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“Ocean to Table Foodie Heaven” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mario's Cuisine - CLOSED

Mario's Cuisine
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood, Costa Rican, Fusion, Healthy, South American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Cash Only, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating
Description: We are a Costarrican family, who love to receive people from around the world for a unique dining experience in Costa Rica. My husband Mario, a Chef for 20 years now, learned his cuisine from Old School International Chef's and from there he created his own Fusion style cuisine, who he really felt identify with. This type of Cuisine its only possible with fresh ingredients of the day, from the salad to the seafood, everything its carefully chosen on a daily basis and from scratch prepare with passion into explosive delicious flavors to the palate. Everyday we create and serve a 4 course dinner in our terrace, where you can also enjoy the breeze, the stars and the beautiful magic of Guanacaste in an intimate ambiance. We required reservations in advance.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Ocean to Table Foodie Heaven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014

Mario is gifted. The man literally catches fish. with a spear the morning you have it for dinner. Then, he transforms his catch into a culinary treat that both looks and tastes amazing. Adding to the dining experience, you eat in a beautiful outdoor setting that still allows you to view Mario doing his magic in the kitchen a la "chef's table." What's more, in addition to the setting and food, Mario and his lovely wife, Erika, are wonderfully welcoming and friendly hosts. We learned a lot about them, as well as the community. They were wonderful company.

Our visit to Mario's Cuisine was the highlight of our trip, after spending time on the beach during the day, of course.

NOTE: You cannot just walk in. You must make reservations a day ahead because Mario needs to catch your fish the morning you come for dinner. ALSO, you'll make a deposit for half the meal, for the prix fixe menu of three courses and a desert. If you don't bring wine or beer, you will not be having any with your meal. There's no corkage fee. FINALLY, there's one table, of which you may share with other patrons. If you're not a friendly person, please don't show up.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank sixstringlbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

155 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    145
    6
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Dining Experience Ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

Myself, my husband and our two friends all loved our experience at Mario's. I loved that we had a prepared menu and it was a total surprise. The food was amazing and the hospitality was unbelievable. I love that Mario goes fishing in the morning and prepares your meal from that day's catch. It was interesting to hear the story of exactly where our meal came from. Erika was so nice and shared stories as well. She knew just as much about the food as he did. He's cooking it right in front of you, she serves it and explains what each plate is. It was a four course meal that ended with an amazing coconut gelato. Then Mario and Erika joined us at the table for a glass of wine and amazing conversation. We stayed and talked with them for about 2 hours. We talked about things as if we'd all been friends for years.

I was a little hesitant to book this at first. I was worried it may be strange being at someone's house. It totally wasn't. They are two of the most genuinely nice and down to earth people I've ever met. It's a little pricey, but totally worth it.

My only regret is that we chose to do this on our first night in town. Because of this, we were all so tried by the end of the meal and nearly falling asleep after dinner and drinks. If we hadn't been so tired, we would have probably stayed another hour or so, just chatting. Seriously....if you can afford it, do it. You won't be disappointed and you definitely won't be hungry afterwards. You get your money's worth.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Brittany L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Lovely evening”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2014

We had a lovely evening and enjoyed a great meal with Mario and Ericka. When making the booking we discovered that this is not a restaurant, but the patio of a private home. The experience is personal and like visiting friends. Mario is very passionate about his craft and enjoyed telling us about his philosophy and approach to being a chef. It was a little expensive at $60 each but the quality of the meal, excellent company of the hosts and overall experience was worth it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 250WKD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Best meal in Costa Rica”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2014

I was a little Leary of this experience. It was our last night and on a whim I tried to make reservations here. At first they weren't sure if they could accept them because Mario hadn't gone out fishing that morning and he only serves fresh fish. Fortunately for us his friend had caught a mahi mahi that day. You don't order from a menu you only get what they serve you. When you make your reservation they interview for food allergies, likes, dislikes etc. you are eating in someone's home. Mario, ericka and their 4 children couldn't have been more welcoming. The star of the evening was the food. We are foodies and it was incredible.not only was the food incredible, the presentation was as well. You expect being in someone's home you would loose a little in presentation. Not here. It is a little pricey for this area but take it from me it was worth every cent. You can bring your own beverages so you save on the bar bill. It was a once in a lifetime experience and we feel really fortunate to have experienced it.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank lovekevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westport, Massachusetts
2 reviews
“Outstanding- do not miss!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2014

Dining with Mario and Ericka was one of the top experiences of our trip to Playa Hermosa. They're a fantastic couple who open their home, kitchen, and knowledge to new friends while offering an outstanding meal and excellent conversation. They're a couple with many children (5?) who moved from the city to raise their family in a better environment. Their commitment to the meal and the country is outstanding. Every course was outstanding. No, this isn't fine dining, but it is not labeled as such. The experience is more like heading to a friends home for a dinner. The papaya and ginger soup was outstanding- wish I could have figured out what the base was, feels like cream, but its tough since the texture is so perfect. We also had a needlefish cake, snapper ceviche, shrimp and tapanade, costa rican mashed potatoes, grouper in blackberry % wine reduction, and a sorbet dessert. Mario is a top notch chef. Don't miss a meal with them. As far as finding them, count from Condovac to the third official entry for Playa Hermosa (defined by the yellow cross bars) and follow the road at the last entry with a slight bend to the right and a slight uphill left afterwards.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Ray M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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