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“Great setting, below average meal”

Hotel Restaurant Cantarana
Ranked #13 of 21 Restaurants in Playa Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Our atmospheric restaurant on the second floor is surrounded by tropical tree tops. It is a unique place for an unforgettable dining experience. Enjoy your evening with a candle light dinner. Our Chef stands for passionate and creative cooking. Classic or modern, all is prepared with fresh, high quality products and the extra special something that makes eating at Cantarana an extraordinary culinary highlight. Casual dress is perfect. We are closed on Friday.
Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great setting, below average meal”
Reviewed April 15, 2011

My wife and I ordered a three course meal with Coq Au Vin with a Tuna Carpaccio Salad appetizer and chocolate/vanilla mouse with fruit for dessert.

The setting is very nice on an open air second floor restaurant. However, the chef and sous chef were hanging out smoking next to the bar when they weren't prepping meals since there were only 3 or 4 parties there the night we went.

The wine selection was very good considering the remoteness of the location.

The chef initially treated us to the Garlic Shrimp bite which was one of the best bites of the entire meal.

The bread was accompanied by a garlic cheese butter...I could eat that way more often than I ever should. It was excellent.

The Tuna Carpaccio Salad was tasty, but it had too much vinaigrette. It was hard to taste the meat, which is an essential aspect of carpaccio. The greens were fresh and the dish was still enjoyable.

The Coq Au Vin was a bit oversalted but the tasted fine. Unfortunately, the chicken was overcooked and the texture was mealy. You just can't serve overcooked food at any restaurant. The vegetables were good and fresh, but cooked with too much butter/oil for my taste. The potatoes were oversalted as well.

The chocolate mouse was decadent and rich in flavor, but the consistency was too heavy to be called mouse. I have no evidence, but the vanilla mouse had the consistency and taste of Jello vanilla pudding.

For a meal in this price range and perceived quality, these are mistakes that should never be made by any chef cooking at this level. Premium prices demand premium quality. Another guest in the food industry told me that the chef had recognized as a one star chef by Michelin (I don't know if this is true or not), but this is not the food you would expect from someone who has received such an honor.

It's not the worst meal I've ever had, but I expected much better. Other guests thought their meals were very good so perhaps our experience was the exception.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ATXTrophyHusband
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    68
    21
    8
    7
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“TRULY AN AMAZING AND ROMANTIC EXPERIENCE”
Reviewed January 17, 2011

When we got there the vibe was very romantic and well put together. The German owner immediately greeted us and we chose to sit close to the kitchen to watch the action.

This restaurant is a well oiled machine and the owner is suave and knows his wine and food. The menu was so interesting and fresh + it has a molecular flair to it. The German chef has managed to create amazing dishes with local products from Costa Rica.

We were served warm baguette with fresh guacamole. Then we shared a tuna ceviche + we each had an amuse-bouche of beef salad - a great touch!

For and appitizer I had the beef carpaccio and bacon wrapped shrimp and my husband had the duck soup.

For an entree I had the beef tenderloin and he literally had three lobster tails in a vanilla-mango butter sauce! YUM! This was a memorable meal and the owner made sure to come around during each serving to make sure that we were happy with the food. I was so happy and content...truly on cloud nine!

  • Visited January 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CelinaOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weinheim
1 review
“Awesome”
Reviewed January 8, 2010

We spent some days at Playa Grande at the Hotel & Restaurant Cantarana - a place to be!!! The owners and the staff are absolutely friendly, cute and are doing a very good job. We didn't expect to eat such food at the end of nowhere (fresh fish served with a sauce of vanilla, chili and lemon...) - it was the best ever!

If you like to relax some days at a beautiful beach, eat delicious food, enjoy the perfect service and the atmosphere you gotta stay overthere! PURA VIDA :-)

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank elraton29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
1 review
“Awesome”
Reviewed November 25, 2009

To be honest when we saw the menu of this restaurant it did not appeal to us. However due to limit choices we opted to stop in and give this a try. We are so glad we did! The food was incredible and the service was amazing! The chef was extremly creative and he had us trying things I did not think I would enjoy. Thank you for making our trek into your restaurant such a memorable experience. Dana we miss your lovely personality.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank vacationrocks09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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