Exquisite Basque-French in Playa del Carmen
You might expect fruity, frozen cocktails and endless bowls of zesty guacamole while dining at the all-inclusive Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, but elegant French-Basque cuisine? Probably not. But that’s just what you’re in for dining at Passion by Martin Berasategui, a superb fine-dining restaurant located within the resort.
Thanks to a partnership with renowned chef Martin Berasategui, the resort offers an elegant dining option for guests and non-guests at Passion, which masterfully blends the fresh ingredients of the area with traditional French techniques and Basque country inspiration.
With white-linen tablecloths, soft lighting and an elegant dress code, Passion by Martin Berasategui provides an ideal background for those looking to rekindle romance and elevate the beach vacation experience.
Passion’s décor subtly reflects the design aesthetic of the entire resort, with simple modern elements, large illuminated lanterns and elegant wall art. However, the Playa del Carmen restaurant also blends the tastes and upbringing of the chef, with more luxurious additions to give it an almost a Parisian feel, like dangling chandeliers, vintage-inspired end tables and a large European Renaissance painting flanked by long, black curtains.
Across from the looming tapestry sit tables that are a little cozier, with leather couches (in lieu of booths) and European-painted columns that accent the stark muted walls.
If you’re dining with a group, book the library room, which is covered in painted wallpaper that gives the look and feel of a chef’s private entertaining space. Although it is the most formal restaurant within the resort, the space still feels comfortable and dining here is an approachable affair.
Passion’s dinner menu can best be described as a lovely marriage of French, Mexican and Basque flavors. The defining experience is the indulgent, decadent seven-course tasting menu that showcases the chef’s passion and creativity with plates like smoked tuna tartare with black garlic, tepid lobster salad and Kobe flap meat with liquid Brie cheese spheres. Expect a mix of the chef's signatures, plates from his Restaurante Lasarte in Barcelona and local dishes.
Although the menu does feature à la carte meals (like foie gras and mushroom ravioli with rich truffle sauce), the tasting menu paired with the sommelier’s wine recommendations offers a unique dining experience.
Martin Berasategui is a world-recognized chef from Spain, where he’s best known for his eponymous restaurant in Lasarte-Oria in the province of Gipuzkoa. He’s also heralded for his excellent Restaurante Lasarte and the restaurant M.B in Tenerife, an isle in Spain’s Canary Islands.
At Passion by Martin Berasategui, the chef helps to support the local community by sourcing as many ingredients as he can from nearby markets in the Riviera Maya area.
Passion has become a destination restaurant for both guests of the resort and others traveling to Playa del Carmen to get a taste of the chef’s culinary genius.