Chef Santiago Domínguez has reopened Marbella’s oldest seafood restaurant with a wine museum that houses 2,500 bottles. Visit this authentic attraction and enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at this unique restaurant.
The city of Marbella has a new tourist attraction starting this spring, this time one with a gastronomic character. Restaurant owner Santiago Dominguez recently opened a wine museum in his seafood restaurant in Marbella where approximately 2,500 bottles from different parts of the world are on display.
The Corona pandemic was an opportunity for the restaurant owner to innovate and offer his clients something more than delicious seafood. Therefore, he added an exhibition of 2,500 bottles that the restaurateur has collected during his travels around the world, making specimens that come from Russia, America, Africa and Spain, with many other nationalities in addition.
The reform undertaken by the businessman during the difficult months of the pandemic, led to the addition of an extra room to the restaurant that was transformed into a wine temple. Among the most notable bottles are some very large bottles of Vega Sicilia that are unique in the world, as well as “the first labels” of the emblematic winery. In addition, “a 200 year old German”.
The Wine Museum in Marbella that is home to Santiago’s seafood restaurant also features examples that are part of its history, such as the “bottles of wine that Baudouin and Fabiola of Belgium drank on the day of their wedding, the bottle they drank at dinner” or a pair “from when Alfonso XIII got married,” although they date from 1886.
“There are bottles that do not exist and are only here, and therefore have a value for me that is not economic, but human, in the sense that I have cared for them and have tried to find them with great affection. And also a value for the public because they see things they haven’t seen anywhere else,” says the proprietor, pointing out that the specimens are for exhibition only, but admission to the museum is free.
The idea has been decades in the making, since 53 to be exact, when Domínguez worked in Madrid with Perico Chicote, although he had a connection with the best wines since childhood, since his grandfather was a vintner and produced Ribera del Duero wine. Already in the capital Madrid, where he moved at the age of 14, he felt the desire to one day have a museum.
“I dreamed of the museum that Perico Chicote had and in the end I think I improved it, because there are more interesting things that were not there. The world has evolved and here we can preserve things that didn’t exist then.” This temple of Marbella wine also houses “the first barrels of beer on the Costa del Sol”, dating back to 1956 and 1957, in which the first beers of the Victoria brand were served.
The reopening of the seafood restaurant is also accompanied by the addition of new dishes to the menu, such as red shrimp with rice, an extract of seafood with sweet vinegar, very soft pickled tuna and lobster creams, cauliflower and leek with oysters, vegetables, watercress or a monkfish soup. In addition, there are a variety of fish and seafood collected in the fishing ports of Marbella and Estepona.
The restaurant owner is facing the high season with optimism, despite a difficult 2020, he would already be very happy to turn in enough sales this year to cover costs. It is therefore expected that until the second half of July it will not be possible to work at full capacity on the Costa del Sol.
“If we can work at 70 or 80 percent capacity, I would be very satisfied” and “keep going and never give up,” Dominguez stressed. “We all have to be on the same page,” said the restaurateur, who regretted that 50 percent of downtown Marbella was closed “and that has to improve.”
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