Whatever's happening on the farm and in the ocean makes way to your plate at Mary's Restaurant in Mal Pais. Really, only the 'cream of the crop' is served at Mary's and it's been that way since 1996.read more close
What started as a small general store with four tables, owned by the Costa Rican Nunez Tenorio family, became Mal Pais' paramount restaurant, reclaiming the old spirit of simpler farming and fishing days in a small town.
Beyond just using Mary’s farm-fresh, organic ingredients — including basil, mint, mustard, lettuce, thyme, rosemary, arugula, tomatoes, chili peppers, zucchini and many more — Chef Alex Barnett executes dishes with impeccable fervor and passion.
Direct from the Mal Pais fish market, the ceviche, $12, sea bass seasoned with red bell pepper, cilantro, white and red onion, is a clear indication of what "fresh from the sea" means. Likewise, a grilled local tenderloin steak, $18, over roasted tomato-jalapeno sauce, served with gnocchi and boiled potatoes, garnished with farm greens and black sesame seeds, offers the finest meat flavor of the land.
Mary's brick oven pizza has its own place in the farm-to-table menu, very special in its own cheesy way: spinach and roasted garlic pizza, $14, mozzarella, Parmesan - and we suggest goat cheese, too. Pair the pizzas with their special recipe for frozen mojitos, $6, with rum, Triple Sec, lime, sugar, club soda, or their great frozen margarita, $6.
Local fruit sweetens Mary's must-have desserts, brownie with walnuts, $6, comes with a scoop of banana ice cream that you'll end up licking off the plate — which is okay, you're on a farm after all.
Food's the main attraction at this open-air restaurant, and you can also go just to hang out by the bar in front, play pool at one of the two billiards tables in the middle, or have a full sit-down meal at the booths in the back room.
Local legends attract talented staff, and Mary's puts their best food forward with waiters: they're super friendly and understandably proud of their successful restaurant.
Appetizers $6-$12; Entrees $12-$18; Pizza $6-$18; Drinks $3-$8
5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; closed Wednesdays