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Published: October 6th 2017
Chapter Three: Settling In
Around 4:00, Butler Carlos, his assistant Flavio and Chef Richard arrive at Casa Brisa. Richard announces the menu for this evening which offers, after pumpkin soup, a choice of local lobster, snapper or roasted hen followed by a candied apple dessert available whenever we wanted it served. Beryl opts for the snapper and I request that Richard choose for me.
Feeling better now, I ask for dinner around seven preceded by a cheese plate and a bottle of 2014 Baron Phillipe de Rothschild sauvignon blanc as soon as it can be arranged. Our staff trio nod enthusiastically and retire to make it so. Don’t be impressed by the wine choice. It’s Chilean and sells for about twelve bucks a bottle in the U.S. and only a bit more at $21 here, but I’m well acquainted with the other two sauvignon blancs (Kim Crawford at $35 and Cakebread at $56) so I decide to take a fling. All the wine—even the reds and sparkling—are fairly priced even though we are a captive audience. I’m impressed by that. 2012 Alexander Valley Silver Oak is $108 and Ruffino Prosecco is $25 (Dom Perignon is
If Chuck was here I’d treat him to a Cohiba Lanceros or Romeo y Julieta Churchills Habana cigar, the most expensive at $28 for either from the list of nineteen choices.
FYI: the staff always discreetly announces themselves with a “Hello” offered from a distance…just in case.
At 6:45, they arrive to set up our evening meal. They inquire if we would prefer to dine on our veranda or in the garden. I asked which was best; they said the moonlight in the garden was preferable on a night like this one. They ask if we would prefer for them to set up our Brisa as open-air or air-conditioned. I ask which they suggest. “Tonight, air-conditioning would perhaps be best in case it should rain. The wind might blow some water through the slats in your bedroom doorway…” Air-conditioned is ordered.
In the garden, surrounded by tiki torches and designs etched in the sand beneath the palms, we feasted on beautifully presented pumpkin soup, “shrimp two ways,” our snapper and lobster entrees and the apple desert which turned out to be a cocktail, flan, pie and ice
cream. The service was impeccable as we have come to expect with two servers simultaneously placing covered dishes before us, unveiling them in unison with an announcement of what had just appeared. Oh; it also tasted good.
The Rothschild turns out to be disappointing; we will switch to Kim Crawford; New Zealand outshines Chili in Belize.
As we prepare to retire, I ask about morning coffee. “We arrive at 7:30 with coffee, fruit and juice along with your breakfast menu,” I am told.
“And, if I want coffee before that?”
“Just push the ‘On’ button on your coffee maker. We have it set up for you.” Well, of course.
After dinner, we retire to our mosquito net canopied bed and read until we fall blissfully asleep.
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