Tahitian stone idols, Indonesian face masks, ceramic roosters, and a wood cannon wine rack loaded and corked with a bottle of red are just a few of the curios furnishing Exotica's open-air garden restaurant. Ten tables of cut and polished wood cores sit underneath Exotica's palm thatch roof, illuminated by red-orange rectangular lanterns on the back terrace of Roberto and Lucy Levesques' home.read more close
For the last 15 years, Owners Lucy and Roberto have been preparing food with love that has garnered the attention of the whole country and gave Ojochal its reputation as the premiere food destination in all of Costa Rica.
Exotica's menu reflects its eclectic ambiance. Robert and Lucy have adopted their favorite dishes from around the world, improving when they can, or as Lucy said, "We make it the way we love it." And what they love is homemade cognac pate, $7, served with crusty local French bread and spicy honey mustard; Tahitian fish Carpaccio, $7, marinated in coconut sauce with banana; and a simple three-cheese plate, $11, with Brie, Gouda, Boursin and French bread. And that's just the appetizers.
Exotica serves ten tables per night so make sure you have a reservation before you arrive. While Lucy manages the front of house, taking care of guests and making them feel at home Robert prepares all the dishes himself. Dishes like the shrimp flambé, $24, served in a garlic butter sauce with sprigs of rosemary, vegetables and mashed potatoes. Robert's most popular dish however, is the Chicken Exotica, $19; grilled chicken stuffed with plums, cream cheese and bacon, smothered in a red bell pepper sauce.
When Exotica first opened, it did just two things: dessert and coffee. Today, though the menu has expanded, Robert still pays special attention to the desserts. He artistically crafts each one, decorating them with flowers matching colors and flavors like in the cool passion, $6, where pink and yellow flowers match the rosy passion fruit sorbet, vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit and blackberry sauce; or the red flowers complimenting the Devil's fork, $5, a velvety slice of chocolate cake with a dash of chili powder that gives the dish its special flare.
A collection of knick-knacks from around the world adorns this Ojochal restaurant. Set under a thatch roof with polished wood tables and plastic deck chairs, Exotica is both eclectic in decoration and flavor.
The Levesques, a French-Canadian couple who owns and runs the restaurant, is so warm and friendly, it feels like you're sitting down to dinner at an old friend's home.
Appetizers $6-$11; Entrees $19-$33
5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Mon.- Sat.; Closed Oct. - Nov.