Monday, November 20, 2006

BOCA BENTO - Puerto Vallarta

Boca Bento is located in the Zona Romantica area of Vallarta - the older, charming Puerto Vallarta. Zona Romantica (aka Los Muertos) is Vallarta's most active area with the Southside’s beach, restaurants, bars, lounges and beachside cafes. The neighborhood has recently been revitalized and the main street, Olas Altas, is now lined with fun to fine dining, sidewalk cafes, great bars and nightclubs.

The fusion of Latin and Asian flavors on the menu was a delight to read. I began my dining experience with the Thai style chili crusted calamari. The “translucent” breading did not hide the freshest calamari I’ve ever eaten. The chipotle dipping sauce was a welcomed change from the usual garlic aioli served by many restaurants.

I’ve dined at Boca Bento on many occasions. This evening I selected a seat at the bar. I was pleasantly surprised when Juan (the chef) stopped by to greet me. It was his night off; however, when I made the comment that I was looking for a “surf ‘n turf” combination of some sort, he headed to the kitchen. He personally created an off-the-menu entrée for me. While he was in the kitchen, I was entertained by Alberto (the lounge’s mixologist) and Shawnee, my very friendly waiter.

My dinner was served! I received a combination of huge Adobe flavored shrimp with grilled pineapple & a side of chimichurri sauce and the juiciest, most tender grilled beef medallions I have ever eaten. The medallions were served with a pasilla chile sauce. The sauce delivered just the right amount of “heat.” The pasilla chile has a mild to medium heat; this chile is a good substitute for Ancho and Mulato chiles. I had 2 choices of vegetables – a very light potato puree seasoned with a hint of wasabi and grilled vegetables dusted with salt, pepper, & tiny flakes of roasted garlic. Fantastic!

Just when I thought it could not get any better than this, the chef told me my dessert would soon be ready. He made me a passion fruit soufflé with a passion fruit sorbet. This incredible dessert was served in a spun sugar cup. Simple perfection. The meal was 2 hours of bliss.

Boca Bento is comfortably decorated & filled with beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes. I’ve made several visits to this restaurant and have never been disappointed. The menu, the chef, the ambiance, the service… all rank near the top of my favorites list in Puerto Vallarta.

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm…


$$ 20
$$$ 30
$$$$ 40+

+ Stop bothering me!
++ Anyone here?
+++ Stopped when in the area.
++++ As needed and friendly.
+++++ Invisibly perfect!

✦ “One visit too many!”
✦✦ “Convince me!”
✦✦✦ “I’ll be back!”
✦✦✦✦ “Same table next week!”

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