Eat Your Heart Out on Valentine’s Day

Don’t panic. You’ve still got 4 days. And there are so many options of where to take your beloved for a Valentine’s Day celebration meal.

How about a sexy and glamorous dinner in a luxury hotel? You’ll find that at KOCO, in El San Juan Hotel in Isla Verde. Have a drink at the popular bar and include a few delectable shrimp from the mouth-watering raw bar, as your appetizer. Then slide into a seat in your reserved booth. Admire the  beautiful room. Choose some fabulous entrees from the great menu… so many to choose from: the pan-roasted duck in passion fruit sauce is a treat! Enjoy the vibes, too. Reservations: KOCO , 787-791-1000. (Did I ever mention the time I bought a roll of coins after dinner, to play in El San Juan’s  Casino, and won $1200!  Well, once.)

Want great Italian? You can admire the enchanting and original paintings of the streets and houses of Old San Juan by local artist Margie Alcaraz, if you choose to dine at the award-winning Al Dente Ristorante, in the old city. The menu, by chef/owner Giancarlo Amente (Margie’s husband) is as authentically Sicilian as he is. Diners have been flocking to Al Dente for almost 25 years now, for the fresh pasta, delicious seafood dishes, meat dishes and desserts. Plus the lovely decorations in the dining room. It’s conveniently located, across the street from the Doña Fela parking lot on Recinto Sur Street. For reservations: 787-723-7303.

Want to drink, eat and dance? Opt for the Red Coral Lounge, at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, at 1309 Ashford Avenue in the Condado. It’s a classy lobby bar with well-educated bartenders; great seating areas for 2 or more; and a tapas menu that includes flatbreads, wings, bacalaitos, ceviche, and the like, all yummy.  Plus live music. For more info, call 787-722-7000.

By the way: for a full meal while you’re at the San Juan Marriott, try La Vista Latin Grill. They have menu options of local or American dishes, plus a fabulous themed buffet. Open for breakfast, lunch dinner and beyond. 787-722-7000

Another romantic option  could be La Casona, the Spanish restaurant at 609 San Jorge, in Santurce (a 5 or 10 minute cab ride from Condado hotels). Unusual for its beautiful gardens, this 35 year  old favorite is in an elegant old mansion, bursting with romance. Award-winning chef/owner Manolo Caamaño presents an elegant menu, as well as live music. 787-727-2717.

And if you want to continue the celebration, drive out to Palmas del Mar, in Humacao. Go to Chez Daniel, in the marina (follow signage) . Chef/owner  Daniel Vasse puts out a glorious Sunday brunch. Salad station, pasta station, seafood station, carving station, dessert station… It’s delicious and beautiful. 787-852-8653.

So make somebody happy during Valentine’ Day weekend, make reservations for dinner!

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