The night started out inauspiciously, with a plan to check out Saigon a new Vietnamese and Pan-Asian restaurant in a new mini-mall on the old road to Santa Ana. Finding it closed (i.e. already out of business), we quickly shifted gears and headed to Sabor y Arte.
Housed in a converted home in downtown Escazu, this place has been open about 8 months. The decor is artsy and eclectic, with the several rooms and patio spaces spread over two floors. There’s plenty of contemporary art and chic design touches, and they have their own art gallery on site.
The menu features creative fusion cuisine, with some interesting uses of obscure local ingredients. The pejibaye soup features bits of fried pejibaye in a rich tomato and pejibaye broth. Unfortunately, I found the tomato to somewhat overpower the pejibaye, a minor quibble, as it was quite good.
Another appetizer featured slow braised lamb inside a crispy croquet made of nampi. For a main course I had the Lomito Bombones, a tender cut of grilled tenderloin, sliced thin, set on a bed of creamy, vanilla-infused mashed nampi and topped with grilled asparagus.
One of the odder features here is the separate “flambee” menu, with a dedicated flambee chef. Located in a corner on the second floor, this chef churns out a range of meat, fish, poultry and pasta dishes, with fire and flare. Although, you’ll miss the show if you choose to sit downstairs.
The wine list is well-thought out, varied and very fairly priced. Main courses, however, were pricey, averaging between c9,500 and c13,600.
Overall, we were quite pleased, and this place will definitely get a second look.