basque, but we won't have time to get back to Milford and then back to NH to pick up our daughter. I did call Ibiza back and take the 8:00 reservation and we'll just skip the dessert part so we can get out on time. We'll also get there early on the off chance they can seat us...if not, we'll just have a drink at the bar! We haven't been to Thali, and while I'd like to try it, I'm very unfamiliar with Indian cuisine and what to order, etc. I almost made a reservation at Pacifico, but we had a disappointing experience at his new place in Greenwich, so passed on that one. Thanks so much for everyone's help, I'll report back after we eat at Ibiza...hopefully it won't snow after all this!

            1. re: sibeats

              I'm back to report on our dinner at Ibiza. Overall it was a great dinner, the food was fabulous, the waiter was great. As you can see from my above posts, we had a tough time getting a reservation in our time frame. I called them twice to see if we could get in earlier than 8:00, and they were adamant that 8:00 was all they had, so I took it anyway. We got there a bit before 7:30, and said we had an 8:00 reservation, but if they could seat us now, that would be great. Sure, no problem, come right in! There were at least 7-8 empty tables, so I truly don't understand what all the rigamarole was about trying to make a 7:30 reservation. That was the only sour note of the evening, so I'll let it go, but it was just strange!
              We started off with an amuse bouche, a shot glass of delicious gazpacho and a small cod croquette with a nice aioli. Both were delicious. I ordered the tuna tartare with lentils and a carrot/ginger puree, my husband had the shrimp and scallop ceviche special. Both were very good, but my tuna was a little over seasoned for my taste (which I know is oversensitive). The ceviche was incredible and luckily I got a few bites of it!
              For entrees, I had the grilled halibut. It came on top of a delicious corn flour/cauliflower cake, crispy on top, silky in the middle. It was surrounded by a little "stew" of green peas, diced tomatoes and tender baby squid in a light broth. It was probably the best halibut dish I've ever had. Hubby had the chicken breast, covered in a creamy sauce with a potato stuffed with smoked bacon, shiitakes, blue cheese, walnuts and red peppers. It was all cooked perfectly and the potato was so good it was almost criminal!
              For dessert we shared the apple puff pastry tart with a scoop of honey rosemary ice cream. They also brought a little plate with 2 tiny almond cookies and 2 shot glasses of a chocolate malt shake.
              I would say that this is in the top 5 restaurants in New Haven, if not the top 2 (with Bespoke/Sabor). Thanks again to you all for all the help, and I highly recommend Ibiza!

              1. re: sibeats

                Another question - has anyone eaten at the Ibiza sister restaurant in Norwalk called Meigas? If so, is it as good as Ibiza?

                1. re: sibeats

                  had dinner there with a friend last tuesday. started with a goat cheese/frisee salad and truffle oil .octopus with potato foam, grilled calamari(fresh not frozen), braised oxtail, roasted pork with a really crisp skin and mango sauce. they have great bread ,also great desserts. flan, bread pudding, chocolate croquettes. knocked it all back with the house Rioja. great meal! love that pork

                  1. re: drepp

                    Sounds great...I assume you are referring to Meigas and not Ibiza? Have you been to both?

                2. re: sibeats

                  Ibiza is excellent, next time try the short ribs. Well rounded place, service was the best around. As for Bespoke/Sabor food is great, the service needs a little work.

            2. Clearly your questions have already been answered and you've already had you meal. But, as a point of interest...
              Ibiza used to be Pika Tapas, which might be why you thought it was a tapas place. Pika Tapas was one of three restaurants in the state owned by Ignacia Blanco. Luis Bollo, Ibiza's chef, worked with Blanco at all three. The two later opened Meigas in Lower Manhattan. Meigas was irreparably damaged on September 11, 2001. After this, Bollo came back to Connecticut, where he turned Meson Galicia in Norwalk into the new Meigas, and Pika Tapas into Ibiza.

              1 Reply
              1. re: danieljdwyer

                Oh thank you so much! We were driving ourselves crazy trying to figure out what Ibiza used to be, because we definitely went there years ago for tapas. We also used to go to Meson Galicia frequently, but then drifted away from it. After having such a good meal at Ibiza we are definitely going to try Meigas very soon.