San Juan, Puerto Rico

We’re heading to San Juan next week for a work/play trip (hubby works; I play). We’d really appreciate some dinner recommendations – at least one fine dining spot for celebrating an anniversary and a birthday; a couple of places where the local cuisine is featured; and any other “don’t miss” places you might think of. We like all kinds of food and enjoy local ambience. We’ll have a car and don’t mind driving for the right dining experience. Thanks!

I may be too late. We really like Cocina Abierta in Condado - delicious food but a slightly strange spot (I think the food is worth it). For nice food with a view, Oceano in Condado is also nice. We had dinner in the smart restaurant in the Vanderbilt and enjoyed it - it was quite OTT and American style service (we are English) but lovely food and a special setting. In Isla Verde, we like BLT Steak at the Ritz (we live on a tiny Caribbean island so want a bit of glam occasionally). Metropol for Puerto Rican food can be good but not a very stylish setting. In Old San Juan, people rave about Marmalade. We have had one good and one bad meal there. We like the tapas place in El Convento.

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We returned home just a short while ago. Overall, I felt the “usual” sources for dinner recommendations (Yelp; Trip Advisor) did NOT speak to our dining sensibilities, but we did have one outstanding dinner and that was at Marmalade. We opted for the 5-course dinner with the wine pairings. There was nothing that was less than wonderful. The presentation of each dish showed the creativity and care that went into the presentation. The service was superb; our server described each dish as well as the accompanying wine. And a special treat was meeting Chef Peter Schintler, who serves dessert to every table and takes time to chat with the customers.

Unfortunately, our dinner at Marmalade was on our last night because Chef Peter recommended another restaurant, Bodega Compostela, that sounded wonderful. Maybe next time. And if there is a next time, we would choose to stay in a location other than Condado – maybe Isla Verde – and I’ll certainly reference your recommendations. Thanks, Rocky!

Has anyone tried José Enrique? Their website is pretty lacking so you need to look on their Yelp page to get an idea of the place. They do not take reservations and seem to be a few miles from downtown. We will be in SJ for a late afternoon and evening next January for a cruise and I’ve saved the information so we can go there for dinner.

I had a great meal there six years ago

Thanks. I had searched for Jose Enrique here but did not find the post. I’m excited that we will be there on a Tuesday so they will be open. Normally our cruises leave on Saturday and we’d be in SJ on a Monday, when they are closed. And hopefully it won’t be that busy so we can get a table without much of a wait.

Now I realize why I didn’t find it… it was on the other site :).

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