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“Best Meal in Arenal”

El Novillo del Arenal
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Costa Rican
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Demarest, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best Meal in Arenal”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

According to my credit card receipt, the correct name of this restaurant is El Novillo, not El Noivillo. I've asked TA to investigate.

After lots of disappointing meals during our 4-day stay in the Arenal area, we discovered this place on our last evening. It was a quantum leap forward.

Although it bills itself as a steakhouse, we both had excellent fish dishes. Snook with a seafood sauce for my wife, and another species for me, grilled. Total with tax and tip came to about US$40, including a side dish of rice and beans.

The restaurant is a typical wall-less structure that you see everywhere in CR, but this one was much bigger than average. They do a lot of business with big tour buses, ususally a sign of mediocre food, but not in this case. They were very busy and service was a bit slow, but not to the point where it was a problem.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GlaserTom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    133
    55
    23
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Fernandina Beach. Fl
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent meal!”
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

We ordered to tenderloins; one with a mushroom sauce and one with a Gorgonzola sauce. My son had chicken and rice. The steaks were huge and very good: about $16 each. The chicken and rice was excellent. We had two mojitos and two glasses of red wine with our steaks. We spent $72 for the three of us (meal, tax, gratuity) and added another $8 to the included tip. Service was excellent. We did arrive very early for dinner so there weren't many people. Beautiful, open air setting about 7 miles west of La Fortuna. Highly recommend!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank greg1t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best meal in costa rica”
Reviewed March 19, 2014 via mobile

My husband and i ventured down to this place during our last night in La Fortuna. The services was great and the food even better. We ordered a shrimp and octopus ceviche and their tenderloin special. The steak was as big as my plate and cooked perfectly. The meal was super reasonable. By far our best meal in la fortuna and we stayed at the tabacon, a five star resort just down the road.

Helpful?
Thank Gofkat28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
“As a solo traveller I cannot recommend this”
Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

2 hours to complete my meal. Not that I mind when not in a hurry.
Appetizer never arrived.
When presented with the main I asked

20 minutes later my ServiChe arrived.
Not a cooked dish is it?



45 minutes between water refills

Obviously more attention to the bus groups


I thought I was going to be comped for my lousy dessert when I asked for my bill. I was then presented with another bill.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank lukasrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Pierce, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Meal and Service”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

We had 3 couples in our party. Our meal was excellent, service great and reasonable priced. We would go back.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Beverly D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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