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Gingerbread, Nuevo Arenal, Northern Lowlands

Nuevo Arenal , Alajuela
Costa Rica
Tel: 506 2694 0039's insider take:

Israeli-born chef Eyal Ben-Menachem makes only a handful of dishes each day—depending on what's freshest in the local markets—at this Italian restaurant on the north shore of Lake Arenal in the Northern Lowlands. Each of the dishes comes with commentary from the gregarious chef, so you'll learn exactly how he prepares the wild mushrooms in a Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce, or the jumbo shrimp with couscous and lentils. For dessert, try the superb boca negra, a warm chocolate souffléélike cake with macadamia nuts inside; it's served with ice cream and raspberry and passion-fruit coulis. The restaurant's name refers to the fanciful wood trim on the porch, where you can dine with a view of the lake.—Updated by Christopher P. Baker

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 5 to 9 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.