Friday, September 23, 2011

Mambo's at the Mata Chica Resort - Ambergris Caye's Most Romantic Restaurant

When planning that special night out you want a restaurant that just doesn't have great food and ambiance. You don't just want to "eat". You want an experience so that in the future you can turn to the love of your life and say "Do you remember that really cool place we went to in Belize......" and the both of you know exactly which place that was.

Well, this is one of those places. Mata Chica is a resort that sits right on the Caribbean sea overlooking the second longest barrier reef in the world. It's about 4.5 miles north of San Pedro Town. It's this location that makes it really cool. Especially for a fine night out. The restaurant at the resort is called Mambo's.

Call and make reservations. If you are staying in town the host will tell you to meet the boat captain at their private boat at the end of Fido's dock at around 6:20pm. The boat will leave a few minutes later and make the trip up to the resort and restaurant. Depending on the time of year you'll enjoy watching the sunset on the ride up.

Once you arrive at the restaurant as darkness sets in you'll hear music collected from around the world playing and step into a huge thatched roof palapa furnished with artwork, furniture and books from several different countries. You'll be in awe for a few minutes taking all of the details in. Then your host will seat you at one of the tables and your feast begins.

Pick anything from the menu. It's all good. But if you are looking for a recommendation from me then its going to be the Beef Carppaccio appetizer and the Beef Fillet for dinner. Leave room for desert especially the Warm Chocolate Souffle.

If you are like me then you'll accompany the above good food with a good bottle of French wine and maybe a fine port with desert. After this evening all you'll have to look forward to is the boat ride back to town. After everyone is finished eating you'll make our way to the dock and head back to San Pedro Town.

With your hearts full of good cheer you'll look out over the Caribbean and enjoy the moonlight as it lights up your way. The stars are out and the Milky Way is clearly visible overhead.

See, I told you this was the Most Romantic Restaurant in Belize.

Victoria House Restaurants - South Ambergris Caye

For upscale dining with an elegant touch make sure you get to the Victoria House. This place reminds me of James Bond meets the Caribbean. It has a laid back ambiance that is hard to duplicate. That same feel carries over to the 2 restaurants on site.

Restaurant Palmilla overlooks the pool and the Caribbean. This is one of my first choices when planning a special romantic night out. It's air-conditioned and all of the tables are set with white table cloths and candles. The menu is heavy on seafood but I usually get the fillet. The one thing I really miss down here is all of the good steaks we used to eat in the States. Victoria house has incredible beef so I always get it when we go there.

If we go there for lunch we usually eat at the Admiral Nelsons Beach Bar. It's casual dining under a Belizean style thatched roof palapa. I recommend the Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps with a glass of Merlot. Their beef tacos made with real fillet are also incredible.

For a real special evening call ahead and ask them if they can put your dining table at their end of their pier. It will be a night of fine dining you'll never forget.

Red Ginger Restaurant at the Phoenix Resort (Ambergris Caye)

Next to the Blue Water Grill the Red Ginger Restaurant is probably my most frequented restaurant. Especially for dinner.

This newer restaurant opened a few years ago. It's located in the very popular resort called the Phoenix. What I like about this place is its location right at the end of front street. I can easily hop on my golf cart and be there in a flash.

Red Ginger is also airconditioned. You may think that when you are in paradise that you ALWAYS would want to eat outside to enjoy the views and the tropical breezes. For the most part you are right. However there are times when you just want dine in A/C comfort. Especially if its really hot and humid or if the mosquitoes are bad.

However, even if its not hot or buggy I'll still choose Red Ginger. Just like their sister restaurant The Blue Water Grill they focus on fresh seafood. But they also have good chicken and pork dishes.

If there is one item that I would say you just have to get because it will taste like nothing else you've ever had I say get the Grouper Seviche. It is incredible! Wash it down with a Bombay martini and you'll feel that all is well with the world.

Blue Water Grill - Ambergris Caye, Belize

Of all of the great restaurants on Ambergris Caye I eat here more then any other. Part of it has to do with their great location. They are located right across from Tropic Air on the beach front of the Sunbreeze Hotel. Since our office is just a few hundred feet from the restaurant its easy to hit for lunch.

The other thing that keeps me coming back here several times a week is the very good (consistently good) food and the very friendly service.

If you do go for lunch there are two things on the menu that I highly recommend. First is the coconut shrimp appetizer. It's their signature! For your meal I recommend the fresh snapper sandwhich with wasabi mayo and french fries.

Dinner is a really cool experience at the Blue Water Grill. You are literally 50 feet from the waters edge and the warm ocean breezes that come in off the ocean while you are eating incredible food in an open air restaurant is the stuff Caribbean dreams are made of.

My choice would be any special of the day that comes from the sea. Lobster, fresh snapper or grouper, conch. If you don't like seafood thats no problem at all. They have really good pasta and meat dishes. Really there is something for everyone here. They even have special sushi nights on Tuesday's and Thursday's. If you plan to eat there on one of those nights call ahead make reservations. They book up fast.

Check out their website at:


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