“Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz. ” Louis Armstrong
Think about nightlife in Cabo San Lucas and most conjure up images of loud, booming clubs with people packed in like sardines and lots of booze poured by equally loud and booming bartenders. Perfect if you want to get out and go a little bit nuts. But sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes what you’re looking for is cool, or hot, or a maybe a little bit of both. Someplace far from the madding crowd. Someplace where hot is sexy and cool is hotter yet.
Tucked into a corner of the Costa Real Hotel in downtown Cabo San Lucas is a place where cool flows as freely as wine - Sancho Panza Wine Bistro & Nightclub. Here you will find what is considered by many to be music in its highest form. . . jazz. Whether it’s smoky and suggestive, wild and rhythmic or flavored with Latin spice, jazz is the main course at this casual yet upscale establishment.
Owner and host Ron Kleist created Sancho Panza about nine years ago and opted to use Don Quixote’s venerable squire as its namesake. Sancho’s claim to fame was his insatiable pursuit of food and drink, and although not part of the writings of Cervantes, I suspect that good music was also the prey in many of his hunts. Much like Sancho, Ron has always sought to satisfy his cravings for good food, drink and music and his restaurant and nightclub benefit from Ron’s years of search and discovery.
Open seven days a week from four in the afternoon with live music starting at eight, Sancho Panza brings a more relaxed and intimate setting for dinner, wine tasting, cocktails and entertainment. Choose to sit inside at the bar or at one of many well- trimmed tables, or outside where tables line the walkway and a welcoming sea breeze awaits. A hot summer night usually moves the band outside and the walls of the Costa Real provide for remarkably good acoustics.
Recently, one such summer night found us joining friends Lori and Craig Harrison at an outside table for a Wednesday wine-tasting event. The tasting showcased a wonderful assortment of Australian wines from Rosemount vineyards. The decision was made to sample a selection of appetizers from a delightfully extensive list. The menu at Sancho Panza Wine Bistro is based on Mediterranean bistro cuisine with a Latin American influence. Some of our favorites included; Tuna Carpaccio, Porcini Mushroom Fondue, Steamed Mussels and Calamari in Ajillo Chile. Each paired well with the tasting selections for the evening with the 2004 Rosemount Cabernet- Shiraz being our groups decided star.
Having perused the entire menu, a return visit is already on our books for our next trip to Los Cabos. Entrees feature such diverse dishes as Lamb Shank Osobuco, Latin Pork Tenderloin, Sea Bass with Cherry Tomatoes and Wild Mushrooms and Blackened Tuna Steak. The menu changes frequently with seasonal availability playing a major role. Ron utilizes many chef-consultants in the planning of the menu and development of new dishes. Most recently, Chef Rafael Luquin has been brought in to augment the already impressive offerings. Luquin has studied and practiced culinary arts around the globe including; The Culinary Institute of America in San Francisco, Napa and New York; abroad in France, Spain and Italy; as sous chef at the Four Seasons London; and has also worked as private chef for celebrities like Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart. The caliber of people Ron brings in to assist in making his kitchen the best it can be speaks volumes.
Sancho Panza enhances their calendar of events with; the Sancho Panza Classic Car Show; Belly Dancers; Art Shows; Wednesday Night Wine Tasting and winery events. Future plans call for charity events and more of Mexico’s and Latin America’s best jazz music.
Whether your visit to Los Cabos is your first or fiftieth, you owe it to yourself to spend an evening with Ron and his guests, especially if jazz is your thing. Ron’s carefree attitude and effervescent personality are at the very least, infectious, and if leaving at the end of night with a smile on your face and a tune in your head sounds good to you, Sancho Panza’s is as hot, or cool, as it gets!
Richard Chudy is the author and President of Cabo's Best, a travel website dedicated to Los Cabos. To learn more about Cabo, visit http://www.CabosBest.com or email Richard at cabo email@example.com .