Dining at Cabo San Lucas’ Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort and Spa
Every Mexican restaurant serves huevos rancheros for breakfast, right? But not every Mexican restaurant also offers corn flour waffles with warm blueberry compote, bitter chocolate cream cheese, and fresh mint; or Miraflores damiana French toast with candied pecan, black cocoa crème fraiche, and maple syrup; or jicama and pear oatmeal with toasted walnuts, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon. All to be washed down, perhaps, with a blueberry muffin smoothie.
That’s the way the lunch and dinner menus go, too, when you’re a guest at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort and Spa in Cabo San Lucas.
Courtesy of Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resor
Quail tortellini with zucchini purée, porcini demi-glace, white truffle oil, and Parmesan? Beef tartare with Parmesan cream and lavash crouton? No problem, under the talented direction of chef Octavio Hernandez at Peninsula Restaurant. Hernandez is often called an “investigative” chef because of his constant investigation (i.e., study) of the local produce and cuisine of the Baja California region and Mexico in general as he works to touch traditional Mexican food with gourmet magic.
Before becoming chef at this luxury adults-only resort at the southern tip of the peninsula, Hernandez traveled to France to train at the Hotel Lemas Candille and to San Francisco to study at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition, Hernandez was asked to represent Esperanza Cocina del Sol, which presented Mediterranean food with Mexican touches, at three different James Beard Foundation meetings in New York City.
All of his travels and experience work to the benefit of guests at the resort, especially those in the new Towers building for VIP guests only, which offers — in addition to private breakfasts on a whale-watching deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean — a wine and beer pairing with tapas every afternoon at the cocktail hour in the VIP lounge.
The tastings we enjoyed there in February included octopus, shrimp, and sea bass ceviche, paired with wines from all over the world and homemade Mexican beer from Ensenada.
A six-course dinner prepared under the direction of chef Hernandez included olive-encrusted tuna with fennel and cauliflower purée as well as porcini mushroom risotto with truffle oil. The warm chocolate ganache cake was accompanied by fig ice cream — all of it exquisite. The dinner was accompanied by wines from Italy, California, Ensenada, and Portugal.
Everyone talks about the spectacular new Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at this gorgeous property. They should also stop and smell the delightful scents — is that marinated creamy pumpkin soup with lobster and shrimp, scented with tequila? — emanating from the fabulous kitchen here.