Monthly Archives: January 2016

Birthday Dinner at Chez Elena or: Margarita Sunset

 She Said

So, I turned 61 last Tuesday, kind of a low-key number after hitting the big 60, but it was my first birthday in Mexico. I am still dealing with some tropical maladies (though under excellent care and proper meds), but I was not quite up to a big adventure.  I will go whale watching soon!
Judd deserves credit for discovering a Puerto Vallarta gem, Chez Elena.DSC00160  This is a place anyone who comes to Puerto Vallarta should visit, yet it took us 11 years!

It was founded in 1954 and was a favorite hangout for Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, John Huston, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Quinn, and Robert Shaw to name a few.   Current owner Gloria Whiting has kept it as charming as ever.  It is a boutique type inn with a world class restaurant and a rooftop terrace, El Nido, with some of the best sunset views in PV or maybe anywhere.

Muy bonita
Muy bonita

I had a Mexican variety plate, and Judd had the Ossobuco.

Muy Grande!
Muy Grande!

Both were excellent.  We also happened to be there on a Tuesday, so we were also serenaded by Jorge Acosta at no extra charge.  Our total bill for two drinks each, fantastic dinners and coffee and dessert: 500 pesos!  That translates to less than $30!

Muchas gracias Jorge!
Muchas gracias Jorge!
Here’s the amazing part; the rooms there are only about $79-$89 per night!  It would be a great place for a romantic get-away or a family or group retreat.  It is close to everything, but if you don’t want to deal with the hill or the cobblestones, a cab ride to the Malecon will run about $3 or $4.
And thanks to everyone who sent me birthday greetings, BTW.
Please feel free to comment and if there something or somewhere you would like us to blog about, please let us know.

He Said

Truth be told: I had heard of Chez Elena before but summarily dismissed it, having pre-judged the place to probably be effete, pretentious, and expensive. Boy, was I wrong…

Turning to my trusty Kindle for dining idea inspiration with Marcia’s birthday imminent,  I came across Chez Elena’s website and checked it out.  The place (and its views and overall ambience) looked great, the food reviews stellar and the prices not, for us, prohibitively  high.  Then I saw it: Tuesday’s dinner entrees priced two-for-one! Tuesday, Marcia’s birthday!! So, of course, I excitedly informed my darling wife I had found a splendid venue for her birthday, pathetically attempting to puff the whole thing up by not mentioning the twofer special.

Trust me folks, by no stretch of the imagination, am I a “foodie” …I do not live to eat, I eat to live.  Still, the food here is fantastic.  Marcia’s Mexican Sampler plate was probably 16 inches across and she, who often eats like a bird, destroyed it.  I ordered the ossobuco based on commentary on their website and, as a silver-back carnivore, was very, very deeply  impressed.

Marcia wound up having two delicious and substantial margaritas, plus received a complimentary birthday shot of tequila.  If you will note the standing exterior photo of Marcia prior to our entering, and the one where she is adorably beginning to slump over our table, that will speak to the strength of the libations offered.

Anyway, being a pauper (and a cheapskate), I can hardly wait to return to Chez Elena…on a Tuesday.  It was wonderful!

 

 

Before Dinner
After Dinner
After Dinner