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“Breakfast Only”

El Barco. Capitan Suizo Restaurant
Ranked #41 of 193 Restaurants in Tamarindo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $32
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Our restaurant is directly located on the beach and offers a tranquil ambiance whilst being surrounded by nature. Our a la carte lunch and dinner with a mixed cuisine of international dishes and classic Costa Rican cuisine can be enjoyed daily. We furthermore provide candle light dinners for those who want to spend a romantic evening under the moonlight and with a view over the endless horizon of the Pacific Ocean. Every Monday and Wednesday the dinner is accompanied by live Marimba music. And every Friday we have our "Gourmet Nights" with an exclusive 4 course menu and live entertainment.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stopped in for breakfast after a long walk one day. They offer a nice breakfast buffet for the guests and we were able to order it as well. While it was pricy ($15) it was lovely. The fresh fruit and omelettes were delicious. This property is visually beautiful. While we didn't sit on the beach, we were adjacent to the beach. Lovely place to stop for any purpose.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lughsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (99)
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86 - 90 of 99 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2013

Great food, directly at the beach, good service, easy entertainment. Loved it and would go back anytime!

Thank Frank F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012

We went to Capitan Suizo on our honeymoon because we read so many reviews tripadvisor that said it was awesome, and because the website had so many great things to say. We were very excited to eat at the restaurant. The chef has a ton of experience, and we were excited to try local food cooked by an amazing chef.

This unfortunately, was not the case. While the setting was beautiful (see all the photos people have posted), the food can only be described as lazy. Our waiter, Max, who was very nice brought us out some bread to start with. This was very clearly a frozen variety of texas toast that had been reheated in the oven. It was incredibly salty, and tasted of having been frozen before.

Alright... that is fine, I eat frozen Texas Toast at home sometimes. It is quick and it is good, plus it is free here so I'll leave it alone.

Our next course was an appetizer of smokes salmon on bread with a cranberry topping and pickles and olives, on a bead of lettuce and red onions. What? OK, this one was good. The salmon was again clearly prepackaged, but the strange combination of food worked here. My new wife and I both actually liked it. Moving on....

I ordered the fish of the day, which was Mahi Mahi in a garlic butter sauce, and my wife got a pasta dish with 'fresh' tomato and rosemary sauce, and shrimp. This is where the meal falls apart completely.

My Mahi Mahi was not only overcooked to the point of being rubbery, it was like chewing on a salt lick slathered in garlic. Worst of all, it was clearly not fresh. We are sitting 5 meters from the ocean where I can go out and catch this fish! They charged me $20 dollars for something that I could have bought in the frozen section of my grocery store and threw in the oven for an hour myself! Not only that but it was SMALL (irony of capital letters there). It was about the size of a cigarette packet (3 oz.?). The rice it came with was unseasoned, perhaps to offset the fish, and the vegetables were frozen and steamed without flavor as well. They even had that distinctive shape with 'fancy' cutting that every frozen vegetable dish has in the grocery store (lazy). I was embarrassed that was the second time in my life that I ever had to send food back. On top of that, not even an apology. We weren't even told if we would have to pay for it until we got the check.

My wive's meal. The 'fresh' sauce was vodka sauce with some salt and pepper in it, and the shrimp were overcooked and most likely frozen (I can't say for sure on this one). But it was at least palatable. We ended up sharing it.

For desert prepackaged custard, and a somewhat mollifying cup of espresso to wash it down.

Overall I would not recommend eating at this restaurant. The chef is lazy and reheats bad food from the freezer. The philosophy he espouses on his part of the website is all smoke and mirrors. I gave Captitan Suizo two stars because of the beauty of the spot we ate in, which was one of the more beautiful we ate at. However, skip the food and just sit out on the beach and enjoy.

    • Value
    • Service
4  Thank B_Smith_Jr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sigrid32, owner family at El Barco. Capitan Suizo Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2012

Dear B_Smith_Jr
First of all I would like to thank you that you took the time to mention also some positive observations, despite your unfortunate experience. We are pleased to hear that you decided to visit our restaurant because of the many tripadvisor reviews that said it was awesome and that you mention our beautiful setting. We are indeed very happy with our setting. When we bought this plot of land 20 years ago there were still a large amount of sites available all over Costa Rica and we appreciate it now more than ever that we decided to buy at this unique, privileged position. We are also happy that you noticed how clean our restaurant is and that you have given us a good rating for cleanliness.
In regards to your complaints: we are truly sorry that you were disappointed with our cuisine! I know that if I write that our successful restaurant has a large and very content amount of regular patrons and that the food is normally praised this offers little consolation to you. The fact is that you were unhappy with the quality of our food and this is what we want to focus on now. When work is being done, errors occasionally do happen and based on your account it looks like this obviously was the case in your situation.

Now, in retrospect, we have no other choice, as to formally apologise to you. We are really sorry! I would however like to write a short comment about some of your complaints. The bread: all the breads on our breakfast buffet, as well as the bread that is served with all the meals is freshly baked daily in our kitchen. The waiters were asked to put the herb butter onto the bread and I admit that it is possible there could have been a mistake with this on occasion. This point we have already reorganised and corrected. As mentioned on the menu, practically all our meals (with the exception of some sauces and some soups) are prepared a la minute. Your comment that we sell frozen vegetables is absolutely untrue. All our fresh food suppliers deliver food several times a week and enable us to prepare the food in a professional and perfectly fresh way. As we support the Costa Rican law to protect certain types of fish during the year, it can happen that we are unable to offer some fish duringcertain periods. ????Frozen???? That the portion of your fish was too small comes as a bit of a surprise as we normally have to ensure our kitchen crew doesn’t overdo the portion sizes, rather than the other way round, but if you say that the portion was too small, we respect that of course. We also accept the fact that in your case things went wrong and it goes without saying that it is your right to proclaim that overall you would not recommend eating at this restaurant.

What we can’t accept however is the insinuation that “the chef is lazy and reheats bad food from the freezer”. Firstly no ‘bad food’ is being produced in our kitchen, secondly food is not being ‘reheated’ in our kitchen and thirdly our kitchen crew is absolutely not lazy. They have been with us for many years, they work very professionally and are highly motivated and cook with pleasure and love! It is of high importance to us to produce perfectly healthy and tasty food and to provide a personal service. As we have clear policies in place regarding possible complaints we followed up on your complaint and also checked your invoice with our bookkeeping department. We ascertained that $ 20 had been cancelled off your invoice by the chef the service for the meal you sent back. This is of course perfectly alright. Obviously the chef de service however judged the situation wrongly by thinking that you were satisfied with the cancellation of $ 20 off your invoice. Had he suspected that you were still dissatisfied he should have informed the manager on duty (on call 24 hours daily) so that the matter could have been discussed with you and resolved to your satisfaction.

Of course we are very happy to receive so much positive feedback from many of our guests. However, if we couldn’t satisfy one of our guests, as in your case, we take it as an incentive to try even harder and do our job even better. As you were not staying at our hotel, but visited from outside, we can’t invite you personally, as we do not have your address, but we would like to use this opportunity and let you know that it would be our pleasure to welcome you back someday! It would be great if you let us know on arrival, that you were dissatisfied on your last visit and in this way we would have the chance to ensure that your stay is as perfect as can be and we can even convince you of the quality of our food.

Finally I would like to thank you on behalf of our whole restaurant team for the generous tip, which you left, despite your unpleasant experience.
Sigrid Engel - owner family

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Reviewed March 2, 2017
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Thank Wale01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rachaelmarykershaw, Gérant at El Barco. Capitan Suizo Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded March 24, 2017
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Reviewed February 6, 2017
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Thank Steffi H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rachaelmarykershaw, Gérant at El Barco. Capitan Suizo Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded March 24, 2017
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