Lugareño Café/Villa Valentina
Lugareño translates to Villager in English and when you enter the Village of Villa Valentina’s sundrenched, elegant courtyard, you are surrounded by beauty and creativity everywhere you look. Set in the heart of San Jose del Cabo, it is the perfect setting for an intimate dinner or a large gathering.
Lugareño Café, open for breakfast and lunch, is located on the terrace with a seafront view and is the concept of Daniel Talamante, the son of the Matriarch, Juliette. Juliette built the first building 17 years ago which is now an upscale interior design store, Villa Valentina. It has continued to grow and change throughout the years to become the Village it is today with flower filled terraces, pottery and artifacts along with regional plants and cactus of every description.
I decided to seek out Lugareño Café for a Baja Beat review because I was hearing reports about their extensive breakfast menu along with great coffee drinks, tea and naturally extracted juices but it turned out that I arrived for lunch. I tried the Rabbit Gorditas and was pleasantly surprised – it was truly a substantial and memorable meal. The Crab Benedict with Avocado is on the top of my list to try on my next visit. You could also try the Crab Cake Burger or the Banana Leaf Tamal with artichoke hearts, poblano chile, quinoa and black beans. There are delicious salads to choose from as well as burgers and fries. I am a sap for sweet potato fries and these were the best ever.
Lugareño has a full bar with handcrafted cocktails along with a good wine and beer selection.
Paella Sundays are becoming very popular with a traditional Paella Valenciana made from pork loin, Spanish chorizo, bell peppers, saffron, chicken, capers, shrimp, clams and mussels. They are open from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm but you must make a reservation if you want to indulge in the Paella – otherwise you can order off the regular menu.
The Villa Valentina restaurant will re-open in October in the courtyard for dinner and live jazz. Daniel has partnered with two very good friends from Morelia and Queretaro and they plan to prepare authentic Mexican cuisine rooted in tradition yet executed in a completely contemporary fashion.
Juliette’s daughter, Tanya, is a celebrated artist and her art gallery is located in the courtyard where she exhibits her work and gives classes.
The newest addition is a lovely boutique hotel with three stylish suites decorated with extraordinary Mexican furnishings, objets d’art and the delightful artwork of Tanya Talamante adds further charm to the overall ambiance. On offer – Design | Food | Wine | Art | Comfort | Culture | Music.
There are ongoing discussions about how to better utilize the courtyard space and Daniel is contemplating a high end bazaar at least one day a week.
Guests like to gather at the Petanque Court (French pronunciation: petɑ̃k) located on the terrace next to the cafe. Petanque originated in France in the early 1900’s and is extremely simple. There’s a target, and you have to get as close to it as possible. What makes it so appealing, is that you can be way ahead for a while, yet lose a second later, or vice versa. Because nothing is decided until the last player plays the very last boule.
First impressions have always been important to me and when I step into Villa Valentina’s French Mediterranean courtyard, I am transported to another place and time. I have always loved this charming little Village that has so much potential. Fortunately for those of us who live here or visit, the Talamante family is not squandering the endless possibilities.
Lugareño Café / The Suites by Villa Valentina
Phone: 011(52) 624 142 6612
US Phone: 1(858) 869-1714
Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 31.5
San José del Cabo, BCS. México, 23400