Just to set the stage Julius and I visited Patagonia del Mar last March right at the beginning of the Covid crisis pre masks although elbow bumps were beginning to become standard. The restaurant was abuzz with many families and friendly faces of people we both knew. This restaurant space has seen many incarnations over the years starting with the first owners Charlie and Claire Mayne who were subjects of a British TV show along the lines of “start a new life” out of Britain. (if any of you know what happened to these lovely people tell them Rodgers would love to catch up.) They named the restaurant Perro Plano (flat dog) which is little known local slang for the point jutting out from the Puerto Viejo end of Playa conchal and resembles a crocodile which is what Perro Plano means in Tico slang. next came the venerable Mike Osborne who opened the Happy Snapper after his original building was torn down on the Brasilito beach front when the government finally got around to enforcing the maritime laws and enforcing the long range strategic plan for the Brasilito waterfront. A plan I have seen and will see several more buildings come dpwn on that same waterfont. The first sign we were in for a treat was that the restaurant was packed on a Sunday afternoon even with the Covid crisis looming; The second signs we were in for a fine dining experience came in rapid succesion. A tall vodka and tonic in a real highball glass may have been a little slow but any well made drink in a real glass is a true treat after 15 years in Costa Rica. The second sign was a delicious freshly made bread with a delicious olive tapenade. Good start for sure. Staff was friendly familiar and very attentive and with the children playing in the nearby pool and the Pacific sparkling a few meters away the setting was lovely with people clearly enjoying themselves. The entrees were quite lovely mine was shrimp prepared 3 ways and even though its a bit dim in memory I recall being quite pleased with the food and I am known to be difficult to please with many years under my belt managing fine dining rooms in Boston and New York. In conclusion I can only hope Patagonia del Mar weathered this virus crisis well along with their sister restaurant in Tamarindo which I have yet to have the pleasure to review but soon will I hope. If they maintain similar standards as their sister restaurant there is something to look forward to upon my return to Costa Rica.
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