Isla Río Cuale L-4, Southside.
One of the most beautiful settings in Puerto Vallarta since 1993, this gastronomical landmark owned by Margarito Larios and Eva Sánchez Dueñas features open-air seating overlooking Río Cuale, with work by renowned local artists as Marta Gilbert. Tropical elegance, this is a top treat high on many lists.
Chef Karla Morales’ and Roberto Chavez’ creative everchanging menu has impressive presentations as fried calamari with aioli, Thai mussels chipotle cream, Thai crab coconut cream soup, beef fajitas, crêpes with shrimp and spinach, seafood fettuccine, tuna carpaccio, seared tuna with papaya, mahi mahi with coconut sauce, pecan coconut battered shrimp, wild mushroom creamy risotto, seared sea scallops, chicken in creamy thyme sauce, duck with pear and raspberry, lamb lasagna with wild mushrooms and goat cheese, rack of lamb, filet mignon red chile and rib eye Bordelaise. Desserts include hot chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream, bananas flambé and rosemary crème brulée.
After passing the infinity water fountain and bar area, then nestling into the joined tables, guests were presented first with crisp but tender calamari rings with a slightly sweet dipping sauce which did not overpower. Roasted pear salad was composed of organic mixed greens with complementary honey-balsamic vinaigrette. The touch of sweetness enhanced this refreshing course. Desiring heat instead, some diners opted for the cream of button mushroom soup which was painted with droplets of white wine truffle essence. This was an impressive presentation.
After only a short respite, main course choices arrived. Roasted white fish of the day was pleasingly mahi mahi, a table favorite. The large fillet with drizzled with slightly piquant adobo sauce. Alongside was ratatouille – chunky vegetables with tomato. Corn sauce and cilantro oil napped the fish. An impressive entrée from prior visits was the artichoke ravioli with portobello mushroom, tomato and basil. Al dente pasta pockets were perfect combining all the flavors. Grilled beef tenderloin was very generous and cooked as requested, topped with a tasty onion marmalade – sliced red onions in a red wine reduction sweetened with sugar. Meat was firm top quality. Fresh asparagus spears were fork-tender and nearly pencil-sized. Whipped potatoes and creamy smooth blue cheese sauce complimented the meat.
Dessert time. Margarita tequila curd came in a dish rimmed slightly with salt. The creamy yogurt-like mixture was smooth, sitting on a fresh fruit purée with a pleasant refreshing taste. Famous molten chocolate cake was created using rich dark chocolate with the customary soft center which flows from the circular cake like volcanic lava. A scoop of vanilla ice cream was aside and under the dessert was a strawberry sauce. The last dish was a wonderful soft very creamy strawberry mousse with fresh tropical fruit and strawberry sauce.
Live music is an added bonus often here. This night diners were quite fortunate to have Steve and Lisa York singing, playing guitar and keyboard. Their harmonies reflect many sessions together and are beautiful and well-suited in the surrounding casual ambiance. A grand feature is a romantic gazebo with tables set right over Río Cuale, reached via a small bridge. A table may be held with reservation.
Stunning airy soothing destination for breakfast as waffles, hot cakes, chilaquiles, sopes, smoked salmon omelet, crêpes as strawberry-banana or chocolate-mango and molletes.Note that the restaurant is once again hosting their Festival: “For the love of Garlic and Mango”. Available for the entire month of June.
Gary R. Beck
Puerto Vallarta, JAL.