Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Paco Jiménez Arte Culinario Restaurante Marbella Review….
I have been very blessed to eat in some glorious restaurants around the world. It is very rare that you ever leave feeling fulfilled in every way.
Paco Jimenez Restaurante has mastered the art of hospitality, gastronomy, atmosphere and is the epitome of ‘the dining experience’.
This humble eatery located in Orange Square in Old Town Marbella sits overlooking this historic area.
As you walk through the incredibly atmospheric square – full of restaurants, orange trees and relaxed patrons, you go up the stairs to Paco Jimenez Arte Culinario Restaurante.
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As you enter the dining room you cannot miss Paco masterfully conducting his kitchen opposite the entrance. This gives me faith to begin.
I am then shown to my table overlooking the square on the balcony. There are only two tables so book early!
This restaurant screams family. Paco is the chef, Nancy is the co-owner and kindly shows me to my table and her brother-in-law is my gracious server.
You can feel the pride from the second you sit down. I get the feeling Nancy and Paco would be devastated if their restaurant did not live up to your expectations.
It’s now 7pm and still over 30 degrees outside. The light breeze couldn’t be more glorious as I watch the hustle and bustle beneath the restaurant. A stunning view for people watching.
To begin I am handed a beautifully simple plate of Iberico ham. It doesn’t get any better for me.
Next, chef sent out a delicious mouthful of flavour. A tiny pork amuse bouche which got the meal off to a great start.
Immediately I knew Chef could cook and could present his food far above most others in the Costa Del Sol.
The room is humble, simply decorated and screams the tradition of Spain. The service could not be more subtle, warm, friendly and enthusiastic.
Paco Jimenez is the epitome of everything that is wrong with ‘chain’ restaurants. These people have passion and huge pride when presenting their gorgeous food. They don’t want you to like it – they want you to LOVE it! I did.
So, the meal can begin proper….
To start I was offered one of my favourite dishes ever – foie gras. I’m so pleased Chef Paco let this delicacy speak for itself.
Paco fully understands the power of amazing ingredients and not ruining them with over cooking and pretention.
This was my first starter quickly followed by one of the most spectacular fish courses I’ve ever been served. (above)
With langoustine, octopus, crab and salmon – Paco’s fish platter was expertly, simply and beautifully put together.
I asked if the fish was local. Nancy was disappointed that the crab had to travel from a river in Saville. Life is just not fair! Everything else came via the local port. Spectacular!
During my meal I find out from Nancy that this eatery has only been open less than 2 years. It purely survives on word of mouth with no outside seating in the square or any external promotion. That is testament to a true restaurants success.
Next came the most delicious sea bass I’ve ever been served.
Chef cooked this incredible dish superbly. So moreish, light, moist and literally flake apart / melt-in-your mouth perfection.
Divine Sea Bass….
Next Nancy requested I sample the meat of the day – duck. Again, Paco’s flavours are so simple but powerful.
The seasoning & jus were amazing. The meat was beautifully tender and cut with absolute ease.
Finally I was offered a gorgeous summery dessert of poached pear and cheese cake. So moreish and the perfect end to a hugely memorable meal.
At a time when bankers are investing millions of dollars to open ‘big brand’ restaurants with ‘celebrity chef’s, Paco Jimenez proves with the right team, atmosphere, ingredients and chef you can beat them all.
This restaurant is understated, humble and has no idea how magical it is. That’s what makes it so special.
I adored my two hours in the company of Chef Paco’s family.
This is without question my favourite dining experience in Spain EVER! Bravo!
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 23rd July 2014.