San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Dining by Starlight

A dinner under the stars, to the sound of waves lapping the shore at Playa Langosta, has to be the most romantic dinner ever organized by the Guanacaste branch of the Châine des Rôtisseurs. For 40 members and guests of the international gourmet club, this dinner at the elegant, poolside Langosta Beach Club restaurant on Feb. 26 was also one of the most memorable, gastronomically. The menu, created by the French restaurant’s executive chef, Nicolas Vignon, took the best local ingredients and turned them into a French tour de force: freshwater langoustine tartare, served with its own bisque, to start, followed by mahimahi in a cream and watercress sauce, and beef tenderloin bathed in a sauce of gorgonzola cheese and green peppercorns. The grand finale was a classic chocolate soufflé.

Complementing the food was a selection of French wines, including a sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne and a Bourgogne Chardonnay. The dessert wine was a remarkable find from Argentina, Las Perdices Late Harvest.

Serious cuisine and hard-to-find wines are the signatures of Châine dinners, along with bonhomie and the pomp and ceremony that goes into inducting new dames and chevaliers – with sword and sash – into this confrérie of food lovers. 

Upcoming Châine events in Guanacaste include wine tasting and a buffet at the Flamingo Marina Resort; dinner at the Westin Resort in Playa Conchal; a barbecue on Flamingo Beach, catered by Jean-Luc Taulere, the chef at Playa Flamingo’s famed Mar y Sol restaurant; and dinner in a private Flamingo home. For more information on joining the Châine and these events, contact Alain Taulere at

Upcoming events in the San José area include a grand dinner in April at Bacchus Restaurant in Santa Ana, when new members will be inducted, and a May dinner at Doris restaurant, also in Santa Ana. For more information, contact Klaus Steinmetz at

–Dorothy MacKinnon

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