A week in Panama City - where to eat?
I'm spending a week in Panama city, both the old part of town and the new. Looking for some yummy recs - at least one nice meal (something romantic, nice view, good service). Other than that would love to know local favorites (fine going to some tiny side street for a hidden gem). We love all cuisines, so while we definitely want to try the local specialties we are open to anything that's good - money isn't too much of an issue, again we are looking for a range, both nice and inexpensive. The most important thing is it tastes good! Many thanks in advance!
Restaurante Las Bovedas in Casco Viejo was a hit with the friends I traveled with. It is built into the stone sea wall in what used to be dungeons. I thought it was very romantic. The lamb chops and beouf bourginon (sp?) were big hits with us. On the way into Casco Viejo was Restaurante Mercado del Marisco. You pick out your fish/seafood downstairs in the fish market and have it prepared upstairs in the no frills restaurant. I recommend the simpler preparations. The crab and lobster were the favorites at our table.
If you're from NYC or any other city with a good restaurant scene, you'd be somewhat disappointed at the food in Panama. The good news, food is cheap here compared to NYC. In old town, hit Manolo Caracol and Rene Cafe for tasting menus. Go to the Causeway for a nice view back At the city. In the banking district, there's an outpost for La Mar, a Gaston Acurio joint. Skip foreign ethnic food such as middle eastern or Chinese, neither authentic nor creative.