Staying at the Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel in Puerto Vallarta (see Hobnob’s review of the hotel) was already a great treat and with all of the food and drink choices, as well as meals available while laying on the beach or on a terrace with a gorgeous view at our hotel, opting for dining out would have to be at least equally delicious. Puerto Vallarta’s rich culinary scene could be explored for days but for our short stay we had to pick carefully! Luckily we were right near the most popular shoreline, Playa de los Muertos—which translates to Dead Man’s Beach. It was anything but scary. Located in the Zona Romantica, it’s a great place to jet ski, windsurf and parasail, and is perfect for people watching. There is also high concentration of gay-friendly accommodations along the shore, so Playa de los Muertos is also considered a party haven for PV’s LGBTQ travelers.

At night there is an assortment of excellent restaurants and bars to go out to. We came upon Noroc without any prior research or knowledge about the place, since it is relatively new. Perhaps that is what made the pleasant surprise even more grand. The atmosphere is sublime, facing the Pacific Ocean you almost merge with the view while sitting in round, comfy booths surrounded by water. The layout of Noroc is pretty unusual. It feels like each group is floating in their own little, luxury raft. Mind you, after a few drinks, the feeling is even more realistic. However what makes it very practical is that the restaurant was full upon our arrival but it never felt overcrowded. There is plenty of space between the tables and each group has their privacy. It is perfect for special occasions, especially birthdays since they play special tunes and  a group of servers shows up with sparklers. 

Upon entering we were immediately greeted by Malberto Mendoza who gave us a quick tour and created a special pre-fix menu for our group. A portable bar was brought in front of our table and Malberto, and two men from his team presented our first drink. It was light punch-like non alcoholic aperitivo topped with walnuts. It was great to open up our appetite. I personally thought they would come over and ask us what we would like to drink so it was confusing that no one was bringing the drinks menu. Shortly after we learned that our four course menu would be paired with special cocktails. What a treat. 

They brought back the bar and in sync prepared a delicious, raicilla based cocktail served with a lucky charm, fermented red fruits and a touch of cheese umami. Have you ever tasted a drink with cheese? God Eye, which is also the name of the cocktail, according to huicholes, Huichol Indians who live in central northwest Mexico, it brings good luck. Color and taste were paired with the meal. We were served deep fried, artisan brie cheese with cranberry jelly and crispy serrano ham. I got very excited about this dinner after our first course. I have never had cocktails paired with my meal in such a spectacular way. 

Our second course was even more beautiful. Drinks were again served in front of us and this time glass was garnished with flower petals. Vaitiare, Flower of Water made with Mexican raspberry gin, jasmine and chamomile infusion and passion fruit liqueur, scented with roses perfectly matched flavors of our catch of the day, white fish, saffron sauce second course. 

Perfectly plated rack of lamb with hand picked seasonal vegetables and a dash of mint jelly was paired with a delicious red wine, 2014 Casa de Piedra ‘Vino de Piedra’ Tinto. 

Luckily someone in our group had a recent birthday therefore we had an excuse to order all the dessert on the menu. Of course Noroc paired a delicious cocktail to top the already spectacular dinner. Praline tartlet was my favorite however the foot of the lucky rabbit was a true experience. You guessed it, the name of the last drink was The Rabbit Foot. Annis, cinnamon, vanilla and cream of raicilla completed the Noroc flavors party! 

Noroc, Besilio Badillo 101, Romantic Zone, Colonia Emiliano, Puerto Vallarta