Oh Marbella, once the playground of the rich and famous, and now your typically charming, bustling beach town. Our hotel in Mijas Costa was about 30 minutes from Marbella, not the 15 minute walk we originally thought! Distance wouldn’t stop us, we took the bus into town and then took a cab home two of the nights we were in Andalusia. I loved the tiny winding streets, too narrow for cars. We spend plenty of time wandering around the pretty plazas and ducking in and out of little shops.
The most famous square is the Plaza de Naranjas, which was so cute, we had to stop and grab a tapa and enjoy watching the people come and go.
On our second night in Marbella we did some more wandering and shopping, and then it was time for the most anticipated dinner of our trip! Messina. Honestly, I wasn’t too sure what to expect, I knew it might be a little “exotic” for us, but our friends had liked it and the internet reviews were shinning.
We had booked way in advance and we understood why that was necessary when we arrived, there were less than 30 seats!
The decor was sleek and modern. The menu included a seven course pre-fixe and an a la carte option. As the menu included a lot of pates, foi gras, lamb, pigeon, and other things that my palate is not quite developed enough for, we decided to stick with the a la carte. I was so nervous that I asked Frank if he wanted to leave–I’m such a baby. All I can say is, thank god we stayed, it was one of our favorite meals of the year, almost as amazing as Eleven Madison Park–but so much more affordable.
Before anything we ordered come out, they served us complimentary “snacks.”
The first was broccoli with a rich whipped blue cheese, amazing. It was served with a spiced hummus-like spread between two chips and some savory little biscuits.
Blue cheese ice cream–yes, this was part of our large selection of amuse bouche.
The next surprise snack came in a creative dish
I wish all food was served in a rock
Inside was jamon iberico and a few other little morsels that have escaped my memory, but they were yummy.
Wow, that was basically a whole meal and we hadn’t had anything we actually ordered yet!
However, we’d have to wait because we were served a bag of warm breads next.
I am not one of those people who can resist any bread, let alone warm bread. Plus, I have a strictly no carb left behind policy while on vacay.
Now that the “snacks” were safely tucked in my belly, it was time for the main events, first up:
Oh my goodness, this was amazing. Frank wanted to order another for dessert! It was hands down the best tuna sashimi I have ever had. It was served with mascarpone wasabi and a liquid smoke ginger. You layered the three together for the most buttery, creamy and slightly zesty sushi bite you can imagine. While I do LOVE wasabi and ginger, it can totally over power the flavors of sushi, these versions or wasabi and ginger allowed you to taste the flavors of each ingredient.
On to the mains
Wild Sea bass and shaved asparagus, aka total perfection.
Ravioli with prawns, plantain and coconut, also completely amazing.
While we really had not a bite of room left, we had to at least see what they would do for dessert, so we ordered the chocolate volcano, which bubbled and trickled down it’s rocky chocolate path. Definitely a meal to remember forever.
After dinner we took our last stroll around Marbella
Then it was a quick cab ride to Puerto Banus, definitely where the party’s at in Costa del Sol.
Every bar was filled to the brim, enormous yachts filled the waters, lamborghinis and ferraris rolled down the streets and every designer in the world has a residence in this crazy port town. Dolce Gabbana was still open at midnight.
Did I mention I met Barbie?
Honestly, it was so over the top, I almost didn’t know what to think, but it was definitely fun to see the night life. Good bye Puerto Banus, I’ll see you next time.