There's something about being in the sun & sand in the quaint beach town of Tamarindo, Costa Rica that could make anyone crave fresh fish. Fortunately, after a day of frolicking in the waves, you have plenty of options for seafood. From more casual no-frills eateries to lavish gourmet restaurants, you're bound to satisfy your palate on a luxury vacation at any of these spots:
El Pescador It's hard to beat the location of this restaurant, which is set right on Tamarindo Beach. Try one of the many ceviches or a refreshing shrimp & avocado salad at lunch, or opt for some of the richer dishes at dinner. The Borgoña escargot with herb & garlic butter is a delectable appetizer & if you're going all out, the grilled whole lobster with sautéed shrimp & white wine is a must. Even the "Frutas del Mar" pizza has shellfish on top. Stay for the sunset view while you sip on a mai tai or a michelada. The best nights to dine at El Pescador are Wednesday & Friday, when they throw a full-on beach BBQ .
Seasons by Shlomy This is not the typical menu you'll find in Costa Rica. Shlomy Koren, a Cordon-Bleu trained Israeli chef, serves up French Mediterranean fusion fare which incorporates the wide variety of local seafood & interesting touches with unique & unexpected flavors. The menu at Seasons changes daily based on what's available, but there area few staples that shouldn't be looked over. Some of the more innovative dishes include red snapper wrapped in rice paper with a sun dried tomato & basil tapanade, Mahi-Mahi in a ginger raisin crust, & smoked salmon pasta. There isn't a bad table at this open-air restaurant, but if you're having a romantic evening, ask for a poolside spot.
Papagayo The seafood that Papagayo serves is so fresh, the restaurant actually has their own fleet of deep-sea fishing boats that catch the fish and export it to the U.S. There's a lot of versatility with this menu too, so no matter your favorite fish or preparation technique, you can have it your way. Try the seafood gumbo, Cajun-style blackened catfish, shrimp etouffée or calamari Jambalaya if you're looking for rich Creole flavor.
El Coconut It's no surprise that Costa Rica After Dark deemed this one of the best restaurants in the country. With elegant ambiance, incomparable international cuisine & impeccable service, the entire dining experience here is top notch. The source recommended the tropical lobster & if you can handle some heat, the "El Diablo" spicy jumbo shrimp. There is also an extensive wine list, meaning you can find a bottle that will complement the flavors of any dish. Keep a lookout for the lobster special & be sure to make a reservation on Friday nights, when there's a live band.