Tres Scalini Restaurant Review Costa Rica

Tres Scalini is the old “Casa Italia” owner, cook, and staff.  If you haven’t been to Costa Rica, you probably don’t care for this post or know what I’m talking about.  But if you have been to the San Jose area and loathed for good Italian eats, than you know exactly where I am going with this post.  For starters, Casa Italia (also called Il Ritorno) was near San Pedro, which is a suburb of San Jose.  the area wasn’t the best, but it’s where they were set up for years on end.  Being the best Italian place in the country, Tony ended up selling that location and moving across town to the “ritzy” area of west suburb Santa Ana.  I say “ritzy” with a sidenote that I think nothing about Costa Rica is ritzy.  Some is tropical, but ritzy isn’t the right word.  Although if you ask a local they will certainly agree that Santa Ana and Escazu are considered the high society area of the country where most expatriates reside.

There are few competitors in the Italian dining space in the Central Valley of Costa Rica.  One being Cerutti, which is more of a fancy, fine dining establishment you would take a date or spouse, the other being Cafe DiBartolo.  Depending on who you ask, DiBartolo is often called the best Italian establishment in Costa Rica.  Personally, I can’t stand the attitude there nor the fact that you they make you feel like an ant if you don’t spend $500 or more every time you set foot in the door.  In light of keeping things cordial, I’ll say their food is great but I’ll never be back after dozens upon dozens of past visits.  I’ll also add that I’m very happy Tres Scalini is kicking their ass on the west side of town now and grabbing their market share.

Back to my Tres Scalini review, I’ll state that the menu consists of fine Italian entrees, appetizers, and they also boast an extensive wine list, if your into that sort of thing.  Of course, it can get pricey if you order fine wines, but of course, that’s up to you.  The prices for the meals are VERY fair, and the head chef, Tony, asks you if you’d like anything in particular.  Don’t be shy, if something you like to order is not on the menu, he will make it for you.  Just ask.  My personal favorites are the veal parmesan with extra parmesan, as well as the Tortellini Michaelangelo, which is oustanding!  They also have a very fresh ceasar salad that comes with tons of anchovies, so if you are into those, certainly tell them and you will be in for something special.

Tres Scalini’s staff is warm, polite, and suggestive, but never pushy.  They are professional, courteous, and a pleasure to be around.  This is by far the best Italian restaurant in Costa Rica.  It’s not even close.  Congrats to Tony and his  team for opening up on the west side of town.  Wishing them tons of success.

-Terry Bender

Resident travel blogger and Miami Socialite