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“Best food in costa rica!”
Review of El Refugio Grill

El Refugio Grill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Description: International Cusine Restaurant. Jungle outside private tables for dinner or chill out. Romantic atmosphere, good music. Focus on the good quolity of the products and the service.
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Best food in costa rica!”
Reviewed May 24, 2013 via mobile

After about a month in costa rica both my wife and i agreed that the Tuna steak we ate at El Refugio was the best dish we had in costa rica.

Soooo delicious and wonderful service. Its a bit expensive ( about 32,000 colones per couple including drinks a d desert) but worth every penny

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mickeyl85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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413 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    346
    48
    13
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“tasty!”
Reviewed May 17, 2013

the food of course, but great space, and very nice hosts.
small but balanced menu. nice wines too.i;euffiugifbpi2gfp2ugf

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Moriarty6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
phoenix
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“soooo good”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Excellent location. Food was fantastic. Crepes for desert were yummy. In the middle of the jungle. There local drink w/ lime and rum was delicious and deceiving.
Make reservations!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank weluvkona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Well done.”
Reviewed April 17, 2013 via mobile

I went to El Refugio a week ago for our final dinner in Puerto Viejo. I wanted somewhere special and romantic with great food and wasn't disappointed.

We started with a salad that was beautiful and fresh. This was my first time eating hearts of palm wow that is good stuff!

Our server,Roxy I believe was gracious and charming. She recommended their house special drink and it was fabulous! She also accommodate the odd requests of my intoxicated rude date when he asked for straight rum and lime juice though she wasn't able to totally hide her skepticism. For those who are wondering it was awful I don't recommend it. If you are a drunk jerk like my date was just take the rum straight up. It was a really good quality rum by the way.

Our entrees were served I had ordered chimichurri (yes I spelled it wrong but you know what I mean) and Captain Creepo ordered the tuna. First off I have never ordered beef on a Latin American country (seriously have you seen those cows?? ) and I'm a farm raised gal living in the heart of the best grain fed beef in the world. So this was a risky proposition but considering the Argentinian influence of the restaurant I figured is be foolish not to. Well I am delighted to say that not only did the marinade fulfill every expectation (I am trying to type this without having to peck out chimichurri on my iPhone again). The presentation was lovely there was more salad (hint salas comes with the entrees so you don't really need to order a starter salads like we did) and I think it came with potatoes. I can't remember for sure because the obnoxious moron that I was stupid enough to invite on my trip who has been drinking all day and not just having beers on the beach... He would take two beers and a vodka cooker each round. I was curious as to who he was buying drinks for: imagine my shock when I discovered nobody he was triple fisting it. So to make an infinite story long he became rude and obnoxious, stood up and began staggering toward the bar, yelled something unbelievably humiliating at me (not gonna say what it was but it wasn't me who should have been embarrassed he announce to the restaurant how he couldn't satisfy his girl the night before). he tbe. staggered to the front and finally after a lot of wrangling on Roxys part (girl you are a saint I don't know how you dealt with that and still managed to stay classy and grateful). And I'm pretty sure he stiffed her and gave her no tip. He asked for more booze cuz ya he sure needed some and she graciously declined to serve him

What does this have to to with my dinner you ask? Well Princess decided to host this drama during pretty much my first bite. At first I ignored him and had a few more bites of steak. The beef was absolutely fabulous. The perfect medium rare, tender and juicy on the inside and the flavour to die for. I was just going to pretend that doofus wasn't there but his loud announcement about his own incompetence in front of a family with children well even this beef loving farm girl lost her appetite.

Dumdum ordered tuna. Roxy asked how he wanted it prepared and he said leave it up to the chef. So it came and to me it looked way under done but you tuna lovers would cringe to know I need my tuna cooked through. I know, how redneck. So it arrived and after the icon of the ocean was going on about how he is one with the sea I don't think he liked it i think he would have been happier if if had been more towards medium rare rather than kinda seated on one side. So again to you tuna connoisseurs I bet you would have been in ecstasy. And all mr brilliant had to to was ask that it be cooked a little more. The chef whom I assume was the owner seemed like a super nice man, had a nice happy energy about him and the little we conversed I really liked him. But anyway it didn't go that way as I've already go e on at great length about

So our poor hosts called a taxi for us, their driver. But genious forgot that he still owed cab fare to the driver who brought us. I was ok with all that I didn't want to get into a car with him anyway. So their driver came and I got in. Prince Charming did too so the driver left and the first one still hadn't been paid. So we end up being chased down buy a guy who was justifiably upset with lights and horn flashing on the same dark deserted road that we had been robbed at gun point on earlier that week. Of course captain courage decides to chase down the gun man some stupid scared kid with a loaded colt 45 ans left me alone with his accomplice for him to wrench my arm around my back and when Dudley still would not stop started choking me. I could see him being shot and my battered abused body lying on the jungle floor. Sheesh lose both or lives for an iPhone and a hundred bucks. Anyway speedy ran away instead of killing us and I survived with my honour intact. I have to say though I was more than a little traumatized by the angry cabbie chasing us down

So what does this have to so with my restaurant review? Nothing really I'm just whining. But also huge kudos to Roxy for handling an obnoxious drunk and managing to not set him off to throwing around tables or punching the poor owner standing at the grill. Girl you have class. I would have tipper you but after the robbery super hero didn't want me carrying around money and it wasn't worth the right. So sorry sweetie you gave excellent service and should have been tipped properly.

So here is the tragic part of it all... I was dreaming of the crepes with the caramel sauce; frankly that is the only reason I chose that restaurant far away from our hotel and didn't even get a sniff of them. Shame. I guess they will have to remain in my food porn fantasies.

I want to sincerely apologise to the staff, management and clientelle for this rude and disrespectful incident in your establishment. I was afraid of this happening but he has managed to time with me at Jungle Love a couple of data prior without Incident. I was hoping that was the start of a roll but that was wishful thinking. I should not have taken that loose cannon out

And I want to send a special apology to the family with the child. I can't remember if it was a boy or girl but the look of alarm on his/her face wow I felt so bad.

Anyway the food is great, the staff is wonderful and the ambiance sans drama is romantic and delightful

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank _Browner_L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Could easily be number one”
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Wow! What an amazing restaurant. Beautiful dining area! Outstanding appetizers and entrees! Best desserts I have ever had! A must, FYI cash only

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bolognafrank1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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