Marmalade | San Juan, Puerto Rico

white bean soup shooter with truffle oil and panchetta dust
Seemingly a restaurant with the best reviews in San Juan, Marmalade, had to be tasted. We ventured out in the late evening and were promptly seated at a lovely table with golden chargers.

The service was effortless, especially compared to the horrible experience at Lost Cafe (no pun intended) in the morning.  Staff were happy to customize the drinks; no small feat for our somewhat rowdy bunch. I thank whomever made mine - it was a perfectly balanced pineapple mojito that I will remember for a long time.

The menu is diverse. Though the ingredients far from local, they are from sources personally known by the chef. As he put it, he can put a face to a voice on the phone line belonging to his Oregon mushroom forager (where by the way, morels are in season in August).

Chef Peter Schintler telling me about Oregon mushroom farming

We ordered a sampling from most of the menu. I tried the red snapper ceviche, Kobe beef cheeks with peas and morels, and the lamb tagine; as well as a sampling of the white bean soup infused with black truffle oil and pancetta, compliments of the house (twice). All of which were delectable.

Overall, this is not the place to go to try local cuisine. But if you want world-class dining, in a beautiful, loungy atmosphere, come here. Oh, and get a drink!

Photos: Courtesy of I.Z.

more photos coming...

St. Germain | San Juan, Puerto Rico

How great is it to be careless, in the company of friends and enjoying great food in an island atmosphere?! It's not often something I make time for, same can be said for my friends.  So when an opportunity to enjoy each other's company to celebrate a big event in a friend's life presented itself, we all gladly jumped at the chance. 

fresh squeezed orange juice

We took a day to explore the old town. On the walk down the hill from the El Morro Castle in the hot midday sun, we collectively followed our fearless leader to her Frommer's find.  Ducking from pigeons, finding a little breeze on shady side of scorching streets, we found St. Germain to be full. Drenched, we waited, in hopes of good food.  

We were seated shortly and took in the air conditioning with the lovely atmosphere and creative brunch menu.   High, beamed ceilings in this tiny spot give it presence and an airy feel.  Adorned with local art, playful antique picture frames, and farm-house tables, the place is full of locals. 

The preset brunch menu as explained to us by Paola, will not leave you wanting to eat/drink for some time! The service and food were both amazing.  Like several places we went to in PR, a mix cuisines: French, highlighted with seafood and some middle eastern flavors. Refreshing, creative, light, yet filling.  At the end of the meal, Paola sat with us to recommend places for dinner and dancing.  Overall, a wonderful experience with a soft samba in the background. I'd return with friends any day.

white sangria with apples and pears

the pre-brunch fruit salad with toasted granola

salmon eggs benedict

baked eggs with mint and goat cheese (they have several varieties)

collage by a local artist (very Frida Kahlo)


baked eggs with salmon and capers