Dining in Santo Domingo / Juan Dolio
I am going to Santo Domingo for one night in November, then I am off to Juan Dolio for three nights. I am looking for an upscale, authentic Dominican spot in SD, and I would love any suggetions in or around Juan Dolio. Any recommendations?
I got some information on Santo Domingo restaurants, the source being another BIL who is in his early thirties, super trendy, but loves good food:
Bobos - has gone downhill since it first opened. This happens a lot with restaurants there that aspire to great things, but then realize they can't afford to keep up the high quality of ingredients, especially since so many things have to be imported.
David (Davey?) Crocketts - excellent meat/steakhouse - I've been there and enjoyed my lunch.
Fellini - Italian - also been there my husband reminds me, no real recollection of it. Peperonis is another happening Italian place - I've gone several times to the one at the Marina in Casa de Campo and think it is overrated - and they also have sushi and other things. But definitely trendy.
Spanish - my husband says that Spanish food is something that they do very well in SD. I've been to Juan Carlos for lunch - excellent food, but very boring atmosphere - at least at lunch it was full of businessmen. Two other options are Don Pepe and Casa Vincente.
Lastly, apparently the latest "in" place is Sofia's, but I have no idea about the cuisine.
On Deli Swiss - excellent wine list - I think it has some Wine Spectator rating - http://eatdrinksleep.com/property7e8f...
I think I might have walked past Bobos (in the Colonial Zone?) and it definitely looked closed. I was in Santo Domingo for just about two days, and didn't get out to see/eat too much, but here's what I can report back about.
Sun late afternoon we were hungry and not much seemed open so we ended up in a café on Calle Conde for two big Presidentes and what we thought was going to be a snack but ended up being an enormous amount of food. I had mofongo (mmmmm) and my husband ordered something that was called something like the Flower of the Dominicans out of curiosity to discover what it was – and we got a big plate of fried pork, sausage, French fries, etc. Between those two dishes and the beer, we did not need dinner that night – just a nightcap of some rums at the hotel bar (by the way, ice and salads in the hotel, Sofitel Nicolas de Ovendo which was gorgeous, did not upset our stomachs but we wouldn't have risked it elsewhere).
Monday, I found a place someone on another food board had recommended for lunch – Mimosa – in the colonial zone – a bakery/lunch counter type of place. Very sweet in there – I got a goat stew with rice and beans and some plantains – which was very nice. Nothing I’d go particularly out of my way for, but tasty and convenient and filling and homey. It's on Calle Arzobispo Nouel between Duarte and Hostos.
Monday night, we ended up eating a quick dinner at the hotel restaurant which was fine, though we could have been eating anywhere in the world pretty much!
And that’s about it on such a whirlwind trip. Had a pretty good batidas (spelling?) at the airport, though, actually, at a fast-food-ish type place.
I'll ask around for you - my husband's family still all live there - my recollection is that the upscale restaurants tend not to serve Dominican food - there is quite a decent Spanish restaurant. I'll see what I come up with and report back.
Edit - OK - my husband is working on it, but as I suspected, his initial comment was "But dominicans do not go out to eat rice and beans". But I'll see if anyone's doing an upscale take on Dominican food.
Juan Dolio - my BIL goes there regularly and says that Deli Swiss is excellent, but not Dominican food. The speciality is seafood, but apparently the chef is very creative with using locally-sourced ingredients.
My husband clarified that in the DR, the clientele for upscale restaurants all have cooks at home who cook Dominican food, and so they don't seek that when they are going out to eat.