Vibes & Vices: Bistro Teresa

A wise woman once said “treat thyself.”

Sure, unscheduled bus rides around Puerto Vallarta’s colorful residential neighborhoods and street-style bacon-wrapped hot dogs with all the fixin’s are no less appealing because of their constant availability, but it is my belief that every so often we should celebrate our access to a broad spectrum of local interest with more uncommon delights.

It was after a particularly enjoyable meal that my dinner companion decided she had not quite had her fill of my company, leading me across Plaza de Armas, past a corporate coffee chain–you know the one–and four floors up an elevator shaft to a place I often found myself walking by but never into, Bistro Teresa.

The Vibes: If you’ll pardon the totally intentional pun, Bistro Teresa presents itself as an elevated experience from the moment guests step off the lift.

Aesthetically appreciative eyes are treated to hallmarks of fanciness such as decorative glass panels backlit to contribute to the intimate glow of the indoor dining area. White tablecloths gleam improbably under ruby red glasses of wine. The exterior deck overlooks both the busy Calle Morelos and the Los Arcos amphitheater, where various performers delight families against a backdrop of passing ships and overpriced dime-store toy vendors.

It’s not a terrible place to find yourself on a breezy summer evening.

Even though the dishes coming out of the kitchen seemed intriguing, having previously eaten we quickly handed the dining menu back to the friendly staffer, instead desiring more drinks.

The owner herself was attentive enough to detect the presence of a new visitor, exchanging familiar pleasantries with the returning guest of the table before inquiring about what brought me here and if I was enjoying the atmosphere. Two questions, one answer: “I came here with her.”

Satisfied, the proprietor smiled and bid us a good evening as she went off to manage her domain.

The Vices: Now, obviously the establishment has to sustain all this finery in some fashion, and looking at the menu to see that even a lowly Victoria was upward of 60 pesos, I opted to embrace the experience by ordering a 500p shot of Dragones Jovenes along with my cocktail of more standard tequila with club soda. My lovely assistant kept things consistent for the evening with yet another glass of red wine.

Apparently made from golden velvet agave or something, the extra-special spirit arrived in a champagne flute, silently pleading with me not to just dump it down my throat like some kind of dive bar-dwelling savage.

The shape of the vessel successfully deterred my force of habit, and I was rewarded with an impressively smooth, burn-free imbibement that left a lasting impression. We alternated sips on the glass until it was regrettably depleted, building the shared opinion that one could certainly enjoy drinking too much of it.

We chatted about various topics from favorite neighborhoods in the city to the risks and rewards of parasailing as the night unfolded before us. I showed off my limited mathleticism in a discussion of the projected rent for this space. The dialogue came in waves, expanding and contracting, changing shape and form like a conversational kaleidoscope.

It was a moment in time that scarcely contained room for more perfection…or, at least, so I thought before the evening’s fireworks brought our inner children out to play. As the bright lights burst into being in spectacular fashion before fading from existence forever, I was reminded that experiences are the only thing most can ever truly own, and so we should purchase as many as possible…damn the expense.

The Verdict: Bistro Teresa may be a tad pricey for some folks’ everyday drunkenness, but is more than worth a visit on a special occasion, even if that occasion is just Friday. With a memorable location and privileged perspective on the heart of Puerto Vallarta, everyone with cause to celebrate should stop by the location at least once in a while. Maybe I’ll catch you there.

Info: Zarogoza 160 4th Floor, Centro

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AJ Freeman
AJ Freeman is an adventurous spirit, serial friendmaker, and general enthusiast. He lives his everyday life hoping to demonstrate the nearly infinite potential for discovery and wonder on this small wet rock orbiting a dim yellow star in the backwoods of the Milky Way.