Punta de Mita, Mexico - Recently, we had a thoroughly delightful dinner at Rosa Mexicano in Punta de Mita and it wasn't just the food, although the food alone would have been worth several visits.
The setting pleases the eye right away - it's as close to the bay as you can get without getting your feet wet! So, the view is unforgettable, the place is completely romantic, the service is warm and friendly, and you dine under the stars.
To please the ear, a "soft" Mariachi band was playing such lovely notes that every table was asking for encores and dropping lovely peso notes in the leader's sombrero. I never saw or heard a strolling Mariachi group so welcomed anywhere - no one wanted them to leave our little enclave - so they did encore after encore. It also helped that the lead singer of the group was a beautiful young woman with a beautiful voice. Did I mention all the excellent musicians were well dressed, too?
Ah, but most people come for the food, right? Rosa Mexicano delivers excellent dining and in spades. First of all, you should try the Guacamole for a taste and visual treat. This appetizer is made at the table in a traditional stone bowl, starting with fresh avocado, of course, then hot, roasted tomatoes and spices.
The guacamole is served warm and no one can resist this variant. This appetizer and the showmanship that goes with it is only $80 pesos and can take care of a table of four handily. You have never tasted any guacamole like this!
The menu is quite varied with many familiar Mexican specialties, and really special. I have had the carnitas on a previous occasion and it was superb, and ditto for the fish a la Veracruzana, the delicate fillet swimming in a medium spicy, tomato-based sauce.
This night we ordered an enormous and delicious pork chop, cooked exactly as ordered-and enhanced by a sauce of pineapple and spices. We also enjoyed a house specialty - the Pollo Cora - lovely, thin pieces of chicken breast enveloped with a delicious sauce and, again, the large portion could have been easily shared.
The prices are very much in line with other restaurants of this caliber with several main dishes hovering around $200 pesos and going up from there, but good value is overshadowed by great tastes.
All in all, Rosa Mexicano is a terrific treat and then some. There are two locations, one in Bucerķas and one in Punta de Mita. My advice is go there! Soon!Ed Schwartz has been involved in many aspects of fine wine for 30 years and has worked with top wineries in California, Italy and France. His writings on wine, food and travel have appeared in the SF Chronicle, LA Times and Image magazine.
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