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A Mi Modo

A Mi Modo

Destination: Puerto Viejo

The smell of wood-fired pizza wafts from the kitchen onto the street from the first Italian restaurant in Puerto Viejo at A Mi Modo. Relish a fresh pie under the shade of the thatch umbrellas on the restaurant's sandy patio that borders Salsa Brava Beach and the Caribbean Sea.

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Fittingly, A Mi Modo's most popular pizza is the Rustic, $12, made with ham, salami, bacon and a hearty tomato sauce sprinkled with rosemary served on a wooden block fresh from the oven.

Warning, you may find that the pizza just wets your appetite for more. Luckily A Mi Modo has plenty to choose from with a wide variety of appetizers like the coconut shrimp tempura, $10, served with a sour pineapple dipping sauce, or, a selection of fresh, homemade pasta and local seafood.

A family business, Italian owner Michela Illusig runs the restaurant while her brother runs the kitchen, her father made the restaurant's furniture while many of the recipes come from her mother. Recipes like the plump, homemade crawfish ravioli, $18, in tomato sauce sprinkled with fresh herbs and served with a slice of French bread to sop up all the goodness. A Mi Modo makes use of local ingredients in seafood dishes like the grilled citrus red snapper filet, $17, served over a banana leaf with rice and vegetables.

For dessert, A Mi Modo serves up another Italian classic (though less popular than tiramisu), chocolate salami, $6, made with rich dark chocolate and nuts served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce.

Ambiance

Thatch umbrellas shade the wooden tables, on the sandy back patio of A Mi Modo. Inside, there's a main dining area, bar and lounge decorated with blues and greens, flowing waves and fossilized coral.

Service

Service is a little bit slow, but the food is worth the wait.

Price

Appetizers $4-$12; Entrees $13-$20

Hours

12 p.m. – 10 p.m. daily

A Mi Modo in Pictures