In the interior patio of a large Victorian style house, the Grano de Oro Hotel sets out its tables in order to serve delicious food prepared according to French tradition. Yes, right in the middle of San Jose, the Costa Rican capital, one can reward the palate with French food, but truly excellent French food! And proof that this is true is the fact that the tables in this cozy restaurant are always full of diners who know the food there is good.
It has been 18 years since the Grano de Oro Hotel first opened its doors, though it seems as if it were more since it is located in a beautiful French-style house in what used to be one of San Josť's most exclusive neighborhoods in the middle of last century. Its owners are Lori and Eldan Cookie, a Canadian couple in love with Costa Rica.
A Gourmet Touch
In order for the Grano de Oro to be able to offer its clients authentic French cuisine, it was essential to bring over a French chef and that is exactly what they did. Francis Canal Bardot is in charge of this restaurant and told Forest Republic that his dishes are 100 per cent French, however, the different culinary creations incorporated into the menu are the result of contributions from the entire team under his charge made up of Costa Ricans, amongst which is Keilor Sanchez, the sous chef.
Being a hotel restaurant, the Grano de Oro opens its doors at 6 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Throughout the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, all with the gourmet touch that characterizes French gastronomy.
You might want to start the day with eggs en cocotte, prepared with cream, tarragon and caviar or the traditional eggs Benedict, with smoked ham and hollandaise sauce served on English muffins.The lunch menu includes several light options such as blini with raw salmon and a citric vinaigrette and carpaccio tartine.
Amongst the main courses we find French cuisine combined with regional ingredients, such as chicken with tropical nuts or sea bass with macadamia nuts, as well as traditionally French dishes such as Piedmonts sirloin, where meat is stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and served with a sherry sauce. And for dinner, options include lamb with figs or leg of rabbit and even sea bass with ginger.
Needless to say, this puts the palate in a true predicament as to what to choose. And to end this culinary experience, why not try what is known as Costa Rica's golden bean: the good coffee this country produces.