Dante's Pizzeria & Steakhouse
Las Sabinas, La Manga Club, Murcia
Date of Visit: 22/09/2023
Sometimes I can overly research a place before committing to eating there; check out the menu, read online reviews and seek recommendations from friends. Other times I just seem to randomly stumble upon a place, usually the nearest eatery in the immediate vicinity at the point my belly starts rumbling.
This is how we came across Dante’s on the La Manga Club. Having just dropped our son off nearby for a friend’s birthday bash we decided to simultaneously fill both our time and our faces.
Often, when we just pick the first restaurant we come to, I’m left with that niggling ‘what-if?’ feeling; what if there’s somewhere better just around the next corner? What if there’s nothing on the menu that I fancy? What if the gin is expensive, and my wife starts working her way through all of them? Actually, I worry about that at every restaurant we visit.
But this evening I feel instantly at ease, and not just because the friendly waiter treats us like old friends that have been dining here for years. It’s a lovely, sunny courtyard setting, boarded by palm and olive trees. Red cloths on simple black tables with contrasting white crockery, creates an informal but stylish look. Music plays at the optimal level - loud enough that I find myself tapping along to it, but not so much it drowns out the chatter from the tables around us, giving a cheerful, happy-Friday vibe. I’m very pleased to be here and I’ve not yet even seen the menu or the price of gin.
Dante’s is billed as a Pizzeria & Steakhouse. I think they’re selling themselves a little short here. It does those things. But so much more, including a large variety of pastas, plus meat, and fish dishes. And there’s the specials, vividly described by the effusive waiter as if his sales commission depends on it.
We share some garlic bread to start. A pungent sting of garlic, coddled with just the lightest smear of butter, served how it’s meant to be on warm, toasted bread, rather than the all-too-common mini garlic pizza imposter. When did that become socially acceptable?
Next up was Chicken Cacciatore. A large, juicy, plump breast cooked in and topped with a hearty, rustic sauce of tomatoes, mushrooms, and olives. Just a smidge of chilli is enough to wake up and enliven the taste buds. Served on a bed of tagliatelle, with a side of grilled vegetables, this is comforting, soul-satisfying food.
In what has recently become a ‘thing’ for us, we share a dessert. A homemade cheesecake infused with a hint of lemon and topped, and sided, with whole strawberries and finished with a sticky strawberry syrup, that's just the right side of sickly. Gloriously decadent. I almost wish I was alone.
Dante’s is everything you want and expect from an Italian restaurante, great food, of course. But it’s the atmosphere that takes it to that next level. Bustling but relaxed. Busy but friendly. Diners chatting across adjacent tables and clinking glasses with each other. Waiters rushing around efficiently but always with a smile and time for a quick joke or chat. I half expect Tony Soprano to walk in any minute.
Tutto delizioso, ciao!
Garlic bread was €4.50 and was enough to share between the two of us. Chicken Cacciatore was €16.95 and the cheesecake dessert was €6.50 for a large slice.
Open evenings from 5pm. Booking is recommended. (+34) 968 954 775.