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Review

TASTE TEST: Da Valentino, la dolce vita in Monaco

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The restaurant has a warm atmosphere, reminiscent of Italy's golden years © All rights reserved

With fresh, light ingredients, Da Valentino’s cuisine is perfect for the summer.

Fancy an Italian getaway? You don’t even need to leave town, since a new Italian restaurant opened at 27 Princess Grace Avenue on May 7. In a setting worthy of Italy’s 20th century heyday, Da Valentino provides an immersive experience in the Italian lifestyle, with refinement, conviviality and chic the order of the day.

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The new jewel in the Maya Collection group’s crown, the restaurant welcomes you with lush vegetation and especially lemons, reminscent of southern Italy and the Amalfi coast. Its elegance is evident even from the outside.

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© Monaco Tribune
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The restaurant walls are adorned with images from films that made Italian cinema famous © All rights reserved

The 100% Italian staff welcome each guest with a pretty lilting accent. The white tables, mouldings, typical Italian woodwork and lighting create a warm, cosy atmosphere.

A fabulous aperitif

The huge brown and gold stone bar has a lot to do with it. It plays an integral part in creating the special atmosphere. With subdued lighting in the evening it is the perfect place to enjoy an aperitivo fashioned by mixology expert Dimitri. It must be said, the cocktails are excellent. Whether original creations or the classics are your poison, there’s something for all tastes!

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The bar at Da Valentino, perfect for enjoying one of Dimitri’s cocktailsi © All rights reserved

To add to the charm of the new establishment, a pianist comes to play at aperitif time (from 5.30 pm) on the splendid piano that has pride of place at the entrance. Later on, the resident DJ gets the room buzzing with lively Italian sounds. From Nino Rota to Ennio Morricone and Dalida, he puts all the standards into the mix for an unforgettable evening. During the daytime, soft music creates a more relaxed atmosphere.

A taste of southern Italy

But the real star at Da Valentino is the food. The menu is designed by chef Stefano, and Christophe Dupuy, the Maya Collection group’s executive chef, for an authentic taste of Italy.

Antipasti, primi piatti, pesci, carni, contorni, and dolci : they’re all here, each more tempting than the last. Fresh, colourful produce, with a modern and refined touch. Lightly cooked ingredients, fresh herbs, olive oil. Welcome to southern Italy!

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Selection of different antipasti © Monaco Tribune

Starting with the antipasti, you can enjoy vitello tonato, crab salad, red tuna tartare and more. The primi piatti feature pasta and risotto with seafood or fresh, light Italian specialties such as lemon, pesto, clams or langoustines.

You can then choose between meat or fish. Grilled langoustine and sauce vierge, fillet of bass in a seafood guazzetto or Milanese-style lamb chop or veal piccata with Sorrento lemon, all accompanied by different contorni with a choice of vegetables.

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Tagliolini with clams and bottarga © All rights reserved

The desserts are veritable works of art, and a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Lemon tart in the shape of a rose, Bronte pistachio, cake in the shape of a coffee bean, not forgetting, of course, the essential tiramisu…the desserts on display show remarkable finesse. Don’t miss out on the trending affogato, which consists of vanilla ice cream drizzled with a hot espresso, to create a creamy texture.


Practical details:

  • Where: Da Valentino, Le Formentor, 27 Av. Princesse Grâce, 98000 Monaco
  • When: noon – 2.30 pm and from 5.30 pm onwards for a perfect aperitif, Tuesday to Saturday.
  • Menu : starters from €29, main courses from €33, desserts from €14
  • There is a 29 euro lunch menu (starter + main course + dessert + bottle of water + coffee) or (starter + main course + dessert + bottle of water + glass of wine + coffee) for 35 euros.