Prepare yourself for an unforgettable dining experience at Marmalade (317 Calle Fortaleza, 787/724-3969, fax 787/724-4001, www.marmaladepr.com, Mon.–Thurs. 6–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 6 p.m.–midnight, Sun. 6–10 p.m., bar daily 5 p.m. until late, $24.50– 29). This lovely, romantic chef-owned restaurant serves an ever-changing eclectic seasonal menu. The fun starts with the creative cocktail menu: Cointreau jelly, kiwi puree, jasmine flowers, and Compari foam were among the ingredients featured on a recent visit. Appetizers included pan-roasted foie gras and prosciutto di Parma, served with grilled peaches. Among the entrées were duck breast stuffed with Roquefort cheese and apple slices, and lamb lasagna made with Persian feta cheese.
For pure drama, dine in the bar area, where great sheaths of aqua, orange, and rose-colored silk organza drape from the high ceilings to the floor and marble-top tables are surrounded by deep plush couches with curved backs loaded with pillows. The sedate dining room in the back is more quietly elegant.
Located in the luxury Chateau Cervantes boutique hotel, Panza (329 Recinto Sur, 787/289-8900, www.cervantespr.com, daily 8 a.m.–noon, Mon.–Sat. 6–11 p.m., $26–35), is a new fine-dining restaurant serving creative interpretations of classic dishes. The lobster bisque with coconut is a specialty.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition