Sentido Norte at Casa Chameleon: An Unforgettable Experience Awaits – Howler Dining Guide

Sentido Norte at Casa Chameleon: An Unforgettable Experience Awaits – Howler Dining Guide

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We knew we had to get busy when Erick, the acting manager at Sentido Norte, asked my girlfriend to strike the gong three times as the sun hit the ocean so they could light the three flame jets in the infinity pool at Casa Chameleon.

Sentido Norte: Smoking Hot Food
and a Swimming Pool on Fire

Guiselle stepped up and banged on the gong like she was batting in the World Series. The three flames in the swimming pool burst to life, to the shock and awe of the assembled guests, who oohed and aahed and took pictures.


“That’s something we give away,” said Warner Ortega, the chef at Sentido Norte. “We don’t just give provide good food or a good drink, we provide an experience.”

The first thing you should know about Sentido Norte is that the location is perfect. Perched on a hill above the Mediterranean-style village of Las Catalinas, the restaurant and bar have a sweeping view of a stunning seascape, with Playa Danta on the right, Playa Pan de Azúcar on the left and an array of picturesque islets in front.

“It’s a view that transports you to another world,” said Magdalena, one of our party of four.

Sentido Norte Bar guanacaste-restaurant-casa-cameleon-4

The romantic setting makes this the perfect place for a special event like celebrating a birthday or anniversary — even better if you spend the night in one of the stunning villas at the swanky Casa Chameleon.

Casa Chameleon: “It’s a view
that transports you to another world.”

The bar is a beauty, all teak with cane ceilings, decorated with Moroccan light fixtures and Indonesian touches. A larger-than-life Hindu goddess is seated cross-legged by the pool, her back to the elements, embodying the serenity of this place.

We sat in the bar facing the sea and ordered a sangria, a mojito, a Casarita and a Rosey Rikki, which were all really good. We had some ceviche with homemade potato chips.

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About the time it got dark, we were escorted from the bar to the dining room and seated at a table that looked too pretty to be disturbed.

The plates alone were more beautiful than anything I own. There were cloth napkins in the middle of them, weighted by gorgeous brass chameleons.

Our server was a sweet young lady named Ema who explained all the specials and answered all our questions. The special was an appetizer of red snapper carpaccio and a main course of braised short rib and mushroom risotto.

I called dibs on the special. Guiselle ordered the “rondón,” a Caribbean seafood stew that gets its name from Jamaican cooks who made soup out of whatever they could “run down.” Magdalena ordered the ribeye and potatoes, and Marty wanted the tuna poke bowl.Sentido-Norte-menu-poke-Casa-Chameleon

For a warm-up we munched on fried squid, which arrived on top of a cream cheese sauce that was almost too good to be true.

Comic relief was supplied by a tourist who screamed at the top of her lungs upon spotting a gecko, which got the entire restaurant laughing.

The food arrived and we all got busy making it disappear. Guiselle gave me a shrimp boiled in tasty coconut milk. Magdalena devoured her ribeye, Marty plunged into his poke bowl and I savored the richness of my risotto.

“The idea of our food is fusion,” said Warner. “It’s putting organic products, locally sourced products from this region, and using them to create all kinds of dishes for discriminating tastes.”

Dessert was a chocolate brownie with a red berry sorbet.

By the way, if you spend the night here breakfast is included, and it’s sublime. Try the French toast with sweet plantains, coconuts, cashews and macadamia, or the bacon and potato omelette with Swiss cheese.


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