Leña Marbella restaurant opened in the middle of the pandemic in June 2020 in the premises of the Puente Romano hotel that were previously occupied by DG Restaurant. That restaurant had been one of chef Dani García's greatest career achievements, winning three Michelin stars.
He closed it in November 2019 and converted it into a steakhouse. Now, just a few months later, Leña Marbella has been picked as one of the best steakhouses in the world.
Published by British firm Upper Cut Media House, the World's 101 Best Steak list was compiled after experts from places as disparate as New York, Los Angeles, Frankfurt or Uruguay evaluated nearly 700 establishments specialising in steaks.
Leña Marbella is in 85th place on the list with only three other Spanish restaurants: El Capricho (León), in ninth place; Casa Julián (Tolosa), in 23rd place; and Amaren (Bilbao), in 87th place, in a ranking headed by London's Hawksmoor and whose podium is completed by Parrilla Don Julio (Buenos Aires) and Firedoor, in Sydney.
It is not the first recognition that Leña Marbella has received. It has renowned success with the public (it is advisable to book well in advance) and has recently added an 'Oscar' for the decor. The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards gave it three prizes: best restaurant design in the Europe In Another Space category; best restaurant design in Europe, and best restaurant design in the world for the work on Leña Marbella by Barcelona's Astet Studio.
A design that was repeated last year in Leña Madrid at the Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid. And it will continue to be so outside Spain. "It is an easily exportable format," Dani García admits.
He plans to open two more Leña restaurants with his group before the end of the year: one in Miami and another in Dubai (in total, he will have more than twenty restaurants in Spain and abroad by the end of 2022).
He is also looking for a new location in London. He trusts in the universal language of "this walk through the world of embers" and goes beyond the fixed stereotype of a steakhouse.