The restaurant scene in Manuel Antonio has always been interesting. I’ve been visiting Manuel Antonio for almost 30 years, and the restaurant scene have always been one of the area’s highlights. International travellers who fell in love with Manuel Antonio stayed for good and opened nice restaurants: Italians, French, Greek, Argentinian steak houses, fusion cuisine, everything was available much earlier here than in San Jose.
A new addition to my list of favourite restaurants is now El Mirador at Arenas del Mar Hotel. I was surprised by a new dinner menu that is absolutely wonderful: well balanced choices, fresh and healthy. That night we started with the grilled octopus, fresh and tender. It came with microgreens, olives and salsa verde. A red snapper carpaccio served with a sweet chile sauce, was so fresh that the snapper almost jumped from the plate. As a main entree we both ordered the snook which was perfectly cooked and came over coconut jasmine rice with sautéed Bok Choy, one of my favourite vegetables. Dessert wasn’t original but it was really good: flourless chocolate cake, warm and tasty!
Arenas del Mar is my preferred hotel in Manuel Antonio and one of my favourites in the country. Even though food was always satisfactory, it didn’t make me want to stay for dinner. Now, with the new dinner menu, I have one more reason to visit Arenas del Mar.
El Mirador Restaurant
Cost: $$$ ($45 pp) for dinner
Hours: Open for breakfast and dinner.
Hotel Arenas del Mar
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas.
Call for reservations and change of hours of operation depending on the season.