The elegant De Marco Restaurante (tel. 506/2282-4089, www.hotelcanalgrande.com , noon–3 p.m. and 6–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun.) at the Hotel Posada Canal Grande serves ambitious Italian fare, such as scallops al vino and pastas.
Even better is Corteza Amarilla Fine Dining (tel. 506/2203-7350, www.cortezaamarillalodge.com , 7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), at the Corteza Amarilla Art Lodge & Spa, where artfully presented gourmet fusion cuisine is a hit, such as gravlax of salmon ($6), Mediterranean octopus carpaccio ($10), and penne pasta with shrimp and scallops ($20). The menu displays a Hindu influence. Meals are delicious and artfully presented.
However, the in-vogue place to dine is Bacchus (tel. 506/2282-5441, www.bacchusrestaurante.com , noon–3 p.m. and 6–11 p.m. Tues.–Sat., noon–9 p.m. Sun.), a Mediterranean-themed, Italian-run restaurant and pizzeria considered one of the best restaurants in the country. Housed in a converted colonial home furnished in contemporary style, this classy eatery delivers consistently excellent nouvelle dishes. I enjoyed a tuna tartare appetizer ($11.50), three-mushroom soup ($10), and gnocchi de espinaca (spinach, $13). This is sophisticated dining at its best—but check your bill for scams.
For fresh seafood in an unpretentious setting, I head to Product C (tel. 506/2282-7767, www.product-c.com , 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Tues.–Sun.), where Canadian chef Damien Geneau has come up with a brilliant concept: 100 percent sustainable seafood dishes. (All products are hand-caught in the waters around Isla Chira.) I savored marinated octopus ($7.25), ceviche ($6), carpaccio of trout with capers, and a fabulous sashimi. Daily specials might include blackened mackerel ($11) and fish tacos ($10). The restaurant doubles as a fish market, which provides the setting.