With spectacular beaches that boast amazing sunsets, downtown Puerto Vallarta just 30 minutes away for those who want to visit the “Old Town”, and a plethora of activities that can keep vacationers and travelers busy around the close, what else is there to do in Riviera Nayarit that will make you want to return? Eat. And not just any food, but high quality gourmet cuisine. Love sophisticated sea food in an elegant environment? We got that. How about international tapas at a roof garden overlooking spectacular sunsets on the Pacific Ocean? We got that too. Hosting two of the top five rated restaurants on Trip Advisor in the same hotel? Check.
You won’t find a more authentic Mexican/ international gourmet eating experience anywhere in Rivier Nayarit than at the Marival Residences Luxury Resort in Nuevo Vallarta. It may be the cozy charm of a modern bistro with its small candlelit tables adorned with fine cutlery, napkins wrapped with satin bows and a wonderful collection of timeless sunsets decorating the horizon that welcomes guests every day at any of the 4 restaurants of the resort, and while we don’t try too hard to impress; there is a genuine, welcoming and infused understated sophistication.
Overseeing everything food related at the resort is Chef Alfredo Jimenez, who’s banked over a decade of experience at some of the top Four Seasons hotels in the world including those in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Jakarta and Toronto. Chef Alfredo prefers using locally harvested ingredients of the season when possible, combining different temperatures and presentations of the food resulting in a sensory overload and mouthwatering flavors. Along his carrier he’s met many celebrities who wanted to know who the chef behind their food was, and is proud to know that Latoya Jackson once said “Bring me some of chef Alfredo’s fajitas” upon being asked what she wanted for dinner.
Today I had dinner at the Lemon Grass Restaurant, an outdoor restaurant right beside the pools. Upon being seated the maître explained what the menu of the day was (it changes daily) and I quickly picked out a few winners. I started off with a colorful Tuna tartar with carrot, cucumber and jicama julienne with mango sauce, ideal for the warm tropical climate at sunset, followed by a generously served Mongolian marinated New York cut over herbed scented potato tian and spiced red wine sauce. The dessert of the day was a Zucchini blossom cake with mango compote and plantain chip, a fine textured delicacy that nevertheless drove my taste buds wild.
Enjoying the food also were Marival Resort Manager Gustavo Garcia and Product Marketing Manager Israel de la Torre, who like me, kept asking and interrupting Chef Alfredo (also seated with us) with questions about his international culinary experience, secret recipes, cooking tips and work habits, all of which he happily and enthusiastically answered. From what we saw of the hotel guests already knew him too, and complimented him when entering and leaving the eating area; from what I saw chef Alfredo likes to meet his guests, and they appreciate it.
The Lemon Grass restaurant at the Marival Resort in Nuevo Vallarta offers exceptional gourmet food in Nuevo Vallarta, served in a timely manner without the over-the-head price tags one may expect, and while I cannot recommend a specific dish as there will be a different menu when you get here, I do know that whenever I (or anyone) return there will be a new and exciting menu waiting to be indulged- and I look forward to it!
What’s your favorite restaurant in the world? Or favorite food? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and this post too if you liked it!