Casanis Bistrot was founded almost 20 years ago, yet in a matter of weeks, it was one of the Old Town’s most popular dining establishments.

We featured Casanis Bistrot in essential on the month of its opening, and can vividly recall the visionary, ambitious spirit of young restaurateur Guy Sirre, who was determined to offer savvy diners something new: French/Belgian bistrot cuisine, bearing touches of the world flavours he so enjoyed savouring in his free time.

The essential elements of Casanis Bistrot (its hand-painted interiors by Aldo, friendly service and exquisite food and wine) have remained the same, but many changes have also occurred along the way. As mentioned, Guy is an active, restless spirit, and the past two decades have seen several innovations – including the opening of two ‘private dining areas’ in front of the restaurant (guests can enjoy wine tastings while having lunch or dinner and take home their favourite bottle of national or world wine), and the creation of a 2,000m2 organic garden just 10 minutes from the restaurant.

From here, the Casanis Group chefs obtain fresh, organic, flavour-packed ingredients for their dishes – everything from ripe red tomatoes to 10 different types of carrot (orange, purple, even white!), peppers, herbs, lettuce, ruccula, and more.

By the end of 2015, the group began to grow with the acquisition of La Plage Casanis (a sophisticated yet laidback beach club). Another big change (which occurred early last year) is the incorporation of new management. Guy, who is at heart a world traveller, is also a family man, and, not one to allow work to cull his creativity, he decided to enter into partnership with Zazou (leading voice and clear creator of the new concept of La Plage Casanis), Fabian Cangas (a Chef who has been with Guy almost from the start and is the Executive Chef of Casanis Group) and Vincent Boitier (a leading businessman in the Hotel and restaurant industry abroad).

The changes the partners have brought are indicative of the importance of growth in the culinary sector. Big plans are underway, one of which is the transformation of Casanis Group’s Old Town restaurant, La Tapa by Casanis, into Frenchette (opening in early May). The new restaurant will offer a sophisticated ‘shared dining’ experience, with diners ordering individual sides. Frenchette has intimate interiors but a more spacious exterior terrace dining, where guests will be enjoying a host of al fresco events – think open-air cinema, jazz night, gospel night, etc.

Indeed, all Casanis Group’s establishments are strong on live music and events. La Plage Casanis, for instance, a savvy beach club dreamed up by Zazou, keeps the vibe on high in the summer, with DJ-spun music, events on nights such as San Juan, and full moon parties. The Casanis Group also has a resident DJ who carefully selects playlists for each venue.

But let’s get back to the food. The menu, containing French, Belgian and international dishes, offers surprises like Vietnamese nems, as well as classics like the foie gras, served with a heavenly sweet fig marmalade. On our most recent visit, my colleagues and I tried the latter with the softest warm bread, as well as flat crispy walnut bread – a perfect starter to our meal.

We also shared a delightfully fresh tuna tartare, a melt-in-the-mouth salmon with seasonal white asparagus and Hollandaise sauce, and an unexpected but quickly devoured dish – a bowl of healthy, crisp green beans served with a mustard and nut oil sauce – so fresh and crisp! We washed down these tempting treats with a fruity Bierzo white wine from Castilla y León, its lovely fragrance certainly whetting our appetite.

For our mains, we tried dishes on the menu, as well as a couple of the daily specials. I chose a tender, fresh corvina, grilled to crisp perfection and served over creamy mashed cauliflower – a lovely way to combine healthiness and flavour. Another diner opted for the beef wellington, its golden crust covered in generous servings of a Port wine and truffle sauce. Two other delights were the Argentinean entrecôte, served with Belgian-style fries, and the Bluefin tuna from Barbate, with a classic mustard-olive, oil-lemon-soy sauce. These heartier dishes were accompanied by the unique Cerro de las Cuevas Rioja, full-bodied yet with a fruity aftertaste afforded by its exquisite terroir.

A visit to Casanis Bistrot is always made extra special by the fantastic staff, who share a passion for food, wine, and customer service. Any night of the week, it is easy to feel a beautiful home-like vibe, thanks to the colourful modern art, the warm lighting, and the fabulous music. Guy has taken many steps forward since he launched his first restaurant in Marbella, his keen eye for what is trending the world over, inspiring change. However, arguably his most fascinating achievement is building a strong and valuable partnership on the basis of growth and expansion in the short- and long- term… so much so that today, the Casanis Group is as much a part of the team as vice-versa.


C/ Ancha 8, Marbella. Tel: 952 900 450.