Malva Valle de Guadalupe restaurant featuring Chef Roberto Alcocer is a must-visit if you plan to head to Valle de Guadalupe wine country. Chef Roberto Alcocer has created a beautiful outdoor dining experience. The location is entirely outdoor with a thatched roof overlooking his herb garden and the Valle de Guadalupe vineyards below. Groovy & jazzy versions of hit songs play. It’s definitely a full sensory experience. He has created a menu and food experience that I would make an international day trip to enjoy! On a recent trip to Baja I was lucky to enjoy a leisurely lunch at Chef Roberto’s Malva Cocina de Baja California.
Overview: Incredible food with an amazing outdoor setting and I even got to meet the chef!
Lunch began with Octopus ceviche with wild herbs. A perfect amuse bouche from Chef Roberto Alcocer.
Next, an appetizer of raw oyster minuet with blood Chinese vinegar.
Before our main courses arrived we had the pleasure to enjoy the view of the valle and watch the chefs in action.
Our first entree at Malva was butterfish with baked carrot, lime purée, rosemary flowers & tomato compote served with a 2014 Chenin Columbard from Monte Xanic. The sweet from the carrot combined with the tang of the lime purée was a delicious duo of flavors with the richness of the fish.
Our next course was yellowtail with caramelized onions, oyster mushrooms, garlic salt, radish flowers & Swiss chard served with rosemary water. It was such a pleasure tasting Chef Alcocer’s food and knowing so many of the herbs came from the garden just outside of the dining area.
For dessert, a marsh ‘mallow’ treat with sorbet and fresh herbs and edible flowers.
An amazing lunch in the beautiful Valle de Guadalupe wine region!
Takeaway: I’m no longer afraid of oysters and realized I love octopus!
If you are planning a day to Valle de Guadalupe, a long weekend or a week, Malva is at the top of my list of restaurants. I’ve been several times and it has been spectacular every time!
Directions to Malva Valle de Guadalupe
Malva is located in Valle de Guadalupe (Valley of Guadalupe) in the municipality of Ensenada. It’s located about 14 miles from the city of Ensenada. The easiest way to get to Malva is to cross the Mexico border by car in Tijuana. From San Diego, you can cross the Mexico border at San Ysidro in Tijuana and follow route 1 along the pacific coast where you will pass Playas de Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, and Puerto Nuevo. Just before reaching the town of Ensenada, you’ll head inland on highway 3 to La Ruta del Vino. Malva will be on your right just after Huevo Reuplic Restaurant. If you see Bodegas de Santa Tomás on your left, you’ve gone too far.
Adobe Guadalupe is a boutique hotel, winery and riding stables. It is a hacienda style B&B that welcomes guests with open arms. The owner lives in one wing of the property and when you arrive you will truly feel like you have been welcomed into a friend’s home. The hacienda is a horseshoe shape that surrounds a beautiful courtyard with a fountain as the centerpiece. There are seven spacious rooms with high ceilings and wood slatted doors that open onto a shared garden patio.
Located on the property, is a beautiful tasting room. A wine tasting is included in your stay and offered twice daily. This is a wonderful opportunity to taste the boutique wines as well as learn about Adobe Guadalupe and the fascinating story that brought them to Valle de Guadalupe.
I hope this guide to the best of Valle de Guadalupe has been helpful and has helped you to prepare for your visit. One warning: plan to fall in love with Mexico wine country.
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Have you been to Valle de Guadalupe? Do you have any recommendations of favorite wineries, restaurants or hotels to share with us?
A huge thank you to Malva and Chef Alcocer for the generous hospitality. I was their guest for lunch, but as always, all opinions are my own.