The Carthaginians arrived in Ibiza in 654. The Goths and Visigoths, Muslims, and Christians followed. 

Then came the Chavs, and stag/ bachelor parties, the tattoos, the piercings, the thongs, the “full-on” party animals, the Jagerbombs, Phil’s full English all-day breakfasts, the Thirsty Thursdays and bottomless Gigglewater, the 30€ G&Ts, the VIP chill pits, the ebullient non-binary scene, Deep House, Techno, the Ecstasy, the mixology, the re-dubs, and the re-masterings.

1742 came in 2022 with Flanders Zeeland/Ibizan fusion and a 260€ per head degustation tasting menu, including highbrow wine pairings and an aria. It also came with a box seat affording a close-up and personal view of a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. Gourmands, gourmet chefs, and sybaritic A-listers are now colonizing the Med’s infamous “White isle.” High-end dining has come to the famous /infamous party island.

1742 Restaurant Ibiza
Chef Edwin Vinke

Dutch master chef Edwin Vinke opened “1742” in the Palacio Bardaji in Dalt Vita, Eivissa, Ibiza’s UNESCO-listed hilltop Old Town. The two Michelin-starred Vinke joins Ibiza’s other Michelin-feted chefs, Óscar Molina at La Gaia and Alvaro Sanz Clavijo of Es Tragon.

Next to the Cathedral of Nuestra Senora de las Nieves, Vinke’s new restaurant is in a restored mid-eighteenth mini-palace, forming part of the cultural site accorded World Heritage status in 1999. 

1742 Restaurant IbizaThe restaurant’s bespoke “nature-driven” menu celebrates Mediterranean seafood and Dutch sea life, and artists and craftsmen from around the world. “It mixes gastronomy and art with a wink.”

Vinke’s “exclusive experiential dining concept” begins in a diddy, four-person valet taxi that takes diners (in our case, the resident violinist) up through the narrow, winding, cobbled “calles” of the ancient hilltop town. A statuesque lady bearing gin and tonic-infused chocolates on long spoons met us at the door. We were then shown an old well and given a history lesson while escorted up questionable carpets, past a large rose corsage wall with the words “There to show you you’re loved” spelled out. We were handed a full glass of expensive-looking Champagne and met by the artfully tattooed patron chef for a “Guess the appetizer” game.

1742 Restaurant IbizaHe offers a mystery amuse-bouche from behind his counter and waits for diners to identify it. You might think the answer is on the tip of your tongue, but few get it right. For us, this night, it was a carrot. But it was no ordinary carrot. It was a smoked one, lovingly cooked for twenty hours. Slow-cooking carrots is chef Edwin’s specialty and passion.

1742 Restaurant IbizaParisian maitre’d Frank Briquet then showed us to the special function room, “What happens in the 1742 stays in the 1742.” He then escorted us up more stairs that had visually challenging carpeting to enjoy a flute aperitif on the rooftop terrace overlooking Eivissa Harbour. Along with us were two unexplained giant plastic penguins overlooking the harbor. Afterward, we were taken back downstairs, under a Disco ball, through some 1970s Soho strip club/ hippy time Ibiza purple lighting, and shown to our table in one of the two “multi-sensorial salons.” It was then we became conscious of the winking fox and the fish with something in its eye staring back at us. 

The restaurant is a moving feast – look one way, and you have surrealism and the other, the Gothic, Catalan, and Baroque in the form of the Our Lady of the Snow Cathedral and its trapezoidal bell tower. The menu is equally interesting. It’s a banquet of “experimental-artistic interventions,” including Italian cutlery and Fair Trade tableware. A piece of beautifully carved wood from Thailand acted as a seafood platter. The napery passed as a blank canvas. The silent ambient Acid Test light show (by Aladdin of south London) pulsed on the walls and ceiling. The fox and the fish wink away from gilded mirrors.

With wife Blanche and son Tom, two-Michelin star Vinke runs the celebrated “De Kromme Watergang” in Hoofdplast in the Zeeland region of the south-west Netherlands. The 55-year-old earned his first star in 2005 and second in 2011. He was named Chef of The Year in 2011. Chef Vinke has a three-word motto: “Pleasure, Passion and Perfection”. He says, “Let your heart speak, and your brain and hands do the work. And especially use all of your senses. Smell, feel, taste, over and over again.” 

1742 Restaurant Ibiza

After introducing us to some insightful fruits de mer and some insightful sturgeon and “Mame” local fish, we avidly listened as a South American waitress painted in words a picturesque “Bogante Azul” dish of beach crab and broad beans. She lyrically deconstructs deer and pumpkin courses, leaving no doubt that Vinke is a master of the briny and a proponent of the wild over-tamed, raw, or overcooked food. Our senses quickly reveal he is an advocate of head-to-tail, zero-waste where no marine body part is left unused. His land and sea treasures are cooked with minimal manipulation but no less creativity, where quality far exceeds quantity. And his style is calorific substance. The meal is theatre. Food becomes a public art installation, and the performance art is paired with the best wines. 

1742 Restaurant IbizaOur host left us speechless as he explained his philosophy with a mouthful of seaweed bread being consumed, “Our menu back home is tailored to everything that grows and swims in and around the River Scheldt, the North Sea, and the polders. We combine this local cuisine with herbs and spices from all over the world. Our Salon Culinair feeds and inspires by serving dishes on works of art. The bread is made with Dutch seaweed.”

1742 Restaurant IbizaThe restaurant is a joint venture between the celebrated chef and the Braun family from Nassau, Germany. The Brauns founded the Nassau Group, which also runs the Casa Munich farmhouse near the salt pans and Nassau Beach Club on Playa d’en Bossa. Here they “play big,” drinking Champagne by the boatload – literally. Champagne is served in mini rowing boats. Here the profligate and beautiful pose on sun beds, “maximizing their vitality” and honing their chillaxing skills eating tuna poke bowls. You can order three, six, or twelve bottles of 645€ – 1425€  Moet -Chandon Ice Imperial, Moët Ice Rose, or Dom Pérignon Vintage for 780€. A bath of Champagne is available for 2000€. In 1742, the blessed maximize their solvency and leave the beauty to Mr Vinke’s brigade. 

1742 Restaurant IbizaEach course is a new flavor experience, a different work of art – the last course was dessert beanpoles. Afterward, a violinist enters, followed by a diva. And after their heart-wrung recitals, they received a standing ovation and more winks from the fish and fox on the walls.

1742 is very tongue-in-cheek fish restaurant. More Grateful Dead than the Chemical Brothers. Interpret it how you like; there is a lot going on. Some I could figure out, but some I had no clue about. I had to know about the giant penguins. They baffled me. I learned they’re made from recycled materials by Belgian artists as a protest against animal cloning. Art and food can be pretentious, as Vinke is aware. He hopes that 1742 is where “the old palace and its energy will take you to higher realms!” | Photos courtesy of 1742