Lets talk about this place. “Lemon Zest“. This little restaurant was located in Playa Jaco also, in Costa Rica.
I heard about this restaurant from someone really near and dear to me, so since we were down the street, we went for it..!
This place is owned by a Floridian family, the Lemons. They had a restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, Florida years ago, and then went on to move to Costa Rica.
Forewarning: Everything we had here, was epic. And we got a few things so the post will be one of the longer ones.
Walking into the restaurant you see some nice booths and tables. The interior was a bit on the darker side, but lit enough for you to be comfortable. It felt intimate right away. Right now its winter in Costa Rica, also the rainy season, so we were one of the only few there.
The servers were extremely nice and enthusiastic about what they were telling us and helping us with. The amount of specials they had for the day was surprising!
As my mother and I usually do, we ordered a few things to share for the table. We were with our other close friend, so mind you these plates were being split by 3 people.
First, we had a round of drinks. (haha!) The martinis were perrrrrfect. They used natural juice for the passion fruit martini, and local Costa Rican coffee in the chocolate espresso martini. That’s the key people: natural and fresh ingredients. As stated before, Costa Rica is known for its biodiversity, so everywhere we went we were eating FRESH delicious food because so many natural goods can be harvested there.
The appetizer that came out first was the “Buffalo Lobster Bites”. Yep, buffalo sauce and lobster. What American wouldn’t love that? It also came with blue cheese on the side, which paired so divinely with the buffalo sauce. The way the lobster was prepared and battered was excellent, although I would maybe go a little bit lighter on the buffalo sauce. The dish was hot, so having each bite with the blue cheese and letting it melt for a second before taking that bite, made that individual experience quite delightful.
Second appetizer: The way it was prepared for us was a little bit different than what the dish was originally like. That’s another thing about this place, they work with your requests and are happy to accommodate your tastes. That, contributes to the specialness anywhere you go. So, the dish!
It was a type of eggplant caprese. They took the original component of the baked eggplant with cheese but threw it in the oven for us with the mozzarella ontop of the eggplant. This was served atop a bed of spinach, and accompanied by some cherry tomatoes. The sauce on this bad boy…. Oh man. Sweet and tangy, and it went perfectly with the breaded eggplant and melted cheese. This was a really good dish also and since the eggplant was baked and not fried it made it a tad healthier…! (That’s me justifying… Hah.)
So finally we ordered a crab-cake that came with a roasted garlic cream sauce, also atop some spinach, sided with some cherry tomatoes.
This crab cake was one of the better ones I’ve had anywhere, due to the encrusting of the crab-cake and the roasted garlic crème sauce. (Me and garlic, here we go again..)
The herbs in the sauce contributed to its rich garlicky flavor, and once you spread that on a bite of the crab-cake, it was heaven. Sadly by this point I was getting a little full (I actually ate most of the eggplant) and because of that I only had a few bites of this dish. Each bite though, each bite was as good as the last. The crispy onions on top separated it from the usual crab-cake, and made it that much more enjoyable.
We ordered some coffee for dessert… Coffee and Alcohol… HAHA – no but really I got one of those chocolate espresso martinis for dessert, and this time I ended up messing with the chocolate syrup that was floating around and coincidentally it turned out to look like a surfer riding a wave! It was a really funny moment when we discovered that.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes our escapade to Lemon Zest!
If you’re ever in Costa Rica and there is time for a restaurant in Jaco, DEFINITELY give this one a try. Its laid back, delicious, and right in the center of town.
Great people own and run this place, and CaptivEATing is about spreading the word of such places. I’m grateful this little gem landed on our itinerary, and I hope to make it back there before the end of the year!
Happy eating, and happy weekend everyone!!