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Missypie's Restaurant Reviews: La Fortuna/Arenal and Manuel Antonio

Missypie's Restaurant Reviews: La Fortuna/Arenal and Manuel Antonio

Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Missypie's Restaurant Reviews: La Fortuna/Arenal and Manuel Antonio

We had a fantastic trip to Costa Rica. I'll post a full trip report later. I thought it would make sense to post separate restaurant reviews, since so many of us search for such posts.

Arenal/La Fortuna:

1. Very late lunch at Hanging Bridges (by Lost Iguana): Nice view (except that they were power washing the deck at the time, which detracted from the atmosphere.) The portions are huge. I had the "typical" plate wich was quite yummy. One daughter had spaghetti neopolitan, which could have fed four of us. DH wanted to eat light, so he ordered a bowl of soup; again, enough to feed four. I wouldn't call this a "destination" restaurant, but it's a nice place to eat if you're at the hanging bridges.

2. Late lunch in town at Don Rofinos. Excellent, and reasonble. I had tilapia in an avocado and tomato sauce that was to die for. DS had a Carribean seafood stew that he loved. It was nice that the restarant wasn't only full of tourists; there were quite a few Ticos around the bar.

3. Lunch at Toad Hall. The view is beautiful and the menu is small but the food is very good. If you're staying "way out" (past the dam) it might be worth the drive, but probably not otherwise. Terrific smoothies.

4. Dinner at Ecotermales. The drinks and sides were great; terrific juice and black beans. We had our choice of chicken or beef. The folks that got the chicken loved it. The beef was VERY tough.

5. Lunch during Sunset's Cano Negro tour: Terrific. They stopped at a local restauant (near the Nicaraguan border) to pick up lunch, then we ate it beside the river. The main course was rice with chicken (DS had three helpings). There was also yucca, slaw, plantains, beans and pineapple. Very good.

6. Dinner at El Novillo: Why oh why did we wait until the last night to eat there???? We are going to be craving this food for a long time! The steaks were butter-tender and so tasty. (The best steak I've had in ages...and I had a steak at the Palm the day before I left.) DD got the best fettucini alfredo any of us have ever had. Even the bread was special. They offer "flaming" desserts. It was good that we ordered several deserts besides our crepe suzette, however, because the kids thought that it was too alcoholic (the adults loved it.) What is amazing is the reasonable price. We had four entrees, two salads, two glasses of wine, two large bottles of water, and three desserts...for $57! (Cash only.)

7. Ice cream stand in La Fortuna: Terrific! (and inexpensive).

I'll discuss the Manuel Antonio restaurants in a bit.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Great stuff....keep it comin'!!!!
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:02 AM
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This is fantastic - thanks!!
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:05 AM
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Manual Antonio:

1. Dinner at Claro Que Si (at Si Como No): I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I was in this place. My expectations were high because it seems to be universally recommended on this board. DS and I split the seafood dinner for two. Everything was boiled beyond recogition in a salty tomato broth. They were very generous with the seafood, but I just wanted to cry at the waste of lobster tail turned to tastless rubber, etc. DS ate it because he is 15 and will eat anything, but I could hardly choke anything down. One daughter had the seafood stew and ate only the broth; another had the shrimp wrap and ate only the tortilla...the shrimp, again, was pure rubber. Only DH liked his, which was an ordinary grilled chicken salad. When the waiter asked how our food was, I was polite but honest. Nothing was done. I always wonder what they think when they take away multiple plates that are full of food.

2. Lunch at Cafe Milagro: Terrific. The coffee drinks are great. The sandwiches are quite "American" but really good.

3. Dinner at Napoli Pizza: Very good (and reasonable) pizza.

4. Dinner at Anaconda (at Costa Verde): Quite good. The menu had an Italian influence, but DH and DD had pretty good ribs.

I never got to have a terrific seafood meal, which was a shame. The food probably would have been better if we would have braved some of the local places in Quepos, but by then we had sort of run out of adventure.

I will say that I am craving the wonderful fresh watermelon and pineapple that I had every morning at breakfast.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:28 AM
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missypie -- your reviews have been very helpful. I am anxiously awaiting the rest of your report, particularly your experience at LI -- I read on a previous post that they wanted to move you out of your room and then overcharge you. I am seriously considering a change of hotel. I'll wait to hear the rest before I make a decision.

Diane
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:39 AM
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Not to worry, Diane. My review of the LI was just posted on Trip Advisor. It is the one entitled, "Absolute Paradise-and a bit of a pain." The LI is SUCH a beautiful place. I think that one's experience there depends a lot on if you have a car. The walk up to some of the rooms would get VERY old. We just drove. If you have a car, by all means, stay there. I guess that, unlike the other recent (unfavorable) review on Trip Advisor, I could overlook that the shower got the bathroom floor wet and the microwave didn't work on high, because the place is stunningly gorgeous.

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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:43 AM
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One more thing: As for the wanting to move us/overcharging us...everyone was polite to my face...who knows what they were saying about me in Spanish, but they were polite to me. I think that they have either an unsophisticated computer system, or unknowledgable employees (or both.) If the person who checks you in upgrades you, the person who checks you out sees that you are in the room you are in and charges you accordingly. The "free upgrade" is not noted anywhere, thus they try to charge you for where you are staying. If they try to do that to you, just be firm but polite. Have a calculator out when checking out and just do a discreet double check. I would not let this deter me from staying at the LI.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:47 AM
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missypie - we don't have a car but I have hired a driver. We were going to do the hanging bridges in the am and then have him pick us up to do Arenal lava tour and then into town or something after. I'll check out your Trip Advisor post. Thanks a bunch!

Oh - did you see the volcano?

Diane
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Yes, one night we saw the lava. It was way cool. Of course, it was kind of addictive...just when everyone wanted to go to bed, there would be more lava, then we'd stay out longer.

The next day (when we were hiking at the national park) there were no clouds over Aernal and we had a perfect view (but of course, you can't see red lava in the daytime.)

The best lava views, however, at the moment, are from the Observatory Lodge...the folks said their windows shook at 4 am and the lava flow was huge from where they were.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 08:55 AM
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Thanks missypie! I am leaving this Saturday (3/25), so this up to date review helps.

How were the volcano views?

Karen
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 10:03 AM
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I loved Don Rufino in La Fortuna too, las nenas was great as well:

http://costa.rica.typepad.com/la_for...ome/index.html

in manuel antonio bamboo jam was good and very reasonably priced, but el avion was my favourite, great views great service and great food:

http://costa.rica.typepad.com/manuel...ome/index.html
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 11:07 AM
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We also loved the food at El Novillo..the steaks really are terrific.

In Manual Antonio we had a superb meal at Ronny's Place...we also enjoyed the most phenomenal sunset we have ever seen.

Dinner was also delicious at El Avion and Plinio's (intl. food).
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Old Jul 15th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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topping for AKgirl
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