“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”
Gourmet on the Go: Is This Puerto Vallarta...or Paris?
Housed inside the lovely Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Resort, just north of Puerto Vallarta, Piaf Restaurant presents French fare with a nod to fresh Mexican ingredients in a stunner setting.
Try Piaf’s simple yet elegant seared scallops with bacon beurre blanc and coriander or the puff pastry tartelette and duck confit over mushroom with champagne sauce. I also enjoyed the classic but not too garlicky bourguignonne escargots. On the heartier side, executive chef Claudio Hotter offered a perfect rack of French lamb marinated in Provence herbs and drizzled with foie gras sauce. For dessert, many items looked wonderful but I opted for the Grand Marnier chocolate soufflé adorned with hazelnuts and white chocolate. So decadent.
This is a supremely refined space; glass sculptures accent its majestic marble floors and its walls of mauve, dark woods and black soothe the eye. Everything is spotless and impeccably designed, and the view of the gorgeous Bay of Banderas doesn’t hurt. Piaf at Grand Velas is a major find, and it welcomes anyone, not just resort guests. If you’re in the area, don’t miss it. —Bob Ecker
PIAF RESTAURANT, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Av. Cocoteros, 98 Sur, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, México, (800) 822-7830, vallarta.grandvelas.com