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Plaza Village is Marbella's New Gastrohub27-12-2014
Plaza Village is fast becoming Marbella's new 'gastrohub'; a culinary destination in Southern Spain.
No longer over-shadowed by Marbella Club, its aristocratic neighbour, the Puente Romano hotel appears to be brimming with self-confidence. With its new identity, 'Puente Romano Beach Resort', and its on-going investment programme, the property is looking better than ever.
Regular guests saw glimpses of what was to come with last year's opening of the Andrew Martin designed 'Sea Grill'. Where once there was a restaurant somewhat lost in a time warp, there is a now a stylish bar restaurant that truly takes advantage of its privileged location on the beach.
The style is contemporary, light and elegant, with plenty of design details that makes it a great space for a bite to eat, or drinks. 'Sea Grill' has raised the bar for Mediterranean dining, with its relaxed yet sophisticated menu that doesn't simply rely on beach favourites but adds colour and spice with inspiration from India and beyond.
This forward-looking style has now encompassed the whole property, with remodelled guest rooms and suites and redecorated public spaces.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the 'Plaza Village', the resort's innovative approach to hotel dining.
Recently I was fortunate enough to have dinner at 'Namazake', the Japanese fusion restaurant within Plaza Village. It was the perfect opportunity for me to see how this new Mediterranean courtyard destination dining concept had matured over the last year.
As the resort's name suggests, a 1st century roman bridge provides a striking focal point for Plaza Village. This is more than a contrived food court, this is an established property with genuine provenance, with a history of which many hotels can only dream.
Throughout most of the year, thanks to Marbella's balmy micro climate, an alfresco bar is open in the courtyard; an ideal place to indulge in a cocktail, like a mandarin martini, before deciding which restaurant to enjoy – and the choice is, as the Spanish say 'alucinante'!
The star of this gastronomic galaxy (or should I say stars, since it has two Michelin awards) is Dani Garcia's signature 'Cocina ConTradicion' restaurant. It's great to see Dani going back to basics here focusing on genuine gastronomy, supported by superb service and a beautiful environment. Too many chefs have over-extended themselves, losing touch with the very creativity and culinary essence that made them so successful. So it is with great satisfaction to see Dani 'coming home' here with his upscale celebration of Mediterranean gastronomy.
Of course, we don't always want to indulge in Michelin starred cuisine each week, so for a fun and relaxed take on modern tapas and sharing plates, take a look at 'Bibo'. Described as a 'new concept brasserie by Dani Garcia', this modern eatery offers all-day dining from classic eggs benedict to on-trend wood smoked dishes; as well as traditional plates with a thoroughly contemporary treatment.
It's not all cutting edge dining though at Plaza Village. For some classic elegance there's 'Serafina', Puente Romano's Italian restaurant conceived by Marco and Carlo Morelli. Try a classic pizza, cooked in a wood burning oven, or choose from the sophisticated evening menu, complemented by a notable wine list.
Puente Romano has maintained its heritage with its all-day dining restaurant 'Del Mar' – yet with a thoroughly updated look and feel, and a menu that understands the appetite of today's guests – families and friends that want to enjoy the beach, but eat well, drink well and have fun in elegant, stylish surrounds.
Well, I guess that just leaves 'Namasake', the Japanese restaurant which was the inspiration for this post. The restaurant has an urban feel – unlike a typical Spanish resort restaurant. It feels current and throughly on-trend. After dinner, the bar and terrace buzzes with energy and is a destination in itself.
So next time you wonder what to have for supper, may I suggest you head down to Plaza Village at the Puente Romano Beach Resort.
Puente Romano Beach Resort, Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
Telephone: +34 952 820 900
By Andrew Forbes (source)
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