El Artesano Wine and Cheese

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There were a million and one reviews and people who have shared their story about El Artesano Wine & Cheese in San Juan. Starting with Joyce even before came to the Lake and then after we were here we heard nothing but great reviews. When my mom and Drew came for a visit we thought this was an ideal time to relish in a free day drinking and relaxing at this absolutely wonderful place.

Let’s start by saying that our dining experiences around the lake have been less than impressive. Now we have extremely low expectations and have found that while people seem to come here with great ideals and aspirations, the locals can’t match the culinary expectations and eventually the efforts fall short. It is not that they are incapable, but historically their food is very simple with light seasonings, so without consciously and carefully educating them you are often left with the local taste. El Artesano far exceeded our expectations here and any other wine and cheese concept in the world.

We really had no idea what we were in for – everyone said it was great, but that could mean a thousand and one things from a thousand and one personalities. We were very pleasantly surprised!

Walking into the entrance felt like we were going back in time to Italy, but with a modern, almost Brooklynesque edge. There were fantastic cocktails and unusual cheeses from around the world. The wine list was to die for with everything from bottles to glasses. The owner was behind the counter with an exacting era-specific hat, and apron with a butcher block table. Dried meats were hanging from the ceiling and the tables were impeccably set with blue-checkered cloths and tiny plates and napkins. The water came in clear jugs and the music was a blend of historic and modern parisian jazz.

The menu is robust and full of delicious offerings. Some with meat, some with light fare and all with unusual cheeses. We were told to only order 2 servings of the cheese platter so we could order other items to enjoy – and we are so glad that we did not order more – it was a HUGE portion. For 6 people 2 servings was more than enough with all the other items we ordered.

It was such an adventure and an extremely worthwhile experience.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vcex_image_galleryslider thumbnail_link=”none” custom_links_target=”_self” img_width=”9999″ img_height=”400″ img_thumb_width=”200″ img_thumb_height=”200″ caption=”true” animation=”slide” slideshow=”true” randomize=”false” smooth_height=”false” slideshow_speed=”7000″ animation_speed=”600″ image_ids=”3799,3800,3801,3802,3803,3804,3805,3806,3807,3809,3811,3812,3813,3814,3815″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Lake for Lovers…

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]We had a great Valentine’s day as a family… although none of the below happened. Truthfully we are not huge fans of Hallmark Holidays – although with Iza we are finding that it is more and more fun to watch her giggle at the traditions that we have known all our life.

Valentine’s 2016 is a year away, and in light of planning we figured it might be fun to share some of our clever and thoughtful things on the lake. Or maybe some of this will spark a non-Valentines day romantic excursion sometime during the year. We would both agree now is the time to be here. It is calm waters and gorgeous sunrises/sunsets everyday.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Kurt’s mom (Mommalei) sent Iza the cutest Valentine’s package filled with every possible sticker and adorable heart-shaped item you could buy. It was so thoughtful and she adored it. I suppose there is an inherent love for heart-shaped with little girls.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3820″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_text_separator title=”Best Things to Do on Lake Atitlan” title_align=”separator_align_center” style=”five” element_type=”div” font_size=”16px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3782″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none” img_size=”500×400″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3825″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”left” link=”http://www.racolife.com/la-fortuna-lake-atitlan-review/”][vc_column_text]La Fortuna is absolutely magical. We live here and we still wanted to spend the night! That has to say something, right? The hotel is expertly designed and appointed, setting the tone of some kind of Bali adventure. It was rated #1 most romantic hotel in Central America and #6 in the world. Worthwhile adventure and trip.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3793″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3826″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”left” link=”http://www.racolife.com/lomas-de-tzununa/”][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_column_text]Truly the most spectacular views of the lake, Lomas de Tzununa will take your breath away. It is not an easy feat to get to but when you reach the top you know why it was so much work… beauty doesn’t come easy.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3804″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”3827″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”left” link=”http://www.racolife.com/el-artesano-wine-and-cheese/”][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_empty_space height=”5px”][vc_column_text]Walking into the entrance of El Artesano feels like we are going back in time to Italy, but with a modern, almost Brooklynesque edge. It far exceeded all our expectations for what a wine & cheese bar should be (in any country and in any place in the world).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]