One of the destinations in the SkyMed service area is Puerto Rico, a tiny island with a big heart and an even bigger tradition of delicious cuisine. Knowing he pals around with chefs both on and off the island, we asked islander Carlos A. Coriano, founder of NovaVision Marketing and a self-driven entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience in the travel, hospitality, gastronomy and fashion industries to give us a little insight on where to find a good meal in Puerto Rico. Yeah, knows a good mofongo when he sees it.
Below is a list of restaurants featuring Puerto Rican cuisine from traditional to innovative. According to Carlos, there’s a trend now for presenting the mofongo with mashed yucca, which, in his (and my) humble opinion, is exquisite compared to the traditional plantain mofongo.
- La Jaquita Baya by Chef Xavier Pacheco – Positioned as the closest you can get to a Puerto Rican farm-to-table experience. https://www.facebook.com/lajaquitabaya
- Pub Belly YSLA by Chef Jose Mendin – This is a new concept in the heart of Santurce – the IN place for foodies. It is a blend of Puerto Rican-Asian. I’ve enjoyed about 10 different plates and it simply exquisite – my favorite is the Mofongo with yuca and camaron al ajillo. The concept is based on plates to share. Here’s the menu and website: http://pbysla.com/dinner-menu/
- Lote 23 – An outdoor space in the heart of Santurce with 16+ kiosks offering a delicious variety of gastronomic offerings, live music, entertainment opened every day except Mondays. I’ve tried La Alcapurría Quemá, Dorotea’s Pizza by chef Raul Correa and my favorite: Pernilería Los Proceres by Chef Mario Juan of Aretē. http://remezcla.com/features/food/lote-23-food-market-santurce-puerto-rico/
- Casita Miramar (owned by the founders of the famous La Casita Blanca – Puerto Rican restaurant concept; elegant Puerto Rican décor and delicious menu (similar to La Casita Blanca but with a upscale twist). https://www.facebook.com/casitamiramarpr/
- Zest by Chef Raul Correa (in the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel, Isla Verde) – globally inspired casual menu influenced by iconic local dishes and using locally sourced ingredients. My favorite: pork belly sliders, guava BBQ, chayote slaw and the fried whole snapper with mofongo. http://waterbeachhotel.com/zest/
- El Mercado – new communal-style food concept offering 15+ culinary experiences from award-winning local chefs and purveyors in Paseo Caribe’s oceanfront market adjacent to Caribe Hilton. A great variety of innovative Puerto Rican concepts. My favorite: the ceviche at La Pescadora: https://www.facebook.com/ElMercadoPaseoCaribe/
- Costa Restaurant: Mar.Tierra.Mercado – Located in Calle Loiza, this new concept specializes in international dishes, featuring the ceviche (great variety). I tried the shrimp-stuffed salmon over yucca majada (exquisite). https://www.facebook.com/CostaRestaurantMarTierraMercado/ Here’s a write-up: http://imagen.pr/destino-para-ceviche-pescado-fresco-y-carnes-en-la-loiza/
- La Cueva del Mar (Calle Loiza) – Delicious seafood (https://www.facebook.com/lacuevadelmar/). The seafood rice served with a side of tostones is my favorite.
- Jose Enrique (La Placita)J– Delicious Puerto Rican cuisine by chef Jose Enrique. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/176duffaut/ Here’s a nice write-up: https://www.eater.com/platform/amp/2017/5/30/15693624/jose-enrique-is-reason-enough-to-visit-puerto-rico