Dining & Culinary Enjoyments
Locally Sourced, Nationally Inspired Cuisine at The Restaurant
In April 2012, Las Ventanas moved beyond its traditional “Baja-Mediterranean” cuisine, a term it coined at The Restaurant’s inception 15 years ago, for an inspired new Mexican menu that derives heavily from the country's distinct regions. With its new menu, the legendary Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort reinvents the food narrative in what is already one of Mexico’s hottest culinary destinations. Rooted in authenticity and all things local, the resort continues to be the guiding leader of Baja California and Mexico’s luxury travel movement.
Under the helm of Executive Chef Fabrice Guisset and Las Ventanas’ culinary team, the new menu at The Restaurant reflects a deep sense of respect and admiration for Mexico’s culinary traditions, with ingredients and techniques that reflect the country’s long history, its vast size and its many customs and eating habits. The entire culinary team was instrumental in the formation of the new menu as their family recipes and culinary secrets were transported into the kitchen of Las Ventanas and refined to present a menu that is both sophisticated and authentic.
Another aspect that’s distinctly evident in the menu is a list of ingredients sourced locally from within the region. An often missed fact outside of Mexico is that the Baja Penisula is both one of the hottest culinary destinations in Mexico as well as the resource for some of the country’s best produce. Guisset pays homage to this by foraging from the area’s top farms like Miraflores Farms, as well as from his own organic herb and produce garden on the resort. Based on the principle of “locally sourced, nationally inspired,” the menu at The Restaurant reflects the seasonality of its produce and changes accordingly.
The award-winning wine program at The Restaurant celebrates the rich wine culture that exists in the Baja Peninsula. The wine list draws heavily on the verdant Valle de Guadalupe region near Ensenada in northern Baja, which produces robust varietals on par with anything you’d find in Napa, Sonoma or Bordeaux. The impressive wine list also includes intriguing global offerings from California's top vintage cult wines to distinctive wines from France, Italy and Spain to newly discovered selections from Australia, New Zealand and South America. It also offers a world-class list of 18 wines by the glass, including Dom Perignon champagne. The Restaurant’s tequilero, or tequila sommelier, welcomes the opportunity to pair Chef Guisset’s regional dishes with a wide selection of Mexico’s premier tequilas and mezcals.
Since the resort’s opening in 1997, The Restaurant has served as the centerpiece of the dining experience at Las Ventanas, where every table features a fabulous view of the infinity pool area and the Sea of Cortez.
Cocina del Fuego & La Marisqueria at The Sea Grill
The Sea Grill, located at the sand’s edge, serves a variety of cuisine, from grilled fare, to fresh ceviches and shellfish to traditional Mexican tapas. The main menu offers the ultimate grilled foods, “Cocina del Fuego,” with dishes cooked on wood-burning grills and a wood-burning brick and clay oven. Two types of local woods are used: mesquite for meats because of its stronger flavors, and mauto, which is milder, for seafood. The cuisine is based on the flavors imbued by the woods, fine olive oils and fresh herbs from the resort’s herb garden; the waiters come to the table with herbs and scissors, cutting the freshest possible herbs right on the food. Guests savor everything from Ensenada Mussels, Free-Range Rock Cornish Hens, veal chops and lobster tail on the grill to a pizza of the day. A popular spot for evening cocktails and snacks, The Sea Grill also offers a Mexican Tapas menua and the following specialties:
- La Marisqueria: Opened in July 2012, La Marisqueria offers an authentic raw bar and demo kitchen within The Sea Grill. A nod to Mexico’s customary open-air seafood restaurants, guests can take a seat at the bar and watch as the chef custom prepares each dish with the freshest seafood and ingredients all originating in Baja. A variety of raw and wood-fired specialties are available, including ceviche, tiradito, aguachile and shellfish.
- Molcajete Menu: The molcajete is Mexico’s ancient stone version of the mortar and pestle used to prepare ingredients for traditional dishes. The unique Mexican culinary sensations on the Molcajete Menu, served Mondays in an actual molcajete, feature meats, seafood, garden vegetables, traditional Mexican sauces and more.
- Taquiza Menu: Bite into the true taco flavors of Mexico every Tuesday. Mexico’s time-honored taco recipes come to life with traditional preparations, combinations and ingredients such as sizzling meats carved from a spit called a “trompo.”
- Guaycura Dinner: Every Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m., The Sea Grill serves a Mexican barbecue dinner – with a spectacular traditional music and dance show – called a Guaycura. The simple but very flavorful menu recalls a culinary tradition of years ago when Mexicans mostly barbecued their foods. The dinner is a sampler of time-honored dishes served in five courses, each with a variety of items.
Ceviche, Sushi & Tequila Bar
At the Ceviche, Sushi & Tequila Bar, guests can sample a wide variety of culinary treats and delicacies including: innovative ceviche, created with the largest array of seafood used to prepare ceviche in Mexico; a tequila menu that is the most exclusive in Mexico, including the world’s most costly tequila; and sushi that is a unique fusion of Japanese and Mexican culinary traditions and flavors.The ceviche and sushi are original recipes, and the menus change daily depending on the freshest and best seafood available. The nearly 50 tequila varieties are all 100% Agave Tequilas, Mexico's best which are certified by the government to exacting standards.
- Tequila Lessons: Guests can learn about the history of tequila, the distillation process, the different types, and the appropriate way to drink it by taking a Tequila Lesson at the Ceviche, Sushi & Tequila Bar. The resort’s Tequileros conduct weekly classes.
La Cava Wine Room Featuring “Chef’s Gourmet Table” Dinners
La Cava, Las Ventanas’ beautiful wine cellar, is a truly unique and exclusive environment for private events by special arrangement, or guests may join the Chef’s Gourmet Table degustation dinners. Guests dine in a magnificently decorated room surrounded by 3,200 of bottles of the finest wines. Chef’s Gourmet Table dinners are held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for up to 14 guests and feature a special five-course tasting menu showcasing the unique cuisine and flavors of the Baja Peninsula. Executive Chef Fabrice Guisset guides guests on a gastronomic journey while the resort’s sommelier carefully selects appropriate wines for each course, many from the Baja region. Dinners start at 7:30 p.m. and reservations are required. For personal dining events, the Chef works closely with guests to plan an individualized menu and evening tailored to their preferences.
“A Taste of Las Ventanas” Progressive Dinner
Experience the diverse culinary specialties of Las Ventanas all in one magical evening. Start with a sampler of sashimi and specialty rolls with a famous Las Ventanas Baja Margarita at the Ceviche, Sushi & Tequila Bar. Then savor a two-course dinner with wine pairings at The Sea Grill, followed by an array of sumptuous mini desserts with choice of a glass of aged Port, coffee/tea service or a shot of Tequila Reposado in the Lounge Bar. With candles and stars lighting their way, diners are received at each restaurant as a special guest, while enjoying extraordinary food and personalized service. The Progressive Dinner is offered Tuesdays at 6:45 p.m. and reservations are required.
Prime Rib or Surf & Turf at The Restaurant
Every Friday evening at The Restaurant, guests may choose an 8-oz or 12-oz Prime Rib, or a Surf & Turf combination of an 8-oz Prime Rib and Lobster Tail, both accompanied with the traditional garnishes, including homemade Horseradish Sauce, Flavored Mustard, Gravy and Garlic Butter.
Cooking Classes In The Herb Garden
Guests can learn the secrets of Las Ventanas’ award-winning cuisine with the Saturday morning cooking classes conducted by the resort’s chefs. The one-hour classes are held in the open-air demonstration kitchen located in the resort’s lush and fragrant Herb Garden.
Challenge the Chef
Guests with a magic touch in the kitchen who want to be recognized for their culinary skills can enter Las Ventanas' “Challenge the Chef,” which was honored with a 2012 Virtuoso “Best of the Best” Award for “Most Innovative Guest Experience.” Daring guests prepare an original dish for Executive Chef Fabrice Guisset in the Herb Garden demo kitchen, who then judges their talent by rating it one to three “Spoons.” If the meal is a “Three Spoon” success, the winner is honored by having his or her dish added to the menu of the resort’s acclaimed signature restaurant for a week – with full credit as the star chef. Even those deemed a “work in progress” come out as winners, receiving a complimentary tequila shot.
Men In White
“Men in White” turns men into culinary stars, allowing them to impress the wife or significant other with their skills in the kitchen while having a fun, romantic and delicious time. Under the guidance of Las Ventanas’ chef, the gentleman prepares a gourmet meal, surprising his special lady. The lady is personally escorted to the resort’s Herb Garden by a butler and presented with the menu and champagne. The gentleman, dressed in chef’s “whites,” completes the preparation in front of her and then they dine at a romantic, candlelit table in the garden with soft music playing and a personal waiter serving the feast.
Private, Romantic Dinners
Las Ventanas arranges uniquely romantic, candlelit dinners for couples in a variety of intimate locations – such as the beach with a bonfire roaring, The Plaza on the resort’s highest point with spectacular views, in a private Beach Cabana with a pool and Jacuzzi, and the rooftop terrace of your suite. The private dinners are individually customized to your needs and desires, from the menu, to the brand of champagne to the music.
For guests who like to linger in the luxury of their beautifully appointed suites, in-suite service is available 24 hours a day. Enjoy breakfast in bed, a romantic dinner for two served on your private terrace, or a special in-suite dining event created just for you.