Here's hoping everyone had a great holiday! Ours was pretty low-key but fun here in Mexico. Instead of exchanging gifts, we treated each other to nice dinners out on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
On Christmas Eve went to a cute Italian place we'd walked by numerous times but never tried, Trattoria del Centro. It proved to be a great choice. Not crowded at all at the early time we eat dinner, we had a super friendly, attentive Italian waiter who helped make our experience delightful. He told us that everything they serve, including the pasta and desserts, is made in-house. Gotta love that.
Like pretty most restaurants here in Playa del Carmen, this is an open-air restaurant, which we love. There was a high percentage chance of rain that fortunately didn't materialize, since the roof is a thatch palapa and might not be 100% rain-proof.
Our waiter offered to take our photo, which turned out very festive, I thought. I could almost imagine we were in Italy!
The pasta was really special. I had these lovely homemade noodles with shrimp and asparagus in a perfectly seasoned sauce. Would you believe I ate the entire thing?!
Barry got homemade ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a beautifully creamy sauce. Slurp! Normally he's the red sauce person, and I'm the white sauce, so I am not sure how this happened, but we both enjoyed our choices. Sometimes it's good to mix things up, right?!
And of course, special occasions require desserts! We got two to share, including this gorgeous stacked napoleon-like creation. The luxurious creme fraiche and the crispy pastry were a perfect combination.
Our second dessert was this Tiramisu with more of the yummy, light creme fraiche. Mmmmmm!
On Christmas Day, we returned to Salt Rock Grille, where we'd had such a good Thanksgiving dinner. And our return trip was just as good. The owners greeted us personally once again and even gave us the same table!
Times like this, Playa feels almost like a small town, and being treated so warmly felt great, especially as we were so far away from our families on Christmas (and missed them!) We had another Italian waiter who was excellent.
We started with their special drink of the night, a strawberry daiquiri that looked unlike any strawberry daiquiri we've ever had. It looked and tasted like pink lemonade -- for adults! Catherine, the owner, explained that they use a fresh strawberry infusion to make it. The best strawberry daiquiri ever, and for only 40 pesos (approximately $2.80 US) on special, a massive bargain. They also serve a nice little bruschetta appetizer on the house.
For our entrees, Barry choose an Asian-inspired chicken and vegetable dish with peanut sauce served over jasmine rice. I had a bite, and it was yummy. Simple but perfectly seasoned.
I had a portabella napoleon with layers of spinach, mashed potatoes, and cheese. It was delicious! I just don't think you can go wrong here with any of the entrees.
And for dessert, we splurged with two to share again, a frozen key lime pie, which we always love, and...
...the special dessert of the night, cranberry pecan pie. Suffice it to say, I could have eaten about half the pie it was so delicious! Glad they didn't let me....
So, an excellent Christmas in eating, and not a cookie in sight!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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