- As part of the Dani García Group’s international expansion, the Marbella chef’s new grill house LEÑA signals a departure from the usual steakhouse stereotypes by combining tradition and innovation with the very best produce.
- On the site of the former Dani García Restaurante, warm tones feature strongly in the design of this new project of a steakhouse that’s unlike any you’ve been to before.
- The LEÑA menu includes dishes such as the iconic chef’s burger, smoked brisket, surf&turf and the crunchy roast-beef tart, and there’s a nod to the chef’s roots with charcoal-grilled meat and vegetable ‘espetos’ in true Dani García style.
Following the change in direction for Dani García Restaurante, and located on the very same site, after many months of design work and hard graft the Málaga chef is finally ready to open the doors to Leña –a new kind of steakhouse that’s all set to light a fire under the grilling world in Marbella. Leña forms part of Dani’s ongoing dream to bring his recipes to everyone everywhere, this time through a concept he’s been cooking up for a long, long time – a grill house that signals a departure from any stereotypes by combining tradition, innovation and produce in a way that only he can do.
It comes as no surprise to learn that, as a steakhouse, Leña is going one step beyond and opening its doors on the Costa del Sol to serve up an irresistible duality for its guests – the balance between Dani García’s technique and his sense of honesty and respect for great produce. This means a menu that’s all about the raw materials and the different ways they can be grilled, but with a highly personal touch and a strong international influence, born of the chef’s travels and experiences around the world.
Following on from the success of the fabulous Lobito de Mar chiringuito in Madrid and the beginnings of his international expansion with the opening of his furthest outpost, BIBO Doha, Dani García is making another of his dreams come true by turning his own particular vision of a steakhouse into reality. This new restaurant marks a real departure from the other projects the chef is already heading up, and forms part of the Dani García Group’s strategy for expansion in 2020.
With a unique approach, the chef’s vision and technique run through every part of the LEÑA menu. From the most traditional charcoal-grilled pieces to the most iconic international recipes, a whole world of preparations with Dani García’s signature style. The menu begins, therefore, with vegetarian starters such as baba ganoush, made from mashed charcoal-grilled aubergine with extra virgin olive oil and pitta bread for dipping, smoked burrata caprese salad, and charcoal-grilled avocado. The charcoal-grilled starter section includes dishes such as smoked brisket, crunchy roast-beef tart and fried chicken “oysters”, as well as a nod to the chef’s roots with charcoal-grilled meat and vegetable “espetos” in true Dani García style.
The real star of the show at Leña is, of course, the meat, with some wonderful offerings that include Yakitori chicken skewers, kebabs and sausage varieties such as sobrasada cooked on the grill. However, the chef gives full flight to his imagination with recipes such as his surf&turf, featuring both meat and lobster as a version of the famous American classic. Other meat dishes on the menu include the now legendary burger, which appears as “The Burger that made it all make sense”. This dish is served tableside live and direct, and in keeping with tradition it comes with the famous (and secret) bull sauce. This adapted version brings the memories flooding back of one of Dani’s most talked-about dishes.
And there’s a fantastic range of different cuts of meat for charcoal grilling in the ‘All the wood on the fire’ section of the menu, with grilled dishes such as old beef ribeye steak, bone-in 600g charcoal-grilled ribeye steak, 1.3kg charcoal-grilled young beef tomahawk steak and the charcoal-grilled T-bone beef steak, paying homage to the traditional grill houses of San Sebastián.
In terms of the setting for this new culinary venture, the design by the Astet studio design for the restaurant combines a primitive essence, one of flames, hot embers and natural materials such as stone and wood, an aesthetic that inspires the interior design as well as forming the basis of the culinary proposals on offer.
Leña is a steakhouse where meat is very much the star of the show, and where the different ways of preparing it, such as smoking and charcoal grilling, bring flavour and establish the concept of the restaurant in terms of its overall design. Wood, firewood and the different textures, how the passing of time leaves its mark and the organic transformation involved all form the mood board for this project. Using wood and tree trunks in the design creates a completely different environment and a unique sensory experience.
The dominant colour is black, and it’s everywhere – walls, ceilings, floors and furnishings. Subtle nuances are created using a palette range that can add brightness or subdue the tones as required. Different textures and contrasts help display the huge range of variables that can be seen at Leña through the use of black.
“The Group was clear about what we wanted to do with this project. The idea was to freshen up the concepts we like so much and instil them with the essence of the Dani García Group,” the Andalusian chef explains. “Unlike Lobito de Mar, where we’ve been much more respectful of the sea and the Andalusian way of doing things, at Leña – which has more in common with BIBO, it’s about stepping into the world of charcoal grilling. So based on our travels around the world, discovering yakitori and American grills and smokers, we’ve come up with dishes where it’s all about technique and truly great produce,” Dani adds.
With this highly anticipated opening, the Málaga chef is putting his feet to the fire with a sophisticated menu featuring dishes that go beyond the concept of a traditional grill house. He’s making his dream of opening a truly unique steakhouse come true.