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For breakfast in Dominical I gravitate to Roca Verde (tel. 506/2787-0036, 7 A.M. until the last guest leaves, daily), serving excellent, filling gallo pinto or granola, fruit, and yogurt. Still, there’s no denying that the coolest place around is San Clemente Bar & Grill (tel. 506/2787-0055, 7 A.M.–10 P.M. daily, $2–8), with a shaded open-air bar serving hearty breakfasts (including a filling Starving Surfers Special), plus burgers, Tex-Mex and Cajun dishes (nachos and blackened chicken sandwiches), and a killer tuna melt. And imagine grilled mahimahi with honey, rosemary, and orange sauce served with fresh vegetables!
Another great breakfast spot, the casual Complejo Arena y Sol (tel. 506/2787-0140, 7 A.M.–10 P.M. daily) also does a mean gallo pinto, plus ceviche, burgers, and even lasagna.
Serving great Thai food, Coconut Spice (tel. 506/2787-0073, from 5 P.M. Tues.–Sun.) offers a romantic ambience. I recommend the spicy fish cake ($5) or Chiang Mai noodle soup ($9) appetizers, followed by prawns in coconut and pineapple sauce ($15).
Caribbean-themed Bar/Restaurante Maracatú (tel. 506/2787-0091, 10 A.M.–10 P.M. daily) nearby specializes in seafood but also has veggie burgers, and all-you-can-eat pasta on Thursday nights.
For fine dining, head to Hotel Domilocos, where
Confusione (tel. 506/2787-0244, www.domilocos.net, 7 A.M.–11:30 P.M. daily) combines elegance with mouthwatering dishes at fair prices. I enjoyed funghi á la gorgonzola ($6) and an exceptional penne with shrimp and capers in a white vodka sauce ($8.50). It also has seafood and steaks in a thousand variations. A classical guitarist plays on Friday and Sunday nights, and a violinist on Thursday and Saturday.
Competing with Domilocos for gourmet fare, Palapas (tel. 506/2787-8012, 6:30–9:30 A.M., 11 A.M.–5 P.M., and 6–9 P.M. daily), at Hotel Cuna del Ángel, serves gourmet Italian-inspired cuisine and seafood. I enjoyed a delicious tomato-basil soup, and grilled corvine sea bass with creamy basil sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. The flambé desserts are to die for. Lunch is tremendous for salads and quiche.
The Italian-run Café del Sueño (tel. 506/2787-0029), next to Hotel Domilocos, serves mochas and cappuccinos, although I prefer Café Delicias (tel. 506/2787-0097, 7 A.M.–6 P.M. Wed.–Sun.), where pastries, cakes, cappuccinos, and sandwiches can be enjoyed in a lovely airy space.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition