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“CANT belive this is in the top 3”
Review of Il Giardino

Il Giardino
Price range: $7 - $15
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids, Scenic view, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Description: Located on the Ocean drive Beach, we have some tables just on the water, for a scenic sunset dinner with candlelight and Soft Eclectic Music. it is more than 14 years that Il GIardino is rising the bar of the quality of Food, Service and Ambient, establishing the comparative mark for local and not local restaurant. This Year we started serving, first in town ever, GRILLED WHOLE FISH AND ITALIAN STYLE " FIORENTINA " STEAK, obtaining great appreciation from our Guests. We try to use, the most is possible, local products for our plates, and we, as always, produce our homemade Pasta and Bread, being, again, the only one in this. We utilize only Local Farmer Meat, that we season following the Old Italian Tradition from Toscana and Piemonte, and we prepare it on the Grill, just in front of our Guests. Our BANANA-BOMBA dessert is an unique creation of us, and somebody says that "...it is the Tiramisu' of future!!" The Fresh Fruit drinks we prepare and the Cocktails are always made with fresh fruit and no prefabricated mix are involved in them. We are the Culinary experience you are looking for in the OSA!!
Copenhagen, Denmark
2 reviews
“CANT belive this is in the top 3”
Reviewed February 11, 2014 via mobile

Had lunch yesterday. The pasta ragu was tasteless. The eggplant was smothered in olie. I had "fresh" seafood pasta.The mussels smelled bad, and I didn't eat the seafood. I complained and the owner said the seafood came from the mangrove.

The owner charges you 50.000,00 colones If you pay with visa ect.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IlGiardinoPJ, Manager at Il Giardino, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
I remember this guy, a young man that come to the front desk, at the payment moment, not before, with a small plate with some of the shells that where part of the Frutti di Mare Spaghetti he ordered and had.
His point was that the mussels, no problems with the other sea fruits, where " old " because , he said , there was little flesh inside, and he could say this because he had some big fleshy mussels, recently, in a place nearby.
I explained him that, in observance with our Idea of the Slow Food Philosophy , we try to purchase and use the most is possible local productions or harvests, and the Chora, the local name for the Mytella guyanensis, the small but much more tasty mussel, is locally collected in the mangrove complex, and his something we purchase every week maintaining a very fresh stock of them, instead of buying the frozen big mussels he had before, that are produced, normally, in New Zealand, harvested and frozen months before their shipping, making them really old at the moment they arrive on the table, and, normally, with the same taste of a piece of cardboard.
The young guy showed me all his presumption, saying that: "...... the mussels are not living in the mangroves....", and went away still on his , already unsustainable, point.
If somebody want to check about the habitat of this Mollusc, can go to the pages of the INBIO of Costa Rica and search for " Chora" or " Mejillon", and read the scientific description : " Habitat: En los manglares de la costa pacífica de Costa Rica, en playones arenosos o limo-arenosos y entre los neumatóforos de Avicennia sp. en puntas de barra o playones elevados. También se localizan en la parte externa del bosque, enterrados en las paredes de pequeños canales que desaguan en el estero."
But the thing that completely shows the level of this review is the assertion the we are charging 50,000,00 colones if a client pays with a credit card.......I can't imagine what is happening to this Guest for to write a so grotesque sentence....we have hundred of guests that pay with credit card and nobody newer sue us in front of a local or international court for this crime.....
So, I couldn't make him understand that what he had in " ....every other place in the country .... " ,where aged, frozen tastelessly mussels coming from the other side of the world and that our ones where recently collected ones at few kilometres of hundred of metres from our Restaurant, just few days or hours before, but this review got me the opportunity for to talk about this detail that make or Restaurant even more Unique and well oriented toward a less resource consumption and a lower impact over the Planet.
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215 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    127
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    15
    9
    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Cod
Level Contributor
92 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Best Italian food outside of Italy”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Il Giardino is by far the best restaurant in Puerto Jimenez - and in most of Costa Rica. The owners are Italian, they make homemade pasta and other dishes, and when I sit by the bay eating my dinner by candlelight with my sweetheart, I sometimes forget that I'm not in Italy! During a week stay in Pto Jimenez, we had dinner at Il Giardino 3 times! Giulio and his wife always greeted us with smiles - and then served up some phenomenal food. One night we sat by the grille and watched as Giulio cooked our whole fresh snapper - awesome. I highly recommend this restaurant.... and, you can park your car along the road and it's very safe. If you get there just before dusk - you might be treated to the huge flock of parrots flying home for the evening...they live in the trees around the bay and Il Giardino. Enjoy!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GoldenViewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“pleasant Italian charm in Puerto Jimenez”
Reviewed January 9, 2014

the food was good, well-portioned, not extraordinary, service got a bit slow as the restaurant filled with more guests, good care is taken to present the dishes nicely

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank sandiegorumor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Incline Village, Nevada
Level Contributor
366 reviews
265 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Good Food and Fun Watching”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Went to dinner early. When we arrived there was no one to greet us, the sign said open but the lights were out. A minute later we were greeted and sitter. We sat on the street side versus the tables across the street literally at the water. The street was still a bit slow but active. As the evening went on the activity increased with foot traffic as well as autos. You are so close you can nearly touch them.
The Host was a kind man, but I think he was the Chef, he took time to talk and tell the story of the establishment. Very interesting on how people end up where they are.
So we ordered a simple cheese with sauce pizza for appetizer and my wife ordered a combo of pumpkin ravioli and pasta with sauce. I ordered the egg plant with peppers and onions as a side.
Meal was good, service was good. Definitely worth the visit.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Edward S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Vegan Delight!!”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Looking at the menu, you might be confused by my title. Make no mistake, once you explain your culinary choices to the owner; hang on for an excellent ride!! We ate at II Giardino on our second night (somewhat due to few vegan options in PJ)... WOW, I'm really glad we did. We mentioned our schedule to the owner (going into the park the next day) but said that we would surely be back. Well after 5 hours on the collectivo and 5 hours of hiking in the park, we arrived back at ll Giardino's very tired (and hungry)... The owner had gone to the market that morning and hand made non-dairy pesto just for us!!! Don't let the menu fool you (Vegan/Veg's)... This is one owner that knows how to improvise; I just wish I could give him six stars!!!

This restaurant is not only for vegetarians. It is worth the trip for anyone. Draped in green walls of plants, enclosed in a unique style of music, and hosted by delightful owners, this restaurant is more of an experience than a place to eat. Somehow, by entering into its doors, I felt that I was entering a new world. The food is defenitely among the best in Costa Rica. Whatever you do, don't miss the rosemary bread!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Charlie-Gloria T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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