Category Archives: Reviews

Restaurant Review: G & G Gourmet – Casual Fine Dining in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

If you’re looking for casual fine dining in San Juan del Sur G & G Gourmet is the place for you!

Since G & G Gourmet opened a couple of months ago Gordon and I have been anxious to see what this “closed door” restaurant was all about.



Closed door literally translates to just that — during dinner service at G & G the door is closed — walk-ins are not accepted. One day advance notice is required to make a reservation. The menu of 5 courses is set and changes each month. 

With my parents in town visiting we had our excuse to go out for a special dinner. 

Host, and co-owner Gaby greeted us at the door with a warm genuine smile and escorted us to our table. 


A few minutes after we were seated Gaby returned with a delightfully refreshing welcome drink of tangerine juice, fresh mint and soda.

Casual Fine Dining: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– My parents & welcome drinks: G & G Gourmet, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

The aroma that wafted from the open kitchen awakened our senses and reminded us how hungry we were.


As we contemplated our wine selections for the evening Gaby approached our table with a surprise course.

The perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp on mashed potatoes drizzled with passionfruit got two thumbs up all around. The tartness of the passion fruit provided a welcome balance to this ultra rich buttery dish.

Casual Fine Dining: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Jumbo shrimp, mashed potatoes & passion fruit: G & G Gourmet, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

With the appetizer being beef carpaccio, a food I’m not totally comfortable with, naturally I hesitated. But with just a little coaxing from Gordon I dug in and surprisingly it ended up being my favorite course.

The sour of the lemon and capers contrasted perfectly with the sharp parmesan and bitter arugula. The rich tender beef drizzled with olive oil was the consummate counterpoint to the crunchy toast.

Casual Fine Dining: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Beef carpaccio with arugula, lemon, parmesan & capers: G & G Gourmet, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

My dad is an avid fisherman and understands the care required to cook a delicate white fish, so our next course of leaf fish accompanied with broccoli puree was a stand out for him. Steamed just past opacity this fresh caught white fish was super moist; prepared to perfection.

After a brief pause and a palate cleanser of lime mint sorbet we moved onto the main course of tenderloin and risotto. The steak was tender and juicy, the risotto rich and creamy. 

Casual Fine Dining: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

– Beef tenderloin & risotto: G & G Gourmet, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

My Mom has a major sweet tooth. In fact she’s been known to pick what she’s going to have for dessert before choosing an entree. Had I captured a photo that showed the look on her face as she lifted her spoon to her lips and tasted the first bite of dessert a description of our final course would hardly be necessary. 

Fresh out of the oven chocolate lava cake paired with vanilla ice cream and a compote of berries was the perfect finish to our meal. And although I was nearing my limit for food intake there was absolutely no way I was going to let a single bite of this heavenly dessert go to waste. 

I won’t lie. At a price of $25 USD per person for dinner in San Juan del Sur walking in the door we had high expectations. G & G Gourmet surpassed our lofty presumptions.

The speed at which the five courses were served was perfectly paced. Each dish was beautifully and modernly presented.

In addition to the wonderful food — the lighting, simple decor and instrumental background music — combined with Gaby’s attentive, professional, warm and friendly service made for very a comfortable, relaxed and enjoyable dining experience.


G & G Gourmet is a welcome addition to the San Juan del Sur restaurant scene. We can’t wait to see what delicious dishes Gaby and Gaby will be serving next month!


RESTAURANT DETAILS

G & G Gourmet
25 meters South of the central market
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

(505) 7789 – 7460

http://www.ggsanjuan.com

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 6:30 – 10 pm. Reservations are recommended during high season. Don’t miss All You Can Eat Pasta Night every Thursday. 


 
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post. Gordon and I did not receive compensation in exchange for this review.
  

Restaurant Profile: Munchies Bluues

Munchies Bluues is a very successful pizza restaurant where reservations are required and often need to be made days in advance.

Through careful observation we have compiled a top ten list of DOs and DON’Ts to follow if you want to make it as a restauranteur in San Juan del Sur.

1. DO specialize in one food. If you serve pizza don’t offer other Italian options like pasta.

2. DON’T allow menu substitutions. If someone makes a request for something silly like Hawaiian pizza simply ask them to leave.

3. DON’T take walk in traffic and DON’T do takeout. Reservations only!

4. DON’T worry about location, location, location. It doesn’t matter so DO set up in a remote location…like in the jungle…20 minutes from town…nowhere near a public transit route.

5. DON’T worry about signage. If you aren’t cool enough to be in the know, then you aren’t cool enough to go. That same adage applies to the phone number needed to make a reservation.

6. DON’T have staff. Customers can learn to write their own kitchen tickets, serve themselves beverages and tabulate their own bill at the end of the night.

7. DON’T over-extend yourself. Opening three nights a week is more than enough. Opening for lunch is for losers. 6:30 PM until everyone is fed and watered is the recipe for success!

8. DON’T advertise on Facebook or in local newspapers. And DON’T worry about a website.  Word of mouth is all you need although there seems to be no way to avoid that pesky Trip Advisor from finding you.

9. DON’T take shit from anyone! The customer is NOT always right. And if people refer to you as the Pizza Nazi wear the title like a badge of honour.

10. And last, but certainly not least, DO serve the best authentic, thin crust, wood oven pizza in Central America! 

Although items 1 through 9 seem counter intuitive this business model not only works, but has stood the test of time for long time resident Nicaraguan expat Sergio.

Roman native Sergio Tarantini offers only the best ingredients served in the traditional way. He is a unique individual and restauranteur who loves to entertain in the kitchen. With his eclectic song selection pumping through the speakers (all of which are pointed towards him) he dances while spinning pizza crusts in the air.

Sergio’s is a place to hang out with old friends and make new ones while sipping wine, feasting on delicious pizza and enjoying a night away from the hustle of San Juan del Sur. It’s a dining experience must for travelers in the San Juan del Sur area and a great meeting place for expats.

We are feeling charitable today so we will provide Sergio’s phone number (505) 8814-8530, but you’ll have to figure out where it is located on your own.

HINT: Refer to item number five in the list.

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