Guadalajara’s finest restaurant:
dinner, decor and a show
Guadalajara may be Mexico’s “undiscovered jewel,” but the real diamond is it’s most fabulous nightspot Santo Coyoté – a themed restaurant, nightclub, bar and entertainment complex unrivaled even in Los Angeles or New York.
From the moment guests are welcomed at the portico, they are
Our table was “center stage.” This is it seen from the second floor circular walkway. © Warren Swil, 2013
transported into a magical world of lush tropical greenery – the dining area resembles a Mexican rain forest, the tables covered with round thatch roofs – for haute cuisine and traditional south-of-the-border entertainment.
The show doesn’t stop.
FIRST, the menu: It introduces guests to the legend of Santo Coyote, a great Sioux chief, “whose name means the mixture of two cultures and the birth of a third: the pagan.
“That is the culture the Santo Coyote restaurant honors,” it advises the diner. (Watch video of the show below)
A comprehensive bill of fare is offered. For the less sophisticated visitor, each menu item is illustrated with a mouth-watering image of the dish. But be warned: some of the portions are gargantuan.
On my last night in Guadalajara before returning to Los Angeles, four of us dined at our host’s favorite eatery in the city of four million. It was an experience of extraordinary gastronomical delight enhanced with attentive, top-drawer service and an after dinner show of Broadway quality.
I had the Strawberry Fillet. The name alone had me intrigued. With a sweet tooth, I was tempted; but combining strawberries and beef?
The menu item for my selection, “Strawberry Fillet.” It sure looks mouth-watering … and it is! © Warren Swil, 2013
It was an alien concept – but the effect was stunning.
“Beef fillet served over fresh strawberry slices in red wine sauces with a dash of pepper and topped with goat cheese,” is how the menu describes it. 240 pesos (about $20).
Before dinner, I took a tour of the complex. A second floor walkway encircles the dining area, offering spectacular views of the expansive scene.
From the staircase, I circled clockwise. First, in a dark
Goddess, portrayed in the two-story waterfall, a central feature of the décor at Santo Coyote restaurant.
corner, the nightclub/bar. Black leather recliners, tasteful, exotic.
Then, a two-story waterfall, with images of goddess and other Mexican mythological figures.
One has to walk through the executive office to continue the tour; since there was no one “home” at 8 p.m. on a Monday evening, I sauntered on through.
As we were finishing our main course, the show began.
We had “front row” seats. About 20 feet to my right was a small, circular stage – perhaps 10 feet in diameter – raised three feet off the floor. The same distance to my left, was another identical one.
Two traditionally clad Mariarchi dancers began their performance on my right. As they finished their first number, a second pair began on my left.
To the delight of the audience, this display of folklorico continued for perhaps 20 minutes. The applause was well deserved.
Just after the dancers exited, a group of men (perhaps eight) each with an instrument, gathered almost right next to our table and began playing traditional Mariarchi music.
Of course, one of their first songs was the well-known “Guadalajara” (Listen to a version of it here)
The leader of the group approached each table and offered to perform a song specially for that group of diners. We declined the 250 peso offer.
Good decision. Our table got two for the price of none.
First the group performed for the adjacent party of four to our left, then for the table to our right. Stereo?
It was a fabulous finale to an extraordinary evening.
The bill for four? 2,500 pesos, including gratuity. A bit over $200, but worth every penny.