Serendipity is a lovely thing. Arriving at Le Cameleon in the dark, after hours of driving in torrential rain would make even the most chipper of souls tired, grumpy and in my case, desperately in need of some comfort food. As the rain continued to pelt down on us, we made the short walk from the resort down a dark, muddy lane next door, to find what the receptionist had described to us as a typical Italian restaurant.

La Pecora Nera is phenomenal. Hidden beneath a canopy of trees under a half indoor, half outdoor teak-clad roof, we took refuge from the rain to the warm welcome of the staff. From the lovely French waitress who concocted several rounds of killer mojitos, to the chef and owner Ilario who came over to introduce himself and ask us what kind of food we were in the mood for, the atmosphere was homely and utterly charming. The food is exquisite: thinly sliced carpaccio, risotto in black squid ink, seafood linguini with chilli and grilled fish were some of the highlights of our visit, all authentically prepared with passion and soul.

The Verdict
Just go. This was such an other-worldly experience we had to do it twice, just to make sure it wasn’t a complete fluke the first time around. To have found such an exceptional Italian culinary experience – quite frankly, in the middle of a remote part of the Caribbean coast was nothing short of serendipity. Even after several weeks, countless mentions to friends and lots of recommendations to people heading on holiday to Costa Rica, we still reminisce about La Pecora Nera from time to time. One not to be missed.

Restaurant – 10/10
Experience – 9/10