Dinner at Venecia – lotsa food pics!

After we got ready, we sat out on the balcony for a bit. The air is delicious at this time of day.

Ready to party!

Don't you love the self-portrait feature of digital cameras?

Tonight’s dinner reservations were at the Italian restaurant, Venecia. Zung and I have had many excellent dinners here in the past. It is probably our favorite restaurant. Venecia is located in the atrium, which is located just outside the lobby. It is a round area with a water fountain in the middle. There are growing things all over.

This is looking from the lobby into the atrium.

The area across from this view is the hall to the rooms. You can walk inside and there are also outside paths on either side of the inside hall with waterfalls along the paths. To get to Venecia from the lobby you would make a right and then you come upon it almost right away. Also to your right are some restrooms, the ATM and the room where the travel company reps hang out (Apple, Funjet). This is where you would go to book tours with your travel company and find out when your ride is leaving to go back to the airport if you are using your included transportation.

This is the atrium view when you are standing in front of that hall to the rooms and you can see the area into the lobby.

If you take a left from here you will pass the outdoor lobby bar lounge area, the jewelry store (I would make a visit here tonight) the karaoke and smoking bars (I think the refer to it as the cigar bar) and then you would come to the lobby bar.

We all arrived at about the same time. Our reservations were for 7 pm. We were seated, ordered a lovely red wine, some ordered champagne. The lovely red wine would be a bit of trouble when we tried to order it the next night at the Gourmet restaurant. Tune in for that story.

It came time to order and when it was my turn it became quite complicated. I wanted to order the Fettucine , but I only wanted a half order and it wanted it as an appetizer. The waiter said, “No, that is a main course.” I explained that I wanted a small portion and as an appetizer. He repeated that it was a main course and showed me on the menu where the appetizers were and where the main courses were. We went back and forth and finally Karen said, just have them bring you a regular portion and we can all help you finish it. I explained to him that I wanted it served with the appetizers though. I ordered the lamb for my main course and then asked him to bring an order of the shrimp and lobter risotto for Zung and I to share. I thought his head was going to explode. I don’t usually go rogue when ordering, but I really felt like I wasn’t asking for too outrageous a change. I constantly read people’s trip reports where they say they will do anything you ask them to, just ask. Well, I am here to tell ya, it ain’t always so.

Dinner had mixed results. Some were happy with their dishes, others were not a hit. I know Karen and Zung ordered the Sea Bass and this has been excellent in the past, but neither were very excited with theirs that night.

Here are food pics:

Salmon Carpaccio

Calimari

Capresse salad

Ravioli

Lamb

Shrimp and Lobster Risotto

Sea Bass

Ossobucco (I think)

Macerated Pears

Tiramisu

Beet Raviolis

A word on the desserts, the tiramisu used to be a very unique and delicious rendition of this classic dessert. It is still delicious, but now it is your everyday, run of the mill tiramisu. The beet raviolis were jellied beet with balls of chocolate underneath. Kind of as strange as it sounds.

Zung got a cappuccino that had a huge cap of foam.

During and after dinner we took lots of pictures of our crew because we looked so damn good!

Susie, Karen and Patrick

Nicholas, Zung and Andrea

Nicholas and Mom

Susie and Dad

Patrick and Mom

Patrick can make one eyebrow go up and down.

The boys wanted money to go to Playa del Carmen. I said no. I did not want them to go to Playa del Carmen. That’s one of the reasons I like Iberostar Playa Paraiso, there is plenty for them to do between the disco and bars) and not too much trouble they can get into and if they did at leas they were close by. If they were “overserved”, security always made sure they got back to the room safely.

In Playa del Carmen unattended, there would be too much trouble for them to get into (and I would worry too much) and I wasn’t going to fund such an expedition. They said they would pay for it themselves.Oh really? $20-25 taxi, EACH way and when you get there you have to pay for your drinks. Go for it boys. Umm, change of plans. LOL.

We finished dinner and then headed towards the outdoor lobby bar lounge area. But wait! Check out that beautiful necklace I’m wearing. It’s tanzanite and was purchased at the Lindo during our family vacation 2007. I always get compliments on it and I have always felt like it deserved an equally amazing pair of earrings to wear with it. Tonight was the night. We made a detour into the jewelry store and I checked out the tanzanite earrings. Nothing really caught my eye until just as we were about to leave…there they were! They were perfect! We negotiated the price and I walked out wearing my new earrings.

I have several great pieces of jewelry I’ve bought in Mexico. People always want to know, “Did you get a good deal?” I, frankly, have no idea. I have always paid what seemed like a reasonable price and never what they ask for originally. I have paid less than 50% of the original asking price and I have been told they won’t go any lower than their original asking price (I won’t buy in that case). I usually have a price in mind that seems fair and when (if) we get to that price, I pay it. I only buy things I really, really love. I have bought things for my kids too. My worst experience was buying a silver bracelet for Patrick. It had the Mayan calendar engraved on it. The shop keeper warned me that not everyone sells pure silver and you have to be careful. He was right. That bracelet broke and was made of silver coated ceramic. I have bought jewelry on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, at the hotel jewelry shops, at the Iberostar Paraiso shopping center, as well as the airport. I have never bought “silver” from the vendors on the beach. The only misses were that bracelet and a ring I bought that had a bunch of stones in it and one fell out. The silver still looks good though.

While buying jewelry in Mexico is a bit of a risk, I don’t think it is a big one.

One word of advice, if they say, “I have a special price, just for you” —RUN! (that’s the oldest line in the book).

After we left the jewelry store we went to the outdoor lounge. And this is where my memory gets fuzzy.

Let the drinking begin!

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7 Responses to Dinner at Venecia – lotsa food pics!

  1. craig061 says:

    Great pics, you guys do look ” Damn Good ” I have to say we didn’t like the italian at all. We ended up going to the bar and then getting room service. I can’t believe, all dressed up and no pics of shoes ! lol

  2. craig061 says:

    Go easy on him, he’s doing a great job. All the pics so nice I keep wanting to re-book

  3. Leodel Ramirez says:

    Great Blog !! You did such a good job on documenting your vacation. My wife and I just came back from Iberostar Grand Paraiso (Sept 4-11). I’ve been to Cancun/Riviera Maya 7 times (Secrets Maroma, Riu Palace, etc..) and I must say that the IB Grand beats them all… The service “with a smile” is what really differentiate this hotel from the rest. They deserve more credit than what I see in travel websites. I’m glad you’ve created this blog. By the way, happy 50th B-day!!

    -Leo

  4. Pingback: 2010 in review | Iberostar Rocks: An Unofficial Guide to Iberostar Paraiso

  5. Patrice says:

    I tried doing the same thing for the appetizer…I wanted a half order of risotto for my appetizer, but that seemed way too confusing to them so I just said bring the full order for my appetizer and my husband shared it with me. It was very yummy.

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