Friday, April 13, 2012

Gran Bahia Principe: Le Gourmet

I realize I haven't finished my reviews of places we ate in Mexico last month.  What's left is covering the meals at the resort: Gran Bahia Principe.  We stayed in the Coba section, which was nice because we wanted things to be quiet.  And they were.  We were close enough to activity that we could enjoy it if we wanted.  And there were trams to the beach and the other sections if we wanted to visit.  What surprised me most about the resort was how incredibly large it was.  It had neighborhoods that were eat their own resorts in and of themselves. 

Anyways, it was an all-inclusive resort, which means all food and drinks were included with all the other resort ammenities.  Unlike a cruise, even the booze was included.  More on that in a later post.

Today I'll cover the ala carte restaurant Le Gourmet.  At this particular all inclusive resort 3 ala carte restaurant meals are included with a 5 day stay and the rest of the meals are buffet or snack bar style (your choice).  We were given a number of choices and after much internet research (asking people) I chose the restaurants Le Gourmet, Don Pablo, and Mikado.  I wasn't sure if Don Pablo was Mexican or European. Turns out it's the latter.  I was hoping it'd be the former because there was a surprising lack of high end Mexican food where we Mexico.  But next time we visit I've been recommend a really nice place in the city of Tulum. Mikado is a teppanyaki/hibachi restaurant. 

We booked our reservation just before heading to Mexico via the hotel staff.  I didn't give them any preferences for times other than my folks like to eat relatively early.  They were able to accomodate us with no problems.

Le Gourmet was the first of our three ala cartes and we ate there after visiting Xel-Ha. Because this is a vacation destination there is a recommended dress code of long pants for the men and something other than flip flops.  They, of course, would allow guests to wear what they want, but they asked people to dress a little nicer.

We were presented a menu and asked to choose from a list of appetizers, soups, entrees, and desserts.  They asked that we order the first three, then brought a dessert menu for the last course. All the normal resort drinks were available, including a house red and white wine.  They also had a wine list for bottles of wine available at an extra charge.

Below I've got picts from all of our courses and will try my best to remember what each thing is.  Truth be told, I'm not 100% sure I remember everything but I'll give it a go.

This is an amuse bousch.  All I remember is that it's a pate of some sort.  All diners received this at the beginning of the meal.
This was my appetizer. I was the only one willing to enjoy some foie gras. Served with fresh figs and a fig compote and little bread rolls. I know not everyone enjoys foie but enjoyed it.

This is a carpaccio of some sort.  Served with a pesto and cute little cucumber flower.
This is the salmon mousse. Actually not very good. It tasted very fishy.

Duck with sweet breads and a micro salad.  This, along with the foie, are my two favorite appetizers of the resort. You can also find this and the foie at Don Pablo.
Soup doesn't really photograph well.  I remember the two best soups of the resort were mushroom and celerey.  Not sure which this is.
This is the duck entree, served two ways.  Those are strings of candied orange peel on the top and fresh orange supremes on the bottom layer.  Both preparations were delicous and I highly recommend this.
This was the special: grouper.  Actually the fish wasn't good. It tasted far too fishy.  The little towers of potato on the side, however, were excellent.  There was a chronic problem at this resort and it was a lack of veggies in the ala carte meals.  I suppose they're catering to people who are more interested in the proteins, but still.  The veggies were all excellent and I'd have loved to have seen more of them. It didn't occur to me to ask for more veggies while we were there. I'm willing to bet they'd have brought me more, had I asked for it.
Dessert! This is a slow-cooked papaya tart. It was well balanced and delicious.  See that little ball of ice cream?  It was intensely vanilla gelato.  Nom!  The little chocolate treble clef was just cute.

Gran Marinier Mousse.  It doesn't look nearly as good as it tastes.  And more of that awesome vanilla gelato. Nom!

Not pictured: a selection of delicious breads was available throughout the meal. I liked the cheese and seeded varieties.

Perhaps the best part of dining at the ala carte was something not on the menu: the service.  Half of our party had to leave halfway through the meal: they didn't feel well after spending all day in the sun at Xel-Ha and something they ate there just didn't agree with them.  We asked the restaurant to box up their desserts, which they did.  Then we asked if it would be possible to get some pickled ginger from the Japanese restaurant next door.  Amazingly they did.  And they asked if we needed for their medical personnel to visit the person who wasn't feeling well.  That's incredible service.

If you're going to Gran Bahia Principe I recommend Le Gourmet in the Coba section.  It's in the building next door to the main lobby and Mikado.  If memory serves, first seating is at 6 pm.

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