The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2011

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Page 79 of 120

The 11-year-old Four Seasons has four restaurants: Aramara, a romantic place in the main building featuring contemporary Asian cuisine; Bahía, a breezy beachfront place specializing in grilled seafood; Tail of the Whale, a lively luncheon spot at the golf club; and Ketsi by Richard Sandoval, a lovely pool-side restaurant that serves contemporary Mexican dishes styled by the world- famous chef. In addition, there are three lounges featuring a comprehensive selection of tequilas. One of my favorite features of the Four Seasons happens three mornings a week. A small fishing boat lands on the beach bringing a selection of fresh- caught seafood, which is then spread out on a table. The Bahía chefs discuss each variety and then let the guests choose which fish they want for lunch. A variety of preparations are offered, including sashimi. In addition to golf, the Four Seasons offers a complete selection of water sports and a remarkable children’s program. It also has a lovely and fully-staffed spa and several well- stocked boutiques. St. Regis Punta Mita The St. Regis is smaller and more intimate. Built just three years ago, the 120 rooms are in 32 low-lying casitas, most of which face the beach. Each room is equipped with a terrace and an outdoor shower. The rooms are stylish and brightly decorated and have the full complement of modern amenities, includ- ing flat screen TVs in the bedroom and bathroom as well as full butler service. There are many dining options at this AAA five-diamond resort: top-of-the-line is the Carolina restaurant, an exquisite high-end dining experience with a beautiful bar attached; Las Marietas a lovely indoor/outdoor place that serves excellent modern Mexican cuisine for breakfast and lunch; and the Sea Breeze, a bright, casual beachfront restaurant that features California and Italian specialties. There is a lively bar adjacent to the Sea Breeze and another one called Altamira in the main lobby building. There are three dramatic swimming pools, a state-of-the-art Remède spa, water sports, educational activities including a cocktail class, and plenty of special activities for children. Of course, guests have complete access to both golf courses. The Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic I n April of this year the first Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic was held at both resorts. Eighteen international chefs were in attendance as well as wine and spirits experts. Festivities began with a Thursday night walk-around tasting on the beach at the Four Seasons. Local and visiting chefs manned food stations, wines were poured and plenty of excel- lent tequila was available for sampling. During the next two Laura Catena of Argentina-based Bodegas Catena Zapata at the event with THE TASTING PANEL’s Editor in Chief Anthony Dias Blue. days, activities took place at each resort. There were wine tastings (I led two of them at the St. Regis), tequila tastings (I led one of them), special chef lun- cheons and dinners as well as a golf tournament. The Saturday dinner brought guests from both hotels to the ballroom of the St. Regis for a multi-course wine dinner cooked by several visiting chefs, including Abraham Salum from Dallas, Paola Carosella from São Paulo and Thierry Blouet from Mexico City. Sunday featured a remarkable brunch buffet created by Uruguayan star chef Gaston Yelicich. The first Gourmet & Golf Classic was such a great success it has already been scheduled for next year. The dates are April 19–22, 2012. Check out pictures from this year’s event, keep abreast of developments for next year and make reservations at The event kicked off with a walk-around tasting. july 201 1 / the tasting panel / 79 PHOTO: ALLISON LEVINE PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. REGIS HOTELS

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