|Restaurants, Design, Interior Design
|8 p.m. onwards
Crt Ibiza-Sant Josep, Km.3.9
The Mediterranean islands of Ibiza and Rhodes may be miles apart, geographically, culturally and ambience-wise, but that hasn’t stopped Lebanese-born, London-based restaurateur Omar Abdel Khalek in drawing inspiration from both destinations for Zitya, a new bar-restaurant that opened its doors this summer outside Ibiza town. Taking over the legendary Naïf club where the likes of Mick Jagger and Kate Moss once partied the nights away in the late 1990s, Zitya nostalgically conjures Ibiza’s hedonistic lifestyle while Executive Chef Timothy Newton’s menu offers a contemporary take on traditional Rhodian cuisine.
The cross-Mediterranean influences come together in the boho-chic re-design of the venue’s plant-filled patio and more intimate indoor areas by Parisian interior design studio PINTO which draws as much inspiration from the Ibizan vernacular vocabulary as from Rhodes itself. Add in the fusion of Mediterranean flavours, the dreamy cocktails and the diverse mix of Spanish, Balearic, Greek, and Arab acoustic music on the speakers and you get an idea of Zitya’s transportive experience that vies to convey the magnetic energy that binds both islands.
Τhe restaurant takes its name from the Oriental Sweet Gum tree, known as ‘’zitia’’ in Greek, a very rare plant that can only be found in southwestern Turkey and Rhodes, most notably in the Valley of Butterflies, an enchanting butterfly habitat. This is also where Zitya’s red-ochre, white and black colour scheme, which extends to its brand identity, took its inspiration from, courtesy of the indigenous Jersey Tiger butterfly.
Occupying a traditional Ibizan finca, the restaurant’s rustic design takes its cues from the property’s heritage; think limewashed surfaces, exposed masonry walls and timber rafters. Rattan chairs, mosaic tabletops, and cotton and linen fabrics enhance the venue’s Mediterranean sensibility while imbuing a sense of nostalgic authenticity. Graphic textile patterns and wrought iron decorative screens again inspired by the Jersey Tiger butterfly’s dotted wings add playful touches.
In the expansive dining patio, large leafy trees that have been growing for decades are complemented by lush planters creating a relaxed, verdant oasis while the candlelit bar and dining area in the finca’s interior evoke more sensual vibes
Comprising easy-to-share dishes, Zitya’s menu draws from Rhodes’ Ottoman, Italian and Greek roots soulfully combining Mediterranean flavours and traditions. From the Black Angus Tartar, the Feta Kataifi and the John Dory Souvlaki, to the classic Mezze platter featuring hummus with crispy lamb, tirokafteri and carob bread with date butter, the menu is a veritable celebration of Aegean gastronomy. A curated list of signature cocktails that blends regional herbs, fruits and flowers in creative combinations rounds up Zitya’s culinary experience that takes patrons on a soulful journey across the Mediterranean.