Puerto Vallarta: Café de Artistes

On our last day in Puerto Vallarta we went out to the Café des Artistes, voted the Best Restaurant in Mexico in 2012.

Cafe des Artistes early-bird special

In 2019 they have changed from Early Bird on Wednesday to ‘Early Bird Every Day’ and have brought the ‘every day’ prices down to affordable ‘splurge’ prices.

This refers to 2017. The early bird (6:00 to 7:30) three-course menu for 440 pesos didn’t appear on the website, and at the restaurant we had to specially request it. (For comparison, the three-course meal on the menu they originally handed us was around 1800 pesos.)

We arrived around 6:30 and were given the choice of non-smoking interior or the smoking area out in the garden. I wish we had chosen the garden – it was so atmospheric and for the longest time we were the only people in the restaurant.

The selection was spectacular – there was absolutely no hardship going for the early-bird (aka cheaper) menu.

The bread basket arrived, and with it the heady aroma of freshly-baked bread. Even though I’m not a bread eater, I dove into it. My first little bun, home-made and slathered in the herbed butter was so yummy I went for the next option, a slice of brown bread with bits of raisin and nuts. Wow! What else was in there? Mmmm, something that looked like a Yorkshire pudding. But flaky and filled with cream cheese.

A little amuse-bouche in a ceramic spoon appeared.  It contained unknown items – maybe escargot, maybe mushrooms, and was very tasty except for that touch of trendy foam; what’s all this blather about foam anyway?

Now the real meal began. For the appetizer we both went for the escargot wellington with tamale (cornmeal ‘porridge’). It sounded odd but tasted like heaven, with an interesting variety of textures.

Al ordered an Argentinean-style steak in a hibiscus and red wine sauce. It came with a potato and poblano chile gratin along with a selection of the few vegetables that Al will actually eat.

My choice was salmon-trout in Dijon mustard, a pumpkin and zucchini blossom risotto and red wine sauce with mushrooms. Superb!

For dessert I chose a caramel crème brûlée with guava sorbet and sugar crisp cookies. Texture was super creamy with crispy caramelized sugar surface. Splats of raspberry and mango coulees decorated the edges. I shouldn’t have had that third bread – even skipping the cookies I was ‘relleno-ed’ to the brim.

Al’s was grapefruit sorbet with piquin chile(!) and passion fruit foam(?).

Cafe de Artistes interior Unfortunately Al made me put my camera away after I took my one and only shot – most annoying of him. It was a bit too dark to get decent photos but without them I can’t really blog about one of the best meals in my life!

Cafe de Artistes business cardMore about the Café des Artistes.

7 responses to “Puerto Vallarta: Café de Artistes

  1. I think we all have had a meal we’ll never forget. By your account I can see why this was the case for you. It’s a lovely story!

  2. Pingback: Puerto Vallarta: The Art Walk | Albatz Travel Adventures·

  3. Pingback: Some Not-to-Miss Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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