Alelí Marbella, by the Dani García Group, opened in the summer of 2022 and has quietly created a loyal foodie following. Italian cuisine is not only the amongst the most loved, but also one of the most interpreted by chefs worldwide. Yet here at Alelí, with a sincere focus on the quality of the produce used and the technique of preparation, dishes have authenticity while still reflecting the signature style and creativity of Dani Garcia.
Marbella is a gastronomic hub, already home to Dani Garcia’s award-winning Leña restaurant. Now Alelí has come into a bloom, a new flower in the city’s gastronomic garden. The restaurant is within the Puente Romano area of the Golden Mile, in a charming Andalusian building with a garden terrace evocative of Tuscany.
When we arrive, after a warm greeting and being taken to our table, we learn that Alelí is inspired by the beauty and decadence of “La dolce vita” by Federico Fellini and “La gran belleza” by Paolo Sorrentino.
Italian Gastronomic Journey
The menu sets out a gastronomic journey through the regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Lazio, Campania and Sicily, with dishes ranging from different types of mortadella to fresh handmade pasta, including the agnolotti del Plin from Piedmont.
Tempted by the cocktails, we started our memorable evening with a classic Venice Bellini, and the ‘La Gran Selezione di Alelí’, a magnificent sharing plate of antipasti. As Simone, our waiter explained, the charcuterie was cut to order on a vintage meat slicer, on the finest setting, truly maximising the flavours of the stracciatella and mortadella de Bologna.
The open kitchen features a striking wood-fired oven, where traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas, with a 48-hour fermentation time, a prepared and baked to order.
There’s also a wide selection of dried and fresh pastas to start your Italian feast. Yet we went for gnocchi, made with baked pumpkin – rich with blu di bufala cheese and pumpkin oil.
Second plate options included specialities like beef with marsala wine, lemon chicken and lamb. It’s a hearty, generous menu that feels authentic yet with original touches.
The tiramisu is a must – and there is a lovely selection of dessert wines from Spain, Portugal and France.
The shelves of the open kitchen are stocked with tempting products and packages, sourced from authentic high-quality Italian suppliers.
Born and raised in Rome, the head chef Nicholas Amici, one of the visionaries behind this new restaurant, brings a balance of creativity and tradition to the kitchen.
Alelí’s wine selection is inspired by Dani García’s passion for fresh wines with a Mediterranean focus, so expect some delicious Spanish wines, as well as Italian wines from small Tuscan producers in Montalcino such as Sassicaia, Tignanello or Masseto, to some rare finds from Rinaldi, Soldera or Burlotto.
Spring is the perfect time to relish the terrace at Alelí, evocative of “dolce far niente”, the quintessential Italian philosophy of life that evokes the pleasure of doing nothing.
Address: Alelí Restaurant, Av. Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, 29602 Marbella (Málaga)
Andrew is a Marketing Communications consultant, working within the wellness, travel & lifestyle sectors. His track record in PR, marketing and branding spans over 25 years. He writes regularly on international wellness, travel, and lifestyle themes with a particular passion for the Mediterranean and the Americas. Originally from the UK, Andrew Forbes has lived in the US and France but now calls southern Spain his home, where he is Travel Editor for Spain’s leading English language newspaper. For Andrew, luxury is many things; most importantly genuine hospitality, authenticity and thoughtful service. Web: www.andrewforbes.com