You know those vacations where you plan out outdoor activities and wake up super early to make the most of your day? This trip to San Juan was not one of them. After a busy winter, the only thing I cared about was pooltime and restaurants. Emphasis on restaurants.
The first stop was Marmalade in Old San Juan, which turned out to be my favorite meal of the whole trip. It’s a modern and upscale spot with a creative, quirky menu and polished presentation. The menu isn’t specific to one type of cuisine, it’s kind of all over the place with ingredients and inspiration, but every bite was thought-provoking and exquisite. The dinner (of mostly appetizers) was expensive, but so so SO worth it. Case in point = the first word on the menu is “prosciutto.”
I’m kicking myself for not writing this down because the version of Prosciutto di Parma on the menu now (grilled peaches with lemon mascarpone cheese, champagne peach vinaigrette, and local baby arugula) is different from the one I had. Mine had figs for sure. Anywho, you get the idea…marbled prosciutto served alongside other awesome stuff.
This appetizer is a modern take on Paella–crispy bites of spiced-chorizo rice scented with smoked chicken, peppers and a saffron-garlic emulsion. Even though it’s a such simple way to recreate paella, I was loving it because i’ve never seen anything like it before! The execution was flawless, each bite was crispy and full of interesting flavors.
This is another item that I don’t have the exact details of because the menu has since changed, but I think my memory serves me well–Artichokes with homemade ricotta, tomatoes, balsamic glaze, baby greens and pine nuts. I don’t even have to tell you this tasted amazing, the list of ingredients alone is just epic. All of my all time favorite things EVAR, in one dish. How wonderful.
In 90 degree weather, the LAST thing I want is hot, creamy soup, but the server absolutely insisted we try the Tiny White Bean Soup with scallions, black truffle oil, and pancetta dust. It was the standout dish of the night, and the dish that put Marmalade on the map. It was silky smooth delicious soup perfection. The waiter actually gave me the recipe because I was so obsessed. It’s made with (shocker) lots of bacon fat and heavy cream.
Make sure to reserve a table in advance, I almost didn’t get one! The only day available was Thursday night at 9. Phew.
Marmalade, I sure hope we meet again someday.