FORMENTERA - ES CALÓ - RESTAURANTE S’EUFABI
PERMANENTLY CLOSED IN 2023?
When one is under a full moon in Aquarius and the internet healers all warn you of a major shift about to happen in your life and you are on an island in the Mediterranean somewhere off Spain and north of North Africa you have two choices as always.
One is to hide in your casa until the prevailing cosmic forces subside and shiver in fear and the other way is to say the hell with it and dive into the sea in a strong tide with great waves and let the water take you.
Then you pick yourself up from the sea with its frenzy and you search for the best wild paella you can find !!!.
In this case, the paella can be found not too far away, a few km up on the high road leading through pine forests to La Mola a place called S'eufabi.
S'eufabi has been there perched on a hill since 1973 which is the year I first discovered this island. S'eufabi has a good reputation and a few friends that come from here have recommended it for paellas and black squid ink rice.
I have paella on my mind though and I order the alioli and gazpacho, mineral water, and a mixed meat and seafood paella. A plate of the ubiquitous olives is brought swiftly to nibble on.
We sit outside on the patio looking at the pine forest opposite. This will be a long leisurely lunch as always. We have nowhere that we have to be at the present and besides in these full moon conditions, one cannot be too careful.
The alioli is nice with the right bite of garlic. I do wish they would serve brown bread in Spain instead of the usual white bread but this is a pet peeve.
The other peeve is that they learn how to make decent salads. It is usually an afterthought in this land of Jamón and Seafood. It is usually comprised of tomatoes and lettuce and corn and some onion and peppers. They have wonderful produce here and they can do better.
With a flourish, the paella arrives. I ordered a double portion because they do not cater to one person with the dish. My designated dining companion, Bernadette is a faultless vegan so we can not share. No worries because I can eat the rest for supper.
The paella looks wonderful, golden saffron anointed as is proper with copious amounts of fish, seafood, and meats. I see chicken and maybe goat and sea bass and giant shrimp and clams and mussels and octopus.
The rice is cooked perfectly and is al dente to the taste. The whole dish is very fresh and cooked to order. This is the first time eating meat in months and I have to say next time I might just go for the seafood paella just because I am losing my taste for meat these days.
My designated dining companion is enjoying her gazpacho which the waiter says was made with love, all fresh ingredients from the garden and all from scratch. Bernadette agrees after adding salt and pepper. She says she would add something green to top it off or breadcrumbs perhaps fried in oil and garlic. Her salad is the usual.
We start talking to the young Catalan couple next to us and I give them the link to my website at jonathondlipsin.com to check out my stories. They would like to explore America.
Usually, I don't have dessert but a coconut shell filled with coconut ice cream catches my eye and I order it. Very nice and when the shell is empty we take it home.
On a second visit for Bernadette's birthday, we had a very good vegan-friendly vegetable paella
As a surprise, the staff came out with this flour-less chocolate cake with walnuts for Bernadette's birthday that were one of the best I ever had and was still warm from the oven
I like S'eufabi a lot. The service is good, and friendly in a low-key Spanish way. I feel like I am invited to a friend's house. The paella is one of the best I have had on the island and I give them high marks for it being fresh with a great assortment of fish, seafood, and meats. A lot of places serve a dish of rice with some things in it and dare call it paella.
Here they have pride and obviously, cook with love. So I will come back.
The waiter invites us for a customary Hierbas and we stand at the bar in one gulp that I have perfected since I have been here I down the shot of local anise liquor. I stagger out to go home to take a siesta and after I will wake up and jump into the sea once again.
The waves were high on account of the full moon and I reveled in this as I body surfed with the highest of them. The best place in the world is the sea to let shit go. After a swim, I am at peace and the monkey mind has ceased its chatter.
This full moon stuff ain't all that bad once you get used to it.
As Keith Richards once said, "It ain't the rock that's bad it's the roll you got to get used to."
All photos in this article © Bernadette Mundy
Words © Jonathon Lipsin.
Returning to the Island made Jonathon relive some of his early favorites in music the mixes below have some of them. Jonathon's music picks can be found here:
Carretera de La Mola km 12.5, Es Caló, Formentera +34 971 327 056
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