Entertainment | Restaurants & Dining | September 2007
|Exploring the Vista Grill Experience|
Gary R. Beck - PVNN
Created by Alberto Pérez of La Palapa fame, Vista Grill serves up an eclectic menu of creative and contemporary International cuisine complimented by a wonderful bay view that some might call "A balcony to Paradise."
|With a spectacular view, attentive service, and culinary expertise not seen elsewhere, Vista Grill is the place to celebrate a special occasion or event to remember, giving out-of-town visitors just one more reason to visit this wonderful paradise called Vallarta.|
Utilizing the exquisite setting of the original Sr. Chico's Restaurant, made famous by its breathtaking views, Vista Grill's beautiful chic décor, jutting terraces and top notch service maintain the Perez family's reputation for offering fine dining in a picturesque and romantic setting.
On a recent visit, we sampled several choices over three courses. Starters were highlighted by Tarragon Crab in Puff Pastry served with truffle butter. It proved to be a delightfully delicate combination, with no flavor overwhelming any other.
A most unusual soup was the Poblano Rockefeller. Floating on top of the slightly tangy broth was a cheese toast topped with a fried oyster. Creative and tasty, it made us wish for about a dozen more oysters.
Next we sampled Certified Angus Beef thinly sliced into Carpaccio adorned with a poached quail egg in the center. The meat was finely grained and a bit chewy - but the result was delicious.
For the next course, we tried the Pork Tenderloin marinated in mint and plated with roasted peppers, pumpkin purée and a kumquat glaze swirled on top. All of the vegetables were delightful - especially the lovely purée. The dish has an earthy feel to it, with the end pieces were dry, but the interior slices were properly moist and succulent.
We also enjoyed a thick and moist filet of Ancho Guajillo-Rubbed Salmon, but the promised watercress salad did not materialize and no vegetables filled the void. We were, however, provided with a portobello, and since the portion was generous, it was our favorite dish on this stopover. One member of our party tried the Grilled Chicken Breast accompanied by squash blossom stuffed with tomato, corn and spinach. A lovely vision but even though the flavors meshed quite well, the meat was a bit overcooked.
A bevy of unusual desserts followed. We enjoyed the crispy texture of the White Chocolate and Rice Custard Flan with Pistachio Foam, the expert melding of ingredients and flavors in the Apple Strudel with Walnut Granola Tart and the order of two soft chocolate cookies stuffed with a delicate mango compote and coconut ice cream on the side was once again, a fine and successful creation.
Creatively speaking, the kitchen is on the cutting edge - with some attempts wildly impressive and others falling just a bit short of the expected. That is how creativity works when the chef is an ambitious risk taker.
But with a spectacular view in several directions, attentive service, and culinary expertise not seen elsewhere, Vista Grill is the place to celebrate a special occasion or event to remember, giving out-of-town visitors just one more reason to visit this wonderful paradise called Puerto Vallarta.
After 20 years in the San Francisco restaurant business, Gary R. Beck turned his attentions to cooking, dining out, creating recipes and exploring Puerto Vallarta's rich array of eateries. Famous for his restaurant guide, available online at CafePress.com or Lulu.com, Gary also writes restaurant reviews for Puerto Vallarta newspapers, Bay Area magazines, and now, a feature column for BanderasNews.com. Contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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