Whenever I think of fine dining in Puerto Rico, 1919 comes at the top of the list. We have been lucky enough to travel the world and dine at various Michelin starred restaurants and can safely say that the food and service at 1919 is up there with our top culinary experiences.
The restaurant is located at the historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. It is helmed by executive chef Juan Jose Cuevas, a Puerto Rico native and Culinary Institute of America honors graduate, who honed his culinary skills at the kitchens of the three-Michelin starred Arkelare in San Sebastian, Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, Lespinasse in New York City, and the Pluckemin Inn in Bedmister, New Jersey. While serving as executive chef of Dan Barber’s Blue Hill in New York City, the restaurant earned one Michelin star.
An avid believer in the farm-to-table movement, the restaurant’s locavore-centric menu is inspired by the seasons. The chef works hand in hand with local farmers, fishermen, and producers who supply the restaurant with vegetables, seafood, wild greens, poultry, meats, etc.
For Puerto Rico Restaurant Week, Chef Cuevas wanted to bring the complete 1919 experience to local diners and spared no expense in creating a menu that reflects the diversity, sophistication and high quality food that you can expect at the restaurant. For just $38.00 you will be able to get a decadent three-course meal featuring top-notch dishes and unparalleled service. But the fun does not stop there. Chef Cuevas encourages diners to try additional courses, not included in the Puerto Rico Restaurant Week menu for $15.00 each. A steal if you ask me!
I am going to let you in on a little secret for those who want to make the most of their dining experience, Chef Cuevas is raising the bar on his Puerto Rico Restaurant week offering. This means that instead of choosing one appetizer, one main course and one dessert, you can enjoy the complete Puerto Rico Restaurant Week menu as a tasting menu for an additional price. We took advantage of this offer and strapped ourselves in for the ride. Each course was perfection.
Amuse Bouche: Cucumber and Avocado Gazpacho
First: Hiramasa Crudo | Tobiko | Cucumber | Grain Cracker
Second: White Bean Soup | Seafood | Crispy Iberico
Third: Ricotta Ravioli | Garden Lettuce | Pesto
Fourth: Rigatoni | Ratatouille | Zucchini | Pine Nuts | Whipped Ricotta
Fifth: Slow Cooked Organic Salmon | Local Bean Medley | Vegetable Pistou
Sixth: Angus Hanger Steak | Beluga Lentils | Spinach
Seventh: Vanderbilt Sunday
Eighth: Warm Brownie with Peanut Sauce and Mint Ice Cream
Pro-tip: 1919 has a killer wine selection. Opt for the wine supplement and have each course paired with the perfect wine thanks to the restaurant’s highly knowledgeable sommelier. Our stars of the night were the Hiramasa Crudo, the White Bean Soup, the Slow Cooked Organic Salmon and the Angus Hanger Steak. Those menu items are a must! So make your reservation by calling (787) 724-1919 or through www.opentable.com.