After working for five years at Fern at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, chef Juan Peña – just like all of us – was confronted with the realities of post-Maria Puerto Rico. The gorgeous hotel had suffered serious damage due to the hurricane and would not reopen until October 2019. So, he packed his chef knives and took his talents to the kitchen of AG at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta. After working at the restaurant for a few months, he decided to return to Puerto Rico to fulfill his dream of having his own restaurant: Almaviva.
The menu at Almaviva is influenced by chef Peña’s culinary style were Latin Caribbean elements from his youth are merged with French and Asian techniques he learned from his teachers Boulud and Vongerichten, creating his own unique personality.
The restaurant has a chic vibe with a modern ambiance. Its style can be best described as casual fine dining. The menu has something for everyone. Among my favorite appetizers were the Foie Gras Torchon with Ginger Papaya Compote and Truffle Bread, the Sous Vide Grilled Octopus with Roasted Red Pepper Curry, and the Beet and Tomato Salad with a Basil and Raspberry Vinaigrette.
For the main course, we recommend the King Salmon or the Wagyu Cowboy Steak with Fingerling Potato Herbs Garlic Confit, Green Peppercorn with Foie Gras Sauce. The desserts are a collaboration between chef Peña and pastry chef Mayrelee López Mulero.
Almaviva opens Tuesday through Sunday at 5:00 pm (only the bar) and the restaurant at 6:00 pm. The restaurant closes at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Friday and Saturday at 11:00 pm. Coming soon the restaurant will offer brunch on Saturday and Sunday. For reservations call (787) 918-8881 or book via Open Table.