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Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest

Destination: Jaco

Costa Rican lobster tail cut into bite-sized nibbles lightly dusted with corn starch, lightly-fried, rolled in Buffalo sauce finished with Danish blue cheese and sautéed garlic spinach.

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Come on, Lemon Zest. That's cheating. 

It's like you're reading my over-indulged, inner-foodie that fosters bourgeoisie tastes but crave beer and Buffalo wings. It doesn't help that literally every single special your servers have listed in their epically detailed accounts sounds like the best meal I've had all month. What can I do but try one of everything?

Somehow, you've managed to make even your salads (AKA rabbit food) monstrously delicious like the red pepper arugula salad; $9, melted mozzarella, sautéed roasted peppers and baked cherry tomatoes over arugula and peppered with balsamic vinaigrette. Equally decadent, is the four-onion bisque with wild mushrooms, $4, topped with fried shallots and green onion.

Lemon Zest is the brainchild of Executive Chef Richard Lemon, who has adapted his french-style cuisine to Costa Rican ingredients and introduced Jaco to a new level of dining. The French influence really shines in the restaurant's premiere dish, the duck confit, $26; a slow-roasted confit-style leg and thigh beside a sautéed breast cut into slices, served in a blackberry reduction sauce with garlic roasted potatoes and sautéed vegetables.

The drinks don't disappoint either and there's nothing like a nightcap to settle the stomach. And while we're at it, why not make it a martini? I mean if we're going to have a drink anyway. The aptly named Lemon Zest martini, $9, made with grey goose vodka, limoncello liqueur, shaken and served in chilled glass leaves a lingering citrus flavor as a reminder of the night out.


A second-story restaurant on Jaco's main drag, Lemon Zest has a warm, welcoming feeling with red walls, cherry stained wood, tall booths, a full bar and an intimate patio.


Exceptional service. The staff thoroughly knows the menu, gives fantastic recommendations and is enthusiastic about the food, drinks and the service.


Appetizers $5-$12; Entrees $14-$27


5 p.m.-10 p.m.

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Lemon Zest in Pictures