The Da Bruno group of restaurants is known along the Coast as purveyors of delectable food, served in welcoming venues.
Through the years, in prosperous and tougher economic times alike, Da Bruno restaurants were some of the ‘lucky few’ that were always packed – Monday to Sunday, lunch or dinner, one could always sense the lively vibe that spilled over from within the restaurants to the busy outdoor terraces.
Many would say, of course, that such longstanding success can never be chalked down to ‘luck’. In the case of Da Bruno, those who are regular customers know that the experience is certainly inimitable – authentic Italian cuisine ‘made from scratch’ is married to friendly, attentive service, inviting décor and evenings featuring live entertainment.
Each Da Bruno restaurant weaves its particular brand of magic. Da Bruno Sul Mare, for instance, is famed for its elegant interiors and proximity to the sea. Da Bruno A Casa, for its lively atmosphere, ideal for a business lunch or family meal. Da Bruno San Pedro, just in front of the Boulevard, is perfect for families, while Da Bruno Cabopino invites you to dine beneath the magnificence of verdant pine trees.
Da Bruno Mijas takes the elegance factor up a notch, with pristine white tablecloths, a stunning layout and romantic indoor and outdoor settings which very much make it an ideal choice for an intimate yet affordable night out.
Located in the Mijas/ Fuengirola area, this restaurant attracts a fair percentage of the Scandinavian market, though efforts have also been made to entice Spanish diners as well. A set menu for two for just €39,90 allows diners to select from all but two or three dishes on the regular menu, at a fraction of the price – thus, each diner can expect to pay less than €20, yet enjoy a knockout meal comprising a shared starter, main and homemade dessert.
My husband and I recently took advantage of an early day off work to sample this menu. We started out with the Plato Gourmet, which contained hearty portions of vitello tonnato, carpaccio, mozzarella and a prawn cocktail. The variety and freshness of the produce whet our appetite for more and we were not disappointed, with so many pizza and pasta dishes vying for our attention.
I gave into the carb temptation and tucked into the espaguetis mare e monti – containing a generous blend of seafood and mushroom bites. The pasta was as fresh and al dente as always and the flavours, inviting.
My husband opted for the risotto with boletus porcini. He is a self-proclaimed risotto connoisseur who had to concede that this version was unbeatable. For dessert, we chose the classic Italian tiramisu, which bore the beautiful flavour of home brewed coffee.
Da Bruno Mijas has live music every night – featuring all types of music, from pop to soul. On Thursdays, there is usually something a bit special going on – watch out for the fun tribute evenings featuring homages to everyone from the Rat Pack to ABBA. The restaurant also delivers to nearby areas, for those wishing to enjoy an Italian meal in the comfort of their home.
Also worthy of mention is the service. At Da Bruno, you never need wait for a top-up. A family atmosphere prevails and the waiters are always ready to make a suggestion or comply with special requests.
Many of the staff have been with Da Bruno for 15 or 20 years and they will often tell you that one of the most fulfilling aspects of their job is watching new generations of diners who first visited as children, return with their own families.
If you see Giancarlo Paparusso say ‘Hi’ – the restaurant director is a charming ‘people’s person’ who also manages Da Bruno a Casa. He is one of those restaurateurs who is always present, ensuring that things are running smoothly.
During my visit to the Mijas restaurant, Giancarlo came to greet us, chatting about how well the restaurants are going and letting me in on the latest news – much of which is centred around the new cookery school his parents are opening.
The school, to be located in the centre of Marbella, will be a training centre for staff and its top floor will be used as an events centre. This is, perhaps, one of the secrets of Da Bruno’s success – the marriage of constant innovation and timeless passion for service.
Words Marisa Cutillas / Photography courtesy of Da Bruno
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C.C. Idea, Ctra. De Mijas km 3.6, Mijas. Tel: 952 460 724.