Marbella’s most renowned chef has returned with another sumptuous and pacesetting concept in haute cuisine. Described as “a new kind of steakhouse, set to revolutionize the grilling world”, Leña is located in Puente Romano Beach Resort, replacing Dani García’s former eponymous three-star Michelin restaurant. After the restaurant was awarded its third star at the end of 2018, García announced that he would relinquish its Michelin ranking the following year, explaining at the time that he wanted to take his celebrated cuisine in a different direction. Since then he has been involved in other projects, including two separate establishments in Marbella (Bibo and Lobito del Mar), a cookery show on the national TVE channel, and expansion of the Dani García Group into other markets, including Madrid and the Middle East. But returning to Leña (which translates as “firewood” or “wood fire”)… The restaurant was devised “as part of Dani García’s ongoing dream to bring his recipes to everyone everywhere, this time through a concept he’s been cooking up for a long, long time: a grill-house that signals a departure from the usual stereotypes by combining tradition, innovation and produce in a way that only he can do”. This steakhouse concept comprises “an irresistible duality for its guests: the balance between Dani García’s technique and his sense of honesty and respect for the produce”. The menu is “all about the raw material and its versatility on the grill, but with a highly personal touch and a real international influence, born of the chef’s travels and experiences around the world”. The starters include charcoal-roasted edamame with salt or spicy lemon sauce; charcoal-grilled roasted bimi (“the world’s healthiest vegetable”) with romesco sauce; charcoal-grilled Burgos blood sausage and green apple purée; fried chicken oysters (“the sweetest part of the chicken”) with a hint of lemon; and carpaccio of cured beef, black truffle sauce and parmesan cheese. Plus, various “yakipincho” skewer dishes – García’s “Hispano-Japanese take on traditional yakitori”.
As for the mains, the menu introduction is – as to be expected – alluring. “The fire’s always lit here. Product, technique, versatility and passion, when combined, make a beautiful blaze and create the finest embers in Marbella and the world.” The dishes combine the customary Dani García signature style with new innovations… such as aged beef “minced before your eyes”, with bull sauce, pretzel and havarti cheese, inspired by the hamburger served at the three-star Dani García Restaurant; veal loin pan-fried Milanese-style in French butter; wood-fired oven-roasted leg of lamb aux fines herbes; “Surf & Turf” of roast lobster with Café de Paris sauce and beef tenderloin with mashed potato and meat jus; and wagyu beef from Kobe, tamari sauce and fresh wasabi. And for non-meat eaters… charcoal-grilled sea bass, with lemon rind confit and extra virgin olive oil, and charcoal-grilled salmon loin. Desserts also, of course, dazzle the senses… including rum baba “in honour of Dusasse” with vanilla chantilly cream; slow-roasted sliced pineapple, passion fruit and refreshing candy; crème caramel with yuzu, clove biscuit and basil; and strawberries stewed with pepper, yogurt ice cream and grated orange. The concept of the restaurant décor, designed by the Astet studio, “treasures the essence of the primitive, of fire, embers and primary materials such as stone and wood”. The entire space is stained-black, a dominant jet black colour that covers everything – the walls, ceilings, floors and furniture – with the nuances of a brighter palette dotted around the restaurant. This tone was created as a testimony of burned or charred wood using the Japanese Yakisugi technique. Black is considered the best background to highlight the hues of meat and the restaurant’s other dishes. In short, nature is prominent throughout Leña, showcasing elements that highlight the restaurant’s organic aesthetic.
Puente Romano Beach Resort, Marbella