Review: Marmalade Restaurant and Wine Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico
When visiting the Caribbean and taking in the sights and sounds, I most look forward to the cuisine. With its rich history of multiple flavors and distinct plates, it is hard to not like food there. I always ask the locals what restaurants they most enjoy frequenting, and during my last trek to San Juan, I was given the same name over and over again.
Marmalade Restaurant and Wine Bar is a trendy yet low-key fine dining spot located in historic Old San Juan. It’s off the main thoroughfare on a cobblestone street, and from the outside you wouldn’t think you were in for a treat. But as soon as you step into the doors, you are transported to a lush and lavish experience with cool tones and aromatic opulence. My friend and I were instantly impressed at the decor and music, and the staff was attentive right from the start.
Unlike previous San Juan establishments that we undertook during that trip, this one was a cut above.
Marmalade is known for its expansive menu that features farm to table fare alongside organic ingredients . The menu features dishes that are raw and alkalizing for a healthier approach to cuisine, with non-modified foods being their staple.
We started our meal off with a recommended cheese plate with a market selection of local organic Radish carpaccio, Roquefort cheese & Red apples all dressed with raw honey, lemon & petite peppery sprouts.
We then selected the server’s suggestion of the Hand Rolled Black Truffle Pappardelle Pasta and Lettuce, Turnip, The Heat. As a pasta enthusiast, I enjoyed the unique flavor of the dish. Light and fluffy with the kick of the black truffle, it quickly became my favorite of the evening. And the salad dish, complete with bok choy in a green curry broth was Asian meet Caribbean well done.
There were so many wonderful dishes to choose for the main course. I settled on the Pasture Raised Hormone-Free Beef Tenderloin. Succulent and tender, it was a melodic blend of beef, cauliflower, and arugula. These ingredients worked so well together.
For dessert, we noshed on Salted Caramel Corn Crème Brûlée and The Millionaires Ice Cream. Both desserts were a mixture of savory and sweet and were perfect for sharing.
We were treated with a surprise when the Chef and owner of Maramalade, Peter Schintler, came to our table to chat and ask us about our experience. Apprenticed by both Raymond Blanc and Gordon Ramsay, Schintler worked in New York and then in Asia before becoming the owner of Marmalade. His bio and experience is impressive and he truly has a passion for food—good food.