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“Hidden Italian Gem in La Fortuna”

Restaurante Cafe Mediterraneo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: Italian, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Cafe Mediterraneo, Restaurant & Pizzeria, is a familiar place, but also very romantic, very cozy with the best view of our Majestic Arenal Volcano, here you can try a Great Cappuccino, an excellent Italian pizza, Pasta, Salad, accompanied with a glass of wine, or just enjoy a sangria or a mojito. This restaurant has been made with all our heart thinking of you!
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
437 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 573 helpful votes
“Hidden Italian Gem in La Fortuna”
Reviewed June 14, 2014

Background: Spending a few days in La Fortuna as part of a 3-week volcano trek across Central America, our tour group stumbled upon this quaint, new Italian restaurant near our motel (Arenal Country Inn) while on a late-night dessert run.

PROS: The good food is reportedly its main asset and selling point. When in the "zone", the chef's cooking verges on the Ratatouille-style -- you know, really going for it and cooking from the heart -- both as ingratiating as it is skilful. Food portions and presentation were more than adequate. Service is excellent, helpful and accommodating. Marvin the waiter is the paragon of friendliness. Lastly, the place has an excellent view of Arenal Volcano from the patio.

CONS: Location is not its best asset. It's just out of town past the first bridge, about 3/4 mile south of the Bull Ring along Rte 702, on the way to the Waterfalls. But then, it was a 10-min walking distance from our motel. Though a classy setup, the place is on the smallish side (8 tables). But what it lacks in space, it makes it up in cosiness. The price range is on the slightly expensive side compared to its peers, setting you back by as much as £10 for some dishes.

DO TRY: The Tiramisu, a classic coffee-flavoured Italian dessert -- It is a velvety creamy-rich melange of layers. The silky layers of mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and ladyfingers meld together to form one playful flavour, and yet is not overbearing. As it touches your tongue, it is at first excitingly tantalizing then, as it glides along your palate, deliciously subtle and finishes with an oh-so comforting aftertaste. It wins your affection right away and then earns your respect at the end. Mama mia! (btw, the best Tiramisu that I've ever tasted was from this little café in Rome near the Spanish Steps.) Also, try the Lomito Pepe Verde steak as well as the Mocha Frappuccino. Yumm!

Verdict: Needless to say, it would be totally unfair to compare a relatively new small-town eatery to a well-established city restaurant from the mother country. But by La Fortuna standards, Café Mediterraneo has already elevated itself from mere mediocrity, stayed a step ahead of the local competition and offer very good Italian food outside of Italy. If you want to splurge, do it here. We visited twice. Recommended. Grade A-minus.

The Eternal Nomad says: "Well done, Geovanny! And good luck on your new venture. Ciao!

.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Eternal_Nomad_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geovanny L, Manager at Restaurante Cafe Mediterraneo, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Hola !!!

This is a beautiful review, I appreciate all the time to write this nice comment, I hope you can come back again !!

Thank you again for this review.

Blessings

Geovanny Lobo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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888 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Anaheim, California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“great pizza”
Reviewed June 14, 2014

I was a little skeptical about Italian food in Costa Rica but we went based on the recommendations on TA. We were not disappointed! We started with the Caprese, which is one of my favorites. The mozzarella was fresh and delicious but the tomatoes were not ripe, so the app was nothing to rave about. The pizza, however, was incredible. They had a great selection and the ingredients were fresh. Our server was fantastic, and even met us in town after we left the restaurant to guide us to a great little late night ceviche spot. All in all a great meal and a great experience.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank killerbarbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
1 review
“Great food, great service!”
Reviewed June 13, 2014

Great italian food at very affordable prices in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica, in general, is very expensive and the food not that great. This place surprised us, so we went there a couple of times!
Geovanni and Melvin are also great! They also helped us get a white water rafting tour, which turned out to be amazing!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Laura C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geovanny L, Owner at Restaurante Cafe Mediterraneo, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Google Translation
Hola Laura y Mauricio,

Gracias por el lindo comentario, de verdad fue un placer conocerlos, son una pareja muy bonita, de verdad fue un placer hablar con ustedes, espero poder tenerlos muy pronto de nuevo por Café Mediterráneo.

Espero que hayan disfrutado mucho, como nosotros disfrutamos tenerlos en nuestro restaurante dos veces. :)

Que Dios los bendiga mucho.

saludos

Geovanny Lobo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Italian in Costa Rica!”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

Stopped here for a quick lunch before exploring the town and I was pleasantly surprised. The waiter was very friendly, I had the penne al vodka and it was really really good. The bowl looked small to me when it first came out but as I started eating, I realized it is a lot of food! The calzone was also HUGE. So if you're going for lunch or are just the type of person to split a meal with someone, you certainly could split either of those dishes. It wasn't cheap but it was fair. This is a tourist town after all. They gave us change in USD, which was a first.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank cjolly03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geovanny L, Manager at Restaurante Cafe Mediterraneo, responded to this review, June 11, 2014
Hola Friends from North Caroline,

I am very glad you like your meals, thank you for your nice comment :) say hi to North Caroline for me please.
I see you in your next trip to La Fortuna.

Blessings

Geovanny Lobo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Good food and reasonable prices”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

We went with friends for dinner. The waiter was very good and offered us a bottle of wine on sale that was good. The appetizer plate with meats and cheeses was excellent. We all had pastas for dinner. Some were better than others but all were ok. None had the kind of thick pasta sauces we are accustomed to at great Italian restaurants. And unfortunately there were a ton of bugs - fortunately not biting, but enough to drive us inside where they weren't quite as many. This is rated one of the best restaurants in trip advisor. Given what all we tasted in La Fortuna, that's probably accurate. Just don't expect the level of quality you would find at a great Italian place in a major city.

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

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