Ever had feeling that you've been somewhere before? Well, even if you've never been to French Riviera Restaurant in Los Cabos, experience will leave you with a new kind of déjà vu, one that makes you wish you had been there before. The owners and staff make you feel as if you are long lost friends or family who have finally come home and food, service and congeniality will create a lasting impression.
Los Cabos has no shortage of excellent restaurants. Whatever your appetite, you'll have little trouble finding food that pleases palate. Traditional Mexican, authentic Italian, freshest seafood, sushi, fondue and fusion, they're all here. The cuisine that has garnered least attention has been French, king of haute cuisine. Not anymore. Nestled on cliffs above Sea of Cortez, just a few minutes away from hustle and bustle of downtown Cabo San Lucas, is an elegant yet unpretentious jewel in crown of Cabo culinary delights.
That jewel is French Riviera Restaurant and Bakery. A destined to be famous trio of eateries with locations in San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas and along tourist corridor in between two municipalities. Until recently, those seeking true gourmet French dining had a very small selection from which to choose. Most offered French fare as part of a mélange of vastly unrelated cuisine with French fare being a somewhat obvious afterthought. Others claimed to have French trained chefs, but my taste buds told a different story. It is with great pleasure that I report that my taste buds have found true French cooking, and it is alive and well in Los Cabos.
Begat by Jacques Chretien and his wife Sophie, French Riviera is a gastronome's paradise, an oasis of flavor infused sauces, originality and decadence. Led by Chef Jacques Chretien, staff prepares some of finest meals that are likely to ever pass your lips, all while making guests feel more at home than any home should have right to feel. That, my friends, is no easy task, but somehow these wonderfully hospitable folks make it look easy.
Chef Chretien has honor of belonging to a small community - world's greatest chefs. As recipient of Maitre Cuisinier designation (French master chef), he joins a group that boasts only 200 members worldwide with only forty or so outside of France. Mexico boasts a total of five, Los Cabos has only one. The award is bestowed by French government and recognizes culinary excellence as an art form unto itself. Couple Jacque's talent and passion for fine food with Sophie's "joie de vie" and undeniable warmth, and you have a five-star dining experience set in one of world's most picturesque coastal destinations.
The main restaurant is open for lunch (12:00 to 4:00) and dinner (5:30 to 11:00 pm), bar service runs from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm. Decorated in with stone tables and wicker chairs, interior bathed in earth tones, restaurant is warm and inviting. Out on terrace you are surrounded by lush landscapes and an endless ocean view with Land's End and famous arch off in distance. Sunsets here are spectacular.
Chef Chretien's menu is an eclectic collection of original dishes and classic French fare. For starters, your waiter brings you a delightful trio of "welcome" canapés, sea bass tartar with baby green onions, goat cheese mousse and other seasonal delicacies. A nice touch that starts process of making guests feel truly special and welcome.
For an appetizer try lobster cappuccino served with truffle foam and a crispy zucchini stuffed ravioli; tuna & scallop carpaccio flavored with walnut oil and lime, served atop lamb's lettuce and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese; or roasted heirloom tomatoes served with a comfit of eggplant, zucchini and crab with cheese sauce. These are just a few selections from menu, making a choice is not easy as they are all excellent.