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Buon Appetito! Italian Cuisine in Cabo San Lucas

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Have you ever been to Italy? I have, many times in fact. Being from Slovenia, a neighboring country, Saturday trips to Italy with my friends have been our little pleasures. After a pleasant day, our necessary ritual was going to a local osteria, sitting at a square table with a red and white table cloth, having un bicchiere di vino and a fresh home made ravioli, tortellini, media lunas, lasagna, or gnocchi, and engaging in conversation with the friendly waiter, who was waiving his hands all the time as if he would talk with them. “Mangia, mangia” he used to tell us when he noticed that we talked more than ate. That’s why I was excited even more than usual when Grupo Solmar invited me to meet the Italian chefs of El Galeon and Romeo y Julieta, two well known Mediteranean and Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas. After a couple of years of living in Baja and neglecting my trips to Italy and with it practicing italiano, my Italian got a little bit rusty, but still it was such a pleasure engaging in conversation with the chefs and listening to their melodic Italian accompanied by hand gestures. It almost felt like being back home.

 (Romana Lilic @LA76)

Raffaele Dimaio, Executive Chef of restaurants El Galeon and Romeo y Julieta, was the first Italian in Cabo San Lucas. He came here 25 years ago, when the only ingredient for Italian cuisine was the wild basil growing around freely. He brought the Italian flavor to Baja, the locals and visitors liked it, and soon more Italian restaurants started to open. A couple of years ago, Don Raffaelle was joined by Matias Forte, and recently by Christian Ricci. Matias is the Chef at Romeo y Julieta and Christian is the Chef at El Galeon. Passionate about cooking as only Italians can be, the three chefs took me behind the curtains to their domain and prepared some of their specialties. How did they know that you can win me over with fresh home made ravioli anytime!

 (Romana Lilic @LA76)

One might ask himself, is Italian cuisine in Baja really Italian? We all know that dishes get a bit localized and adjusted to the local places – it happens everywhere in the world. At El Galeon and Romeo y Julieta you can rest assured that you will have the best Italian meal, localized to the point that the Chefs use fresh Baja tomato and other suitable local supplies. Back to the basics Italian, with fresh ingredients, home made pasta in all forms, signature Italian pastry, salads and more. Besides Italian cuisine you will be able to experience the Mediterranean food at El Galeon as well – select dishes and combinations of Mediterranean flavors from Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, … And be prepared: besides the food itself, our chefs are trying to bring back the enjoyment of the food. They will surprise you with the presentations of their dishes, as they combine textures, colors and forms, allowing us to experience the dishes with all our senses and enjoy every bite.

 (Romana Lilic @LA76)

“Mangia mangia!”, they tell me when they notice I’m looking at delicious profiteroles covered with dark chocolate!

Buon appetito!

For true Italian or Mediterranean culinary experience in Cabo San Lucas,

El Galeon
Italian & Mediterranean

Romeo y Julieta
Italian restaurant

My article was originally published in ESCAPES magazine #7, photos are by LA76 photography.

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