The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Puerto Rico Eats: Mi Casa by Jose Andres

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.

beach pork belly tacos

Pork belly tacos

beachside grouper sand

Blackened grouper

 

The signature restaurant there is Mi Casa, which comes from the mind of Jose Andres.

micasa sign

 

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.

 

The Space
This was the main restaurant at the hotel and the only one that was open for breakfast.

micasa room

 

During the day it didn’t seem that nice, but at night the artwork really stood out.

micasa 3 girls micasa luchador micasa beads

 

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.

micasa iberico

Iberico ham with fresh tomato bread

 

micasa pork belly

Guavate-style pork belly and chayote mojo

 

micasa saus

Puerto Rican sausage, quail egg, and apple sandwich

 

micasa crab

Jumbo lump crabmeat with pineapple and chayote

 

micasa snapper

Seared yellowtail snapper with shaved asparagus salad

 

micasa cheeks

Braised veal cheeks with shrimp, polenta, and mushrooms

 

micasa dessert

“Mi Casa” – Chocolate, hazelnut, olive oil, and salt

 

micasa keylime pie

Key Lime Pie – Lime, toasted meringue, graham cracker

 

The Verdict
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.

 

 
 

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

7 comments on “Puerto Rico Eats: Mi Casa by Jose Andres

  1. Cowboys and Crossbones
    August 25, 2015

    As long as one (or three) glasses of wine were downed, who cares about the shitty main course! 🙂

  2. elizabeth
    August 25, 2015

    Now that we’re down here in MD I’m dying to check out Jose’s DC-area restaurants (Jaleo is at the top of the list). Compared to some of his more out-there concepts like minibar, this seems pretty approachable (albeit not in price–yikes!!) but if I were spending that much I’d like a little more razzle-dazzle especially coming from him.

    Hey–even a sub-par veal cheek dish that’s free-99 would still taste pretty good to me though!

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      August 25, 2015

      I agree, but the cheeks were sub-subpar. But at least ut filled me up…

      Yes, definitely would expect more razzle-dazzle for that price. Given that the hotel itself was way way way overpriced, i would imagine this would ve under $200 here on the mainland. So youll probably get more here

  3. domingosaurus
    August 25, 2015

    The art in that place is REALLY cool. Those suspended glass beads! (Wow) And I was immediately struck by the metallic fish (and hand) that appear to be floating over the side of the building. (Oh yeah the food looks pretty good too. Especially the little chocolate house.)

  4. Michelle Williams
    August 25, 2015

    That’s the Ritz for ya. Even at $400 it does look delicious.

  5. Pingback: Breakfasts with Jose | The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2015 by in Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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