From Here

Almost at the very end of Los Muertos Beach is Mantamar Beach Club Bar & Grill. It was my first time at this lovely place; it was not, alas, to enjoy the bar, the restaurant, the pool, lounge chairs or the water, rather the occasion was the official Press Conference announcing the 13th Edition of Vallarta Lifestyle’s Restaurant Week.

A popular concept all around the world and Puerto Vallarta has the immense distinction of being the ONLY city in all of Mexico to use this terrific idea to promote our destination internationally.

The idea is simple: take some of the finest eateries in the Bay of Banderas and, for two weeks, have them produce a menu at a fixed price – quite often at a 50% discount! – for people to try the restaurant that at other times might be out of financial reach.

It is a super way for locals and the many tourists who come specifically to dine like kings and pay like princes. Besides Mantamar, 43 other restaurants are in the mix this year: enjoy from May 15th to the 31st. See restaurantweekpv.com

Three of the above-mentioned restaurants contributed to last week’s fundraiser for Fundacion Careaga that took place at Casa Karma. We dined on salad prepared by Café des Artistes with wonderful owner/chef Thierry Blouet in attendance; deliciously creamy soup by La Leche and the main course cooked to perfection by Trio. Interspersed with Celebrations Vallarta Jim Lee’s magnificent mac and cheese martini and Chef Memo’s cheesecake.

One of Fundacion Careaga’s beneficiaries is a karate school whose students put on a riveting display of the sport. One of the young men has been selected to represent Jalisco in an upcoming karate competition in Monterrey.

The small group of young men and women doing various katas on the stage showed immense concentration breaking boards and performing the katas with grace and amazingly controlled power. What a gift these young people have received from Fundacion Careaga and that goodness will no doubt be extended to others throughout their lives. My respects.

The evening wrapped up with “Moelle” a jazz quartet that so intrigued me, I jumped at the first chance to see them in concert two days later at Incanto. “Moelle”, a French word meaning “marrow” in English – vocalist Fernanda Sakura sings in both as well as Portuguese and her native Spanish. Fernanda was born and grew up in Aguascalientes and has lived for the last 13 years in Vallarta. Her group, “Moelle”, composed of guitarist Jusan, bassist Marro and drummer Carlos, has only been together for six months. Each musician is keenly professional and respectful of one another and to their principle task on the stage which is to back up Fernanda – nothing more and nothing less. They all played with a resolute accuracy and a delicateness that I found so refreshing. They were loud when needed and practically whispering when it was time; amazing musicianship.

And now on to Fernanda – the star. At 26 she is very young and admits candidly that the sadness/sorrow/pain in an upcoming song has never happened to her but…off she goes, fearlessly and wonderfully. She is quite shy and the juxtaposition of a girlish giggle followed immediately by the strength of “I Put a Spell on You” took my breath away. Fernanda – you did at least that, From Here.

Marcia Blondin