Le Chandelier may have a gourmet reputation, but that’s not the only reason you should think of it for your girls’ night dinner in San José, Costa Rica. This restaurant also specializes in weddings and other milestone celebrations (even bachelor/bachelorette parties and baby showers), so it knows how to see that you have a good time with your friends. There are several beautifully — and very differently — decorated rooms to dine in. Add in a menu priced in U.S. dollars and a flat-rate buffet to take the struggle out of splitting the check, and you’ve got a good bet for your dinner with your girlfriends.
Dining rooms include one with a huge, colorful mural, two smaller rooms with a quieter style and dim lighting, an open, courtyard-like area, and more.
Moving on to the most important thing in any restaurant, we’ll look at the food through the buffet menu. This will let you avoid the language barrier with your server, and the pricing is straightforward: For $30 plus tax you get an appetizer, a main course, two sides, a dessert and coffee; for $38 you get two of everything, except for the three sides; and for $45 you can order enough for two and then some (four appetizers, three main courses . . .) So what’s on the menu? A mixture of French-Swiss, Hispanic, and international cuisine.
Appetizers include salads from all over the world, containing everything from pasta and shellfish to mango, strawberry, and vinaigrette. Ceviche, antipasto, and other Italian dishes round out the first course. Main courses are also wide-ranging, including for example fajitas, sweet and sour chicken, beef wellington (and chicken wellington!), lasagna, and many more. Side dishes include several potato and pasta dishes, polenta, three kinds of rice (wild, Basmati, and regular — rice is big in Costa Rica) and many vegetable dishes, from ratatouille to frijoles. On to dessert — is “Chesse queque” cheesecake? Whatever it is, it’s the strawberry kind. Also on offer are flan, a couple of flavors of mousse, strudel, and many others, including a sample plate of mini-desserts.
TripAdvisor’s listing for Le Chandelier doesn’t give an exact address, more of directions to get there from the nearby landmark Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (the electrical utility). Another way to find it is to look on Calle 49, on the opposite side of the street from Parque Yoses and slightly south. It’s open Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM to midnight, and Saturday, 6:30 PM to midnight.
Editor’s Note: Also check out this article for information on fun walking tours for a girl’s trip.