At a Glance:
Let’s start by talking about the location, which makes the fish better in two distinct ways, which I’ll explain in a bit.
From Samaná, you can take a road that goes straight north all the way to a beach called El Valle. Sure, you’ll need a good car that can drive through some tough conditions, including crossing a river, but it’s worth it.
Once you get there, you’ll immediately be accosted by one of the many (I think about 4) restaurant owners. They take turns saying hello to tourists and luring them to THEIR restaurant. Some things about the Dominican culture will never make sense to me.
We were approached by Clarixa, who’s restaurant is the furthest right, and so she proceeded to start making us a fresh fish lunch, from scratch, on coals.
Yeah, it took a while, but in the meantime, we lizarded in the sun in complete amazement of the scale and serenity of our surroundings.
El Valle is an enormous beach, blocked by cliffs on both sides, and completely undeveloped, save the few typical restaurants. The only thing to remind you there is a real world out there is the giant mansion perched up top of the hill, and occasional ATV tours that pass by.
Other than that, it’s just fishermen, and a kid on a donkey filling load after load of coconuts.
Pure, Virgin, Genuine. An endangered species.
And so not only is your perception of the food better because of your surroundings, but the fish itself, freshly caught that morning from unpolluted, wild seas, is actually top quality.
The Mero we had could have fed a small family.
For RD$350 each, it came acompanied by your usual tostones (smashed and fried plantain “chips”) coco moro (rice cooked in coconut milk with typical beans called “guandules”) beans in sauce, and salad.
Anyone who’s been in the DR will be thinking “big deal, I get this on any beach” Oh no you do not, dear sir!
I’m not sure if it’s because she’s been doing it for over 20 years, or if this woman was born with magical talents, but EVERYTHING she made us that day was exceptionally succulent and spectacular.
I don’t know how else to describe it, yes folks, I’m actually at a loss for words. We devoured that fish, and everything else we were served.
Perfectly seasoned, subtle, juicy fish! Wow! By far the best fish in the Dominican Republic, as far as I know, so far, out of all the fish I’ve eaten here.
Well Clarixa was nice enough. In general I hate being accosted by vendors as soon as I get to a place, so I dropped the star rating a bit, but really, this isn’t her fault, it’s a strange cultural thing I’ve yet to wrap my head around.
Having said that, she took good care of us, and prepared our meals with love, chatted us up, gave us the inside scoop on the area and told us she’d hook us up with a room if we wanted to stay in the area longer, which we will hopefully be able to take her up on in the future.
Get out of your all inclusive, get a car, drive here, stay on this beach for a week, have Clarixa make you breakfast lunch and dinner, watch your outlook on life do a full 180. Seriously. This place is pure Magic!