The Golden Mile is fast becoming a hub for fine dining in sophisticated surroundings – none more so than this truly elegant frontline beach restaurant with an open window on the sea.
There are many who purport to offer glamour, but in its pure form of refinement few can match D.O. MAR. This restaurant’s credentials begin with its privileged frontline beach location at the heart of the Golden Mile.
Pedigree is another important ingredient, and the establishment that for many years was known as Toni Dalli’s is a Marbella icon that continues today as D.O. MAR, a restaurant that honours its charismatic address and seaside setting by specialising in the very best the Mediterranean has to offer, and doing so in an ambience of distinction.
The very entrance speaks of classic Marbella glamour, and the attractive décor balances contemporary tastes with a touch of timeless appeal in creating a restaurant and bar setting that speaks of elegance.
More than just a luxury venue, however, signature chef Oscar Velasco has endowed D.O. MAR with a philosophy rooted in passion. Passion for fine food, service and the bounty of the sea. What’s more, the menu he has created draws both inspiration and its fresh produce from local, Mediterranean sources, so the dishes you enjoy are in sync with their surroundings.
The fish is sourced from a fresh daily catch from specialist suppliers and the vegetables are similarly selected from different parts of Andalucía where the micro conditions create distinct flavours.
Seated at a table with open, panoramic views across the pool deck to the sea, we enjoyed a beautifully prepared sampling of fish and seafood dishes that reflect what D.O. MAR is all about.
The restaurant also features a connected but independent bar with gorgeous styling and a wonderful range of cocktails and drinks created by the in-house mixologist.
Pure food in an unrivalled setting
On the night it was a Pisco Sour with saffron, Thai basil and lemon that formed the perfect accompaniment for the unique ambiance of the venue.
The emphasis at this restaurant is on freshness and quality ingredients matched by the chef’s artistry, and if you wish, the produce is brought to your table for inspection.
The fish is even sourced with natural low fat content in mind, and while taking your order the engaging maître d’ checks if you have any dietary requirements, which the kitchen at D.O. MAR is equipped to take in its stride while preparing fine food.
We enjoyed traditional Spanish style bread with a fine virgin olive oil from Córdoba, followed by a refreshing glass of gazpacho with bonito and algae dust. This set the tone for another delectable, fresh dish made of soft, sweet tomatoes from the sandy soils of Conil and light, gently textured mussels from Málaga.
It’s a simple but beautifully balanced combination, especially when enjoyed with a glass of Manzanilla from Sanlúcar de Barrameda. In keeping with D.O. MAR’s way of doing things, this was not just any dry sherry but a deliciously smoky one by Antonio Barbadillo.
Freshly caught bonito from the Almadraba in the Straits was next, specially prepared and served with Spanish pesto, along with fresh vegetables whose full, rounded flavour derives from the minerals in the soil of Coín. It was matched to perfection with an Édalo 2017 bio-organic rosé – a true find for lovers of blush wines.
The flavoursome adobo that followed formed a tasty intermezzo before we continued with red prawns from the Málaga coastline – once again married to a local wine, in this case a crisp, dry muscatel from the Montes de Málaga region.
The main course among these light tasters was the Rodaballo – turbot – served with grilled vegetables and matched to a delicious red wine from Alicante, Al-Muvedre. Made from sweet Monastrell grapes, it was served slightly chilled, which to my mind only added to its fragrant impact.
Beautifully prepared and full of flavour, yet also light and healthy, is how I would describe the courses we had sampled, and they were crowned with an ensemble of desserts – modern versions of lemon crumble, chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream – whose sweet freshness was matched by that of the delightful strawberry-flavoured wine from Huelva, yet another discovery to savour.
D.O. MAR is a restaurant that brings together elegant décor and ambience in an inspiring beach-front setting. A place for food connoisseurs and those who enjoy refinement, this is classic Marbella glamour personified.
Words Michel Cruz Photography Kevin Horn
Urb. Oasis Club, CN-340, Km 183, Marbella. Tel: 952 868 396 / 650 905 256.