Costa Rica Restaurants: Aging hipster recommends Finca Bonanza in Ciudad Colón.

Finally, a place to eat, drink and lounge west of San José that doesn’t cost a fortune. Finca Bonanza at the entrance to Ciudad Colón (turn left at Johel’s restaurant and follow the signs up the hill) has the best bar view west of the Meseta, casual environment, wheelchair access and a menu that has European sophistication (sans the pretension), a proper range of comfort food and an easy list of drinks.

The Douma family have been world travelers for decades. The Bonanza siblings, hostess Ambar and chef Iwan grew up learning from cultures as far and wide as México, New Zealand and their native Holland. Their parents, Lux and Wim chose Ciudad Colón as their permanent home 16 years ago because of choice weather and access to good schools.

People have always said that Ciudad Colón is like living at the beach, it’s usually drier and warmer here than in San José.

The restaurant, once the family home, is perched a top a tiny hill and is surrounded by acres of thriving forest. Proximity to the Julia and David White Artist’s Colony brings endearing regulars who trek the conjoining footpaths to enjoy a menu based on international all-time favorites: Mexican tortillas, Steak fillet and spicy Thai.

There’s also grilled fish, Monterrey chicken, eggplant Parmesan, seasonal soups and, if you’d like to what the Dutch make all the fuss about, try the meatballs and spicy mustard or the three-cheese macaroni.

Not named after the television series, Bonanza is the Mexican luck of the innocent, he who reaches in and plucks live fish from the ocean. The mingling of both new-comers and old-timers are making sunsets and Arne’s cocktails on the second floor lounge of Finca Bonanza a good “reason-to-be-happy” hour.

For more information, please call the Finca Bonanza at (506) 249-1185

Written by Jaleh Ruhe who is a bilingual freelance writer living in Ciudad Colón. Her opera prima “La casa de las muchachas” was awarded the prestigious RELAT award in Peru and was published by Editorial Cuarto Propio in Chile in 2003. She’s working on her next novel.

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