Article: Pangas Beach Club to Open this Month

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Flamingo Chef to bring Fresh Seafood, Laidback Luxury to Tamarindo

Article from the November 2012 Issue of the Howler Magazine

TAMARINDO – This November, Flamingo-based restaurateur Jean-Luc Taulere and manager Elizabeth Cole are bringing a fresh take on Costa Rican cuisine to Tamarindo’s northern shore.

    What’s in a Name? A small local fishing boat, also known as a “panga”

Taulere, an eighth-generation chef with roots in Le Perthus, a small town on the border of Spain in the south of France, is quick to clarify the concept behind the menu at Pangas Restaurant and Beach Club, set to open mid-month past the Best Western and across from El Tesoro on the hill.

 

“We’re not a Costa Rican restaurant in the typical sense,” he explains. “A French chef told me long ago when you have really great ingredients, the number one job of the chef is to not screw them up. The flavors are good from the earth and it’s important not to try to change themBouncy Castle Mini Jungle ouverte, but instead we want to take what’s naturally good and enhance those flavors – that’s always been my concept in the kitchen.”

 

By highlighting what’s naturally good from Costa Rica – fresh seafood, exotic fruits and local spices – Pangas will make a welcome addition to the Tamarindo dining scene. Playing up local ingredients in the kitchen through a mix of cooking methods from across the globe works well for Taulere – a fact evident in the success of his Flamingo-based restaurants Mar y Sol and Coco Loco. But this high season, the focus will be on showing the Tamarindo community just what makes Taulere’s approach to Costa Rican beachfront dining so popular in the Guanacaste region.

 

Earlier this spring, Taulere jumped on board with Pangas when approached by Bruce McKillican, project manager of Tamarindo’s newest real estate project Las Mareas de Tamarindo at El Tesoro – a residential community that will feature 3-bedroom ocean view villas and down the line, a beachfront boutique hotel on several lots within the El Tesoro gated community.

 

 

An extension of Las Mareas, Pangas Beach Club is the first element of the highly anticipated real estate project to open its doors to the public after years of planning. McKillican explained the unique relationship between the Las Mareas residences on the hill and Pangas on the beach.

 

“Pangas is absolutely the aspect of Las Mareas that all the owners and developers at Las Mareas are most excited about,” he said. “The members of our group have chosen to live in Tamarindo because we love the lifestyle – Pangas is an expression of that. We wanted a place to promote this way of life – a great place with great food and great people to spend the day surfing and hanging out with family and friends.”

 

The first residence at Las Mareas will be unveiled in December and the first six units are expected to be complete in March 2013. But even once the residential side of the project is complete, Pangas will continue to play an important role in the Las Mareas lifestyle as well as serving as the public beachfront anchor to the Tamarindo community.

 

“I think the number one thing that is going to set Pangas apart is the location and the concept, which is automatically established in the name,” Taulere said referring to the name “Pangas,” which refers to small fishing boats like the ones in the Tamarindo Estuary. “That tells you how fresh we’re going to be – we’ll get our fish right off the panga boats; we’ll have the fishermen coming up to drop off their catch while people are eating in the restaurant.”

 

Seafood is the staple at Pangas and an in-house fish market will be serving up freshly caught fillets and a variety of premade dishes such as ready-to-eat shrimp cocktail, Peruvian-style ceviche, calamari salad and lump crab cakes.

 

 

At the Pangas fish market guests can pick up the catch of the day to take home for dinner or grab a prepped seafood appetizer for entertaining. For restaurant goers, Pangas will be serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking the Tamarindo Estuary with a menu that’s casually elegant marked by simple sophistication at an affordable price point.

 

 

 

 

 

“We’re trying to create the best possible quality of service, the best cuisine, wine and beer in an atmosphere that’s easygoing and at a price that’s reasonable. I think that’s a big part of the formula,” Taulere said. “We have a beautiful design with quality features, but it’s not an expensive place – it’s going to be very approachable and very reasonable.”

 

With high season coming up, Taulere will be busy rotating between Pangas and his two Flamingo restaurants, but with Cole at the helm of management, the team hopes to cook up a recipe for succulent success at Pangas on the beach. For more information call 2653-0024.

 

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