Who can resist Italian food? Pasta, sauces, risotto, tiramisu . . .
In Cancun, the sun sets over Nichupte Lagoon — Photo courtesy of Cenacolo Mare
The first thing that really makes Cenacolo Mare stand out is the fact that they make all of their own pasta onsite, without a pasta press, but with a rolling pin and a knife. This is a rare find, and the effort really pays off in all of their pasta dishes.
The feeling here is upscale but relaxed. The indoor dining areas feature warm lighting, clean lines and a palapa roof. The terrace offers al fresco dining right on the edge of Nichutpe Lagoon. You may even spot fish or a crocodile swimming by.
If you want your choice of tables, it's best to have your concierge make a reservation for you. Be sure to indicate if you want to be there to see the sunset.
Start your meal with their signature cucumber martini. Even if you don't normally like martinis, you'll like this one. Other cocktails are available, and Cenacolo Mare features an extensive wine list as well.
The focus at Cenacolo Mare is on seafood — Photo courtesy of Cenacolo Mare
It's tempting to fill up on the delicious bread they'll bring next, but save some room for appetizers, dinner and maybe even dessert.
Next, share an appetizer (because the entree portions that are coming will be generous). Mare means "sea" in Italian, and the emphasis at Cenacolo Mare is certainly on seafood.
Apps include clams, calamari and tuna tartare. But the carpaccio is a real standout. There are many different kinds available, including octopus, fish, beef or tuna. There are also salads, soups and burrata (a white italian cheese) appetizers on the menu.
Cenacolo Mare is located at kilometer 13.5 in the Hotel Zone — Photo courtesy of Cenacolo Mare
For dinner, the risotto is to die for, especially the porcini mushroom version. But it would almost be a shame not to order a pasta dish, considering the fact that it is made onsite. Offerings include ravioli, spaghetti, penne, pennette and fettuccine – deliciously combined with lobster, crab, shrimp or clams, just to name a few.
If you're not in the mood for pasta tonight, beef and seafood dishes are also available. Try the Protonno – tuna slices wrapped with Prosciutto di Parma, dressed with balsamic and arugula.
If you have room left for dessert, go for the tiramisu. You won't be sorry.
Service at Cenacolo Mare is excellent and leaves nothing to be desired. There are three more Cenacolo restaurants in the Cancun area, including Plaza Kukulcan in the Hotel Zone, Plaza Peninsula in downtown Cancun and in Playa del Carmen. Cenacolo Mare is available for parties, weddings and special events.