New restaurant: Da Valentino brings southern Italian glamour to Monaco

Da Valentino has all the hallmarks of a successful Maya restaurant – great food, impeccable service and a cosy yet elegant design. But there’s a new attraction that’s setting this Italian restaurant apart from the rest. 

Positioned on the corner of 27 Avenue Princess Grace, in the space that was once MayaJah, Da Valentino promises to “bring Italian glamour to Monaco”.

We can see this in the finely crafted woodwork and panel decoration; the tables and seating that are arranged in intimate alcoves, providing privacy while still immersing guests in the restaurant’s vibrant ambience; the large crystal chandeliers that guide you from one area to another; and the charming room at the back that evokes the golden years of Italian cinema, with beautifully framed black and white photographs on the walls.

This luxurious setting is accented with touches of red, rosso passione, evident in the glasses, candles and other subtle tableware elements.

“Comfortable, cosy and elegant” is how Richard Maria, General Director of the Maya Collection, describes it, adding, “It is not one more Italian restaurant in Monaco. We are offering more than just a place to go and eat. Da Valentino has entertainment, fun, cosiness and gastronomy.”

The back room of Da Valentino is an elegant celebration of Italian cinema

Bringing back aperitivo

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Da Valentino is its commitment to that coveted cultural ritual – the aperitivo. 

For centuries, Italians have said “cin cin” over drinks and appetizers in the early evening hours between work and dinner. At Da Valentino, this treasured pastime is taken to a new level with artisanal cocktails served in an elegant lounge-bar, more than 20 wines on offer by the glass and the most delicious selection of cured hams, Italian breads and cheeses, olive oil and scrumptious bite-size treats. 

Accompanying this are live grand piano performances every evening from 5.30pm.

The restaurant also boasts a huge selection of wine bottles at cellar price, so apertivo can be as expensive, or affordable, as you desire. 

At 8.30pm, a DJ takes over from the pianist and the vibe once again shifts in Da Valentino. 

Da Valentino is bringing back the Italian favourite ‘apertivo’, Monaco style

Keeping the classics

There’s a saying when it comes to cooking: “Don’t mess with the classics”. Thankfully, Da Valentino remains true to the rich flavours and warmth of Southern Italy. Fresh, vibrant market produce is prepared with contemporary techniques, light cooking, herbs and olive oil, resulting in dishes that are both flavourful and heartfelt. 

Vitello tonnato, shrimp cocktail ‘Dolce Vita’, beef carpaccio with summer truffle and asparagus duo… The entrées are as perfectly at home here in Monaco opposite Larvotto Beach as they would be by the sun-kissed shores of Sicily. 

The pasta dishes, or primi piatti, are typically robust and bold, with luxurious highlights including lobster or Petrossian Ossetra caviar, while a daily pasta special promises regular surprise.

Other Italian mains, perfected and celebrated over the centuries, include the mixed fried seafood, veal piccata and a double ‘Orecchie d’elefante’ Milanese because, let’s be honest, one veal Milanese is never enough. 

The desserts are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, with each plate beautifully presented as an invitation to explore and savour. 

Why replace MayaJah?

The question on everyone’s lips is: “Why did you replace MayaJah?”. Richard Maria explains that the decision to transform the popular Indian restaurant was taken after listening to their customers. 

“When we asked clients why they weren’t coming more often, they replied, ‘The service is great, the food is amazing, but the cuisine is very spicy and heavy, so we are not able to come two times per week, but rather once per month.’ Now, people can come and eat Italian cuisine every day of the week.” 

And while the cuisine may have switched continents, the affordable lunch deals have stayed the same. Lunch formulas start from €29, including starter, main course, dessert, bottle of water and coffee, or €35 with an added glass of wine. 

Taking Da Valentino to the world

The restaurant portfolio of the Maya Collection group is growing at an exponential rate. 

“That’s why it was important for us to have an Italian brand in our portfolio,” says the Maya Collection general director. “We export our brands to where people like to go – Dubai, London, Riyadh, Doha and, soon, New York and Miami.”

After Monaco, Da Valentino is set to open in Doha, while the popular Thai-Japanese fusion brand MayBay is due to open in Mykonos and Courchevel.

See it for yourself in our Instagram video below…

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