- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
If you are staying at an all-inclusive hotel, the food there will be plentiful and somewhat varied. However, should you want to get out for a bit and treat yourself to a gourmet meal, Deli Swiss (Guayacanes, Calle Central 338, tel. 809/526-1226, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) serves up some expensive but fresh and fantastic seafood. The prices vary dramatically as everything is cooked according to what is fresh. Suffice it to say that this won’t be cheap, but it will be fantastic.
The wine list is one of the best in the country. If you’re not a wine connoisseur, let the waitstaff choose for you. Enjoy classical music while dining on the oceanfront terrace as garlic and the smell of the sea intermingle.
Aura Beach House (Juan Dolio, tel. 809/526-2319, 11 a.m.–1 a.m. daily, US$10–27) is situated directly on the beach. This place is gorgeous, very tastefully decorated in white with natural woods and shells. This is more of a beach club by day, where you can sun yourself on chaise lounges in the sand, lunch at interspersed tables, or even contemplate life out on comfortable loungers in the shallow waters offshore. It’s a place to spend the day in luxury on the beach. Swim a little, eat a lot, and spend a bunch. At night, aglow with candlelight, it transforms into a romantic must.
Specialties include ceviche, salads, sushi, sashimi, seafood, pasta, crepes, and desserts. If you are a ceviche fan, get the Peruvian ceviche (mero marinated in lime and onions). In fact, get two. It’s definitely a place to see and be seen yet relax at the same time. They have the ambience and pretty darn good cuisine, but lately, the service has suffered a bit due to the fact that they have at least three different servers per one table. Hopefully, they will rectify this misstep in their otherwise perfect recipe for success.
Playa del Pescador Bar & Restaurant (Guayacanes, tel. 809/526-2613, 8 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily). This peaceful thatch-hut Dominican version of a tiki bar is sitting directly on the best sandy stretch of Guayacanes beach. You can lie down on a lawn chair all day if you want, or sit under one of their palapa tables to be served from the restaurant. Seafood specialties like camarones a la plancha, cazuela (seafood stew), and paella are served fresh. Pick a crab or lobster from the tank and have them prepare it to your liking. Breakfast is available as well; there’s a special VIP section on the second level. Don’t get too dressed up—this is a casual and open air restaurant.
Ristorante El Sueño (Juan Dolio, Calle Principal 330, tel. 809/526-3903, 12 p.m.–3:30p.m. and 7p.m.–11 p.m. daily) is an Italian restaurant and pizzeria that is a nice respite, with its tablecloths and outdoor patio. The big menu includes soups, pastas, salads, meats, fish, seafood, and, of course, pizza. If you’ve never had pizza in the Dominican Republic, you’re in for a treat here. Expect to spend about RD$300–500. Delivery is free.
El Concon (Juan Dolio, Calle Principal, tel. 809/526-2562, open 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Thurs.–Tues.) is a popular restaurant with locals that serves grilled seafood and fish, traditional dishes, pastas, and pizza. Delivery is available. It’s on the beach but not facing the beach. Yeah, we wanted to know why, too.
Mandalay Bar-Grill (Juan Dolio, Plaza Colonia Tropical, tel. 809/526-1108, noon–11 p.m. daily) is across the street from the Barceló Capella. The newest addition to the Juan Dolio scene is a sleek and swanky air-conditioned restaurant that has seating both inside and outside. Their generous menu offers Asian, seafood, pizza, Mexican, sushi, burgers, and sandwiches. There is no possible way you can’t find something to eat here.
In addition, it has one of the most impressive wine cellars around. Try the panko roll: cream cheese, plantains, and black tiger shrimp, which is then tempura fried. Once a month they have well-known Dominican musicians perform. Former acts have included Ramon Orlando and Anthony Rios.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition