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“Best Italian Food in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of La Pecora Nera

La Pecora Nera
Ranked #2 of 6 Restaurants in Cocles
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Kids, Large groups, Families with children, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Spokane, WA
Level Contributor
112 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Best Italian Food in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013

We ate here one night during Holy Week. It is a very busy time of year, but we arrive before 6pm and were only the second car in the lot. My husband had the penne pasta special of the night which was amazing. Homemade pasta with mushrooms, prosciutto, and a cream sauce. I had one of the ravioli specials: pumpkin ravioli with sage and shrimp. So yummy! My 7 year old had the spaghetti with tomato sauce and loved it. My 10 year old ordered the 4 cheese pizza and it was too pungent for his mild taste, so he ate some of our food. We were given a bread basket with 3 different kinds of bread, along with a sample of what appeared to be an olive spread with different bread. The food was ready quickly. The servers spoke excellent English and left us a pitcher of water on the table. The setting is beautiful, with lit candles on the tables and surround the open-air restaurant. The pizza was the most expensive item, at $17. Both specials were $15 and the spaghetti was $13.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank SpokaneMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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607 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Skaneateles, New York
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Hands down the finest and most elegant Italian food experience I've had in many years”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013

My wife and I made the trek into the jungle during our visit to the Puerto Viejo, Limon area in Costa Rica.

It's tucked far back into the jungle and not advertised very much so you have to look for it or ask a local how to find it. You won't regret the hike. I am exaggerating a bit. It's not like you're hacking vines with a machete and warding off drug cartels to find the place. It does have a dirt road that goes to it and parking. But it really is very removed from the activity of the local area and you do get the sense that you are in the jungle.

It was over a year since we were there and I can remember the Atlantic fish Carpaccio like it was yesterday. Fresh lemon, light cream sauce, mind-numbingly fresh fish sliced so delicate it almost dissolved in the air. All the courses were exceptional.

During our meal, the owner and his wife introduced themselves and chatted with us for a while. Not so long that it felt tedious but not so short that it felt obligatory either. They were genuine, warm and truly interesting people. They made us feel at ease like we were their new best friends. It really was wonderful. I was wearing a pareo which, I'm not ashamed to admit, I wear in hot tropical locals. That sparked a conversation with the owner who admitted that's all he wears at home. When we were done with our meal, the owner's wife brought us complimentary limoncello's that just topped off an already perfect evening.

Now I can imagine how it might strike the reader that an Italian restaurant in the rain forest might seem a little jarring for the traveler bent on settling into the whole monkey and coconut vibe. I certainly avoid anything that will drop me out of warp when I'm in a groove like that but I can't emphasize enough: It's comfortable and somehow the owners manage to integrate themselves into the surrounding culture like the Italian restaurant was invented in the rain forest. The open porch concept keeps you in the jungle and the quality of the food puts the whole show on steroids.

The "interior" felt elegant, casual and polished but not stuffy and artificial which was an exciting contrast to the rugged environment surrounding the pavilion style building. Dark exotic woods, fine linens, beautiful lighting and all the expected trappings of a finer restaurant at these price points (no it's not cheap but if you wanted cheap, you wouldn't be reading a review with words like "finest" and "elegant" anyways) keep you in a heady place somewhere between hedon-Eden and gatsro-Avalon.

If you're in the area and can swing the money, visit La Pecora Nera. You'll return to the jungle after dinner knowing the real secrets of the jungle: Monkeys aren't always so playful and carefree because it's their nature. They're giddy because they're eating like royalty out there and are likely tipsy on limoncello. Who knew?

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank kbl42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
93 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Impressive Italian”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

Very nice restaurant! Great atmosphere! Italian food comparable to NY! Pasta was very good! Spaghetti with seafood was amazing, also, they take credit cards!!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank bolognafrank1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Superb all around”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

One of the best italian restaurants we've ever been to and we travelled thru Italy! Truly amazing food! On the pricy side for PV but worth every colone! Love to go back!!

Visited March 2013
Thank AmynScottShmyles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Woodlands, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“My favorite restaurant in Puerto Viejo”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

Love, love, love this place. It's tucked away behind Gatta ci Cova, off the road. Follow the little road by the La Pecora Nera sign. Great atmosphere, good wine, great service, and the food is the best part! The menu itself is full of wonderful sounding things, and then they will tell you about the specials, then the really hard part comes - deciding what to get! Everyone in our party was more than satisfied - delicious homemade pastas, grilled tuna, yum! This was our second visit, after a wonderful time one year ago- this was at the top of our must do list!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TexasKG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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