PUNTA MITA, Mexico – It’s almost impossible to talk about Mexico without mentioning its various and colorful food scenes. Street meal standbys like tacos al pastor, chilaquiles, and savory-candy moles commonly thieve the spotlight. But on a current ride to Punta Mita on the United States West Coast, I experienced seafood as the headliner. Situated on a spear-shaped peninsula in rapidly developing Riviera Nayarit, Punta Mita is a haven for surf lovers, a coveted address for 2nd or 1/3 homeowners, and a vacation spot for oceanic delights like spiny lobster, soft shell crab, and scallops aguachile, regularly coupled with local substances like guajillo and pasilla chilies and queso Oaxaca.
The tropical paradise epitomizes great dwellings with ocean perspectives, top-heat climate, white-sand seashores, and luxurious accommodations. I typically live in small, fascinating, boutique accommodations; however, for this ride, my boyfriend and I spent our nights at two of the most over-the-pinnacle places in the town: Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort and The St. Regis Punta Mita. We were hesitant: Would we get an authentic flavor of Mexican seafood here?
In the sector of farm-to-desk eating, the purveyor is frequently crowned king, but not at Pacifico Beach Club, Punta Mita’s latest beach membership, wherein belongings chef David Vidales takes sourcing seafood to the following degree. We first met Chef Vidales at the motel’s Latin Grill, where we had a seafood banquet on a primary night in paradise. We had a spearfishing excursion scheduled for later in the week and prolonged him an invitation, eager to witness his craft firsthand. He is prevalent.
We met at Playa Cuevas, steps away from the Four Seasons, wherein Sebastian Melani, a renowned local spearfisherman, and his Spearmex crew were ready to take us out to the depths of the Pacific. Before we boarded our tiny boat and set sail, we jumped in a 4-foot pool for a few practices. Wearing wetsuits that resembled something from Wakanda, we practiced loading a speargun: Secure the spear into the shaft, wrap the taking pictures line, release the safety, expand the forearm, pull the trigger, and launch the harpoon without delay into the target. If it’s successful, drop the gun immediately and reel in the line (and breathe!).
Got it?” asked Melani. I nodded assuredly earlier than we activated to deeper waters. The chef is the first to dive in, floating effortlessly atop the water. Here, it’s a lower back-to-the-fundamentals, subtly primal, virtuous hunt in what seems like an infinite ocean. He was given the machine down: Aim, launch, and collect the ocean’s bounty.
I’m rocked on what seems like a gentle cycle. While my eyes take stock of the fish training in the coral reefs, my right forearm, new to this form of muscular isolation, fast caught pins and needles, determined, I roll my shoulders again, exhale through the mouthpiece, release the safety, and take a stab at taking pictures our quickly-to-be-dinner.
My attempts are less than a hit. We’re given the sign to go back on deck. I’m sore and chilly without my wetsuit and experience my first bout of seasickness. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to see a mid-sized fish stuck by a fellow diver. I won’t pass hungry. Once our sea legs acclimated to dry land, we enjoyed the culmination of our exertions: yellowtail surgeonfish regarded regionally as cirujano. Straight from the wetsuit to the chef’s coat, Vidales presented cirujano servido de tres maneras: char-grilled alongside colorful greens, bathed in acid, ceviche-fashion, and mixed perfectly with Mexico’s different gastronomic gem, the avocado. We sipped a mezcal and clean fruit juice, enjoyed the sun escaping into the horizon, and went in for seconds.
High to low tide eats
Our experience concluded at The St. Regis Punta Mita, a Mita Mary Bistro Boat, Punta Mita’s solution to the meals truck. (Where there aren’t any roads, there are no meal trucks.) Here, dinner was spent on dry land with our feet in the sand and tamarind mocktails inside near attain. The food is bottom-to-pinnacle-of-the-ocean eats.
From the lowest, we had spiny lobster — the standard of the location, smaller than their New England opposite numbers, and a tad sweeter in flavor — historically sourced by fishermen who free-dive and capture the lobsters using hand. Shrimp got here next, balanced with cabbage slaw and served atop warm corn tortilla tacos. The floor blessed us with a bivalve bounty of oysters, served raw and hearth grilled and dressed with salsas crafted from neighborhood chilies.
Plan your trip
Plot your escape to paradise in overdue iciness or early spring, earlier than the wet season. Once you arrive at Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PRV) in Puerto Vallarta, it’s a 28-mile force north via a taxi or rental vehicle. Once you’re through Punta de Mita’s non-public gates, snatch a golfing cart from any hotel concierge to get between houses.