I say that because this is how I feel every time I sit down to eat, drink, socialize, listen to music or just watch the sun make its exit from the day at our favorite restaurant here in Manuel Antonio. Barba Roja. Just the name itself conjures up visions of sailing ships, sea spray, rum and a million sunsets on a blue horizon. Oh, excuse me.. what? I’m sorry, just reliving my days as a pirate. Ha. Well, getting back to meat and potatoes here, let’s talk about the good people at Barba Roja. Nestled on a hillside on the main road in Manuel Antonio, it is impossible to be able to tell from the street just how beautiful this restaurant setting is. As with most all restaurants we have thus far patronized, it is open air, with finely crafted wood floors, ceilings, fixtures and furniture. The bar precedes the restaurant and has areas both indoors and out, for those who simply want to stay close to the street action-or enjoy their smokes. All indoor areas are non smoking here. As you enter the restaurant you are greeted by one of the handsome servers and more often than not can choose your own table. If you are arriving pre sun- spectacular, patio and border seating is premium because of the breezes and views it affords. During busy times there is an outdoor bar that is open and is located behind the main restaurant and easily accessible down a short row of steps and sidewalk. This bar area looks amazingly like-yep-a ship’s deck. The sunset view from this bar is also breathtaking, so consider it when you go, as long as it is open. The restaurant opens for dinner only but begins early in the afternoon. The menu is simple but exceptional and is updated often enough to keep things interesting while maintaining the tried and true standards the local people have come to love. There is an amazing sushi chef and I recommend the sushi and sashimi. The chef is wonderful and oversees the kitchen staff to be certain of the quality of the dishes that come through its doors. Whenever we have had guests from out of the country, the first place we take them to is Barba Roja. Be sure to check the schedule for live entertainment. Regulars include Robbie Clark and BenJammin’ and the Howlers. Happy Hour is great and the beer is cold. I have no adequate words to describe the sunsets but will include photos so you can form your own opinions. Here are some of my memories.
Welcome to Barba Roja
Next door to the restaurant is a little gift/souvenir shop and you can purchase exclusive tee shirts inside the restaurant.
The patio area affords the most desirable view of the sunset although it is easy to walk out to the patio or down the sidewalk for photos and oohhs and aahhhss. The patio has a band stage as well so be prepared to be near the action.
This is a view of the restaurant as seen from the extended outdoor bar area.
The bartenders hard at work keeping the smiles going. BTW, soccer is the big sport you will be viewing on most screens here.
There is plenty of seating for intimate parties or large groups.
A “thumbs up” from Elliot. The sushi chef is on standby
Until he has to get to work. Yum
Our friend, Manuel, is a great bartender and night life host as well.
Francisco, or Chico, has been at BarbaRoja almost since it opened. He is a good friend, a seasoned server, wonderful host and a good friend.
And so begins the sunset
A pair of doves join us to watch the sunset
How about some food while we wait?
Every night has awesome specials along with the regular menu items. Our favorite is two for one burgers and I have named them the best burgers in town-for me anyway. There is usually a two for one sushi special as well. Your server can fill you in on any details.
This yummy rainbow trout was served up on Christmas Day and I ate every last bite. This evening was shared with family..
Others are spent with friends.
Always there are good food selections…
Someone got lucky that day and caught Wahoo. OMG…..
Some friends get really inspired…or inebriated. 🙂
More great food…
And the sun continues its descent.
I know…its lovely
A last shout out..
Let the fun begin with Jeff and his band accompanied by BenJammin’. Good old fashioned classic rock.
This is the outside deck bar which is sometimes open
Good nite sun.
The tip goblet
William working hard
Luscious beef sandwich au jus
With Chico, a good man and a good friend.
And so it’s time to head home once more, knowing things will still be the same the next time we come. What’s tomorrow’s special? 😉
See you next time!