Don Pedro’s Restaurant & Bar is situated on the main beach in Sayulita under a beautiful thatched palapa. It is the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, as you take in the view and enjoy the breeze. The restaurant was established in 1994 and is a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. Damien Porter, who owns Don Pedro’s with his cousin and chef, Nicholas Parrillo, sits down with El Sayulero to share more about Don Pedro’s and the exciting renovations they have undergone.
How did Don Pedro’s first come about?
My father, Peter, and my brother, Francis, were the first in the family to visit Sayulita on a surf trip back in early 90s. My father fell in love with the town and purchased property with the idea of building a home. I visited after graduating from college and we remodeled one structure and decided to build a restaurant. My cousin, Nicholas Parrillo, was a trained chef in Los Angeles so we asked him to help us get a restaurant up and running. We christened Don Pedro’s in the spring of 1994.
How would you describe the cuisine?
Mediterranean base with Mexican and Asian influences. I guess you could call it California cuisine.
What do you consider your specialty items to be?
Our mesquite grilled Sonoran filet mignon or seared Ahi tuna are big favorites, but our red beet ravioli and puttanesca are really special dishes. Can’t leave out tuna sashimi tostadas or the pizzas.
How has business changed from when you first opened your doors until now?
There is a lot more volume of both tourists and locals who now call Sayulita and the area home and everyone is a lot more knowledgeable about food and are interested in to trying new dishes.
How has business been this tourist season compared to other seasons?
It has been a great year so far. It seems like we’re finally growing into our capacity.
You recently have done some remodeling. What changes have you made and why?
We widened the front entrance, put in a new stone floor, new hardwood tables and new color scheme throughout. Hana Waxman consulted with us on the remodel with the idea of giving a simple yet elegant ambiance to the restaurant.
What remodeling plans do you have for the future?
There is a bit more work to be done on the entrance as well as upgrades to the bathrooms and some new lighting. We also are planning some beach service improvements and a refresh of the upstairs dining room. Poco a poco.
How has the remodel changed the ambience at Don Pedro’s?
I think that it is a more inviting, modern and comfortable main level.
What is the best thing about your location?
Beautiful beachfront location with a lot of activities right out front on the main beach while being only a couple blocks from the town plaza.
Do you have entertainment at Don Pedro’s? If so, what type?
We have Salsa Night every Monday with a six piece Cuban Salsa band. A Flamenco Guitar duet, Latcho and Andrea, play on Thursday nights as well.
Monday nights are salsa night. Can you tell us more about this?
We’ve been doing it for over ten years now...we just try to put together authentic Cuban Salsa with people who really enjoy the music. We get quite a few dancers from Vallarta who come out every Monday to enjoy the scene which is a good mix of tourists, locals and serious Salsa aficionados.
What do you love most about owning and running Don Pedro’s in Sayulita?
That I work with my cousin, Nick Parrillo, who is the executive chef, and that many of our employees have been with us for such a long time that it really is a family business.
You are very involved in the Sayulita community and believe in giving back. Will you share more about this?
Well, we have all gotten so much from Sayulita over the years and we need to take responsibility for the rapid changes, both good and bad, that have happened because of how popular the town has become. I’ve always thought of the village as home, but now with raising a family here and being connected to so many locals, it truly is our home.
Any final thoughts or words?
Always have a good time….