First a disclaimer. I don't care for hibachi/teppanyaki restaurants. I love Japanese food but don't believe these actually represent Japanese food well and don't care for the show or the resulting food so I typically avoid them. Also, imo, Don Pablo is almost identical to Le Gourmet, which I already reviewed here.
We were seated at a show table. Considering there are only a few of them I completely appreciate it.
The meal started with sushi for an appetizer. While it looks all pretty it was more along the lines of the supermarket sushi we get here in Texas. Now I regularly get supermarket sushi because it's a nice $5 meal, but I don't go to a fine dining restaurant for it.
Next the chef worked his magic on the grill and performed the show, hence the name "show table".
Entrees were vegetable fried rice and I ordered the filet and shrimp. The same problem exists here as in other ala carte restaurants: too few veggies. At least there were some. And the steak and shrimp were quite good. But serving the shrimp shells-on at fine dining is not advised; it's a great way to ruin the clothing associated with fine dining. My napkin was soaked by the end of main course.
Desserts. The one on the top is a capuccino pudding, the one in the middle is tapioca pudding and the one on the bottom is a little pastry roulade with vanilla gelato. And again with the cute chocolate treble clefs and flowers.
As I stated before Don Pablo is pretty much the same restaurant as Le Gourmet. The main differences are that Don Pablo is much smaller so they can take far fewer reservations and Don Pablo is located in the Tulum section of the hotel instead of the Coba section. For us that meant it was far less convenient. Luckily we were able to find a very helpful member of the staff who drove us over to Don Pablo in time for our reservation. I'm not sure my folks would have liked that walk one bit.
Nice dining room. And while it's fine dining it's not super formal. Because it's at a vacation resort.
Amuse bouche. I believe it's a bruschetta, if memory serves.
Appetizers, soup and salad. The one in the top is the same as Don Pablo: duck with sweet breads. It was quite good. I believe the second is a crab salad, which was pretty good. The salad and celery soup were also quite good. IMO the duck with sweet breads makes the trouble of getting to an ala carte all worth it. It was delicious.
This was my entree: the sea bass. I thought the sauce was excellent and the little hand rolled gnocchi were cute. Unfortunately the fish tasted...fishy. I really don't recommend getting fish at the ala cartes after my experience.
Everyone else at the table got surf and turf. It's a filet mignon served with shrimp. Again there's a lack of vegetables, but the filet was perfectly cooked. The shrimp were also good.
[For whatever reason I'm unable to upload any more picts at this time. Did I go over the limit?] The desserts were also good. I had a lovely creme brulee served with a chocolate madeline and fresh fruit. They also served that same wonderful bread selection that was available at Le Gourmet. Nom!
In all my folks, The Lovely Spouse, and I enjoyed Don Pablo. But if I was staying at the Coba section of the hotel again I don't believe I'd make reservations there. Le Gourmet is far more convenient and the food is almost identical. However if I was staying in the Tulum or Sian Ka'an sections I'd definitely make reservations for Don Pablo.
Edited on 5/23/12 due to formatting error.