leave your inhibitions at the door
Even though the spa and the service at the Ritz-Carlton in Puerto Rico left much to be desired, I do need to give them credit for some really good food.
The signature restaurant there is Mi Casa, which comes from the mind of Jose Andres.
Andreas was a student of Ferran Adria at El Bulli, and has gone on to own over a dozen restaurants in the US. I went to his China Poblano in Las Vegas and absolutely loved it. Here at the Ritz, it’s mainly Spanish cuisine with some nods to traditional Puerto Rican food, all with some unexpected surprises.
This was the main restaurant at the hotel and the only one that was open for breakfast.
During the day it didn’t seem that nice, but at night the artwork really stood out.
That last one was created by glass beads suspended from monofilament suspended from the ceiling. Gorgeous.
What We Ate
There were a couple pages of tapas-portioned plates and a few main courses. They offered two different tasting menus but they seemed a little much – we were a little tired and couldn’t bear the thought of a three hour meal. So we opted for a few small plates as an appetizer and then a main course.
The combinations of textures and flavors were spot-on. One of the critiques of modern cuisine is that elements in a dish are often included for the “hey, look at me” effect. Not so here – every component played a key role in each dish. Boom Boom’s snapper was fantastic – the shaved asparagus was a bright, soft counterpart to the crispy fish.
My veal cheeks were a big disappointment – salty, mushy, blurred flavors. Hindsight is 20/20 – it seemed like an oddball entree for the rest of the menu and now I’m pretty sure it was tossed on there so there’s something a little more mainstream available. Those often are afterthoughts. Call me overcompetitive, but I wanted to see how they measured up to my braised veal cheeks. They didn’t.
The desserts, however, were an excellent finish to the meal.
My advice if you ever find yourself there? Stick with the small plates.
Was it worth it?
Tough question… The meal was generally excellent but approached the $400 mark for two people (including wine). There aren’t that many meals that are worth that much and definitely not one with a shitty main course. Even the skincare magnate multi-millionaire at the next table (who joined us for a glass or three) agreed that it was a little overpriced.
But, then again, we didn’t pay a dime for it.