Who says airline food has to suck?

Meals by Charlie Trotter, Nobu Matsuhisa, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Chiarello, and a mess of Michelin starred chefs can all be had at over a mile high… if you can afford some of these first & business-class fares.

Travel Tuesday Top 10: Airline Menus by Celebrity Chefs | The Points Guy.


Hotel Bougainvillea Wine Tasting & Dinner, October 19

The Club de Catadores, Alpiste Distributors and the Hotel Bougainvillea will be hosting a dinner and wine tasting on October 19. Chilean vineyard Montes has always been a favorite of mine and will be a featured producer alongside Kaiken, from Argentina and Napa Angel, which is also put out by Montes.

Special deals will be offered on wines from all three vineyards.

The event begins at 7:30pm, and costs c25,000 per person.

Montes Wine Dinner

Gastro Bar en el 38

Gastro Bar en el 38Located just off the lobby of the downtown Tryp Sabana hotel inside the Centro Colon, Gastro Bar en el 38 is a chic, new spot equally suited for casual drinks and appetizers or a more formal meal. The décor stands out, with bold colors, striking lighting and a mod-art deco feel. On weekends, the bar can actually get hopping.


The menu features a mix of tapas and contemporary fusion cuisine.  On a recent visit everything was beautifully presented, tasty and perfectly prepared.

Ceviche came with sides of sweet potato chips, avocado and a corn relish. The traditional Andalusian Gazpacho was hearty and flavorful.


Pumpkin AgnolottiPasta options on the wide-ranging dinner menu include pumpkin, ricotta and prosciutto filled agnolotti in a burned butter sauce and orecchiette in a rabbit ragú accompanied by garlic chips.


TunaThe thick tuna steak was well-seared and served with a herbs de Provence and watercress pesto, while a tender filet of mahi mahi came with a light romesco sauce over sautéed vegetables and lima beans.


The tapas menu features a host of traditional favorites: patatas bravas, tortilla espñola, and  shrimp in garlic sauce, as well as a few dishes with Costa Rican and Caribbean influences, including pati and patacones.

GazpachoThe fairly priced wine list is accompanied by a good and varied selection of wines by the glass.

This place offers live music on Thursday evenings, as well as a daily lunch special (plato ejecutivo).

Fast Food Wine Pairings – Vinum La Enoteca, October 18

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. But I’ve been to some great events at Vinum La Enoteca, so I’m gonna give them the benefit of the doubt. Learn how to pair wines with hot dogs, chop suey and taquitos.

The event takes place Thursday, October 18, at their Plaza Los Laureles storefront at 7pm, and costs $45 per person. Reservations are required.

La Enoteca Fast Food

Mixed Bag at The Market

The MarketThe Market is the Hotel Intercontinental’s newest restaurant. A casual and lively spot, they boast a range of “create-your-own” options, particularly in the realm of sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and pasta dishes.

Let me start off with the good. The burgers here are the best I’ve had in Costa Rica. I ordered the lamb burger, a generally risky choice. It came out moist and tender, with fabulous flavor. A companion had the traditional beef burger and was equally impressed.  Other options included fresh tuna, chicken breast and Portobello mushroom burgers.

The BurgerThe buns were wonderful, fresh-baked affairs of perfect size and up to the task at hand, a rare case in this country, where meager, mealy buns often wilt and fall apart before you’re half-way through your burger.  In contrast, at The Market you can choose between classic, whole grain, olive, bell pepper and sesame buns.

Toppings, cheeses and sauces were widely varied and of high quality. I’ll definitely be going back here fo a burger (c7,500).

TunaCarpaccioThe Tuna Carpaccio (c6,000) appetizer was also excellent, as was the homemade ice cream that topped our dessert choice…

However, the Chocolate Opera (c4,250) was inedible. A dry and tasteless layered creation of cake, chocolate and cream it had clearly been sitting in their display case for several days, if not more. Moreover, throughout the meal, service was horrendous.  Unknowledgeable waiters, long waits, and mixed up orders were the norm.  On the plus side here, our complaints to management were met with a healthy correction to the final bill.

The Market Open Kitchen

Corcovado Foundation Wine Dinner @ Tin Jo

The Corcovado Foundation will host its annual wine dinner and auction on Saturday, September 22 at Tin Jo restaurant, in downtown San Jose. The event features a selection of foods and wines accompanied by live music, and featuring both a silent and live auction.

This is a good chance to enjoy good food and wine, while supporting a worthy cause, and getting a chance to snag a good deal at the auction. Auction items typically include a range of hotel and tourism packages to some of the finer Osa peninsula lodges, often going at a deep discount.



Costa Rica Goes Locavore – NYTimes.com

Product CCosta Rica Goes Locavore – NYTimes.com.

Costa Rica’s dining scene makes the New York Times and is even presented in a positive light, although I’m obliquely quoted (“Frommer’s described…”) as strongly disparaging said scene.

Oh, well. As one of my hero’s famously wrote: “Do I contradict myself, very well, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” (That’d be Walt Whitman, folks).

That said, the article wisely highlights two of my favorites, Product C and La Pecora Nera (see Rave #1), and points to what hopefully will be a very bright future for the country’s culinary culture.