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We instinctively seek out celebration. We all look for moments, alone or accompanied, to store in our small trunk of memories. We can not ignore the relationship between food and celebration, and the special environments that host the memories that we cherish. If you can relate to this sentiment, and you’re on a Christmas holiday and end up in beautiful Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, in the state of Guerrero, then El Faro restaurant at the Pacific Resort is just the right place.
With a view of the entire bay of Ixtapa there is a soft and fresh decoration, in varying shades of wood and palm that will surprise you. A table for two receives us on one of the three open-air terraces. There is a banana Daiquiri, courtesy of the house for the wait, because the it is a place that covers all the bases. The menu is simple, with a theme of international cuisine and a clear Mexican influence. For starters, we have an Ensalada de Provolone y Tomate con Vinagreta de Orégano (“Tomato and Provolone Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette”) ($75 MXN) that is overly abundant for an appetizer but gives a prolonged flavor of oregano with the freshness of tomato. Then we try the Crema Fría de Aguacate con Camarón (“Cold Cream of Avocado with Shrimp”) ($90 MXN) that is elegantly presented with a side bowl of ice encrusted with the shrimp. We appreciate the suggestion of the waiter. The soup has a perfectly balanced body and flavor, without being too heavy despite the combination of ingredients. The excellence of the appetizers create an expectation for what Chef José Pérez will create for the main course.
I love duck, so I could not help but try the Pechuga de Pato en Salsa de Setas y Pistacho (“Duck Breast in Mushroom and Pistachio Sauce”) ($175 MXN), in which the mushroom sauce creates a very interesting explosion in the palate when combined with the juicy meat and good flavor. The pistachio mousseline sauce looks a little dull, although it does have a very good flavor and texture that is worth highlighting. If you do not feel like duck, you can order a Filete Mignon con Salsa de Pimienta Negra y Tentación de Foie Gras (“Filet Mignon with Black Pepper Sauce and Foie Gras Temptation”) ($195 MXN) that will satisfy your needs for flavors of fire and strength with an extremely soft and juicy meat that combines wonderfully with the subtle intensity of the pepper sauce. The Foie Gras is the cherry on the cake. You do not know whether to combine it or eat it alone. The advantage is that with the Foie Gras there is no way to make a mistake: it tastes very good alone or combined with the Filete Mignon. In terms of pairing, both options are balanced well with the house recommendation. On this occasion, they paired the dishes with a Cabernet Sauvignon de L.A. Cetto. Nonetheless, we are on the open sea, so it would be a mistake to not order the Pesca del Día con Muselina de Epazote (“Catch of the Day with Epazote Mousseline Sauce”) ($195 MXN), which is also the chef’s first suggestion for seafood. The epazote brings out the flavor of the fish in very interesting ways.
It is unthinkable to not order a dessert to end a celebratory night with a flourish. The fundamental Crème Brûlée de Zarzamoras (“Blackberry Creme Brulee”) ($50 MXN) is a good option that has a simple flavor, although you can also go for something more widely known and order a slice of Flan Imposible (“Impossible Flan”) ($50 MXN) with a good coffee to accompany it.
So add the following: a good dinner, a table for two, a live saxophonist, a view of the bay, flavors of fire and sweet that frame the table, personalized service that is worth highlighting, a breeze that accompanies us all night… And what is the result? A quench to that instinctive pursuit of celebration as soon as you arrive at El Faro. The restaurant has been part of Ixtapa’s landscape for 21 years and, without a doubt, is added to my list of unmissable favorites. It is necessary to make a reservation and even more so if you go in high season.
If you are visiting Ixtapa – Zihuatanejo and want to know other great options, check out El Capella Ixtapa