This post is also available in: Spanish
Let’s start by saying – we absolutely love De Maria – and we’re sure you will too. Allow me to show you why.
In summary, De Maria offers simple dishes, prepared to delicious perfection. In fact, we loved it so much, we went back for more the very next day.
Located just a 10 minute drive outside of Casa de Campo and along the Autopista del Coral highway, you’ll find De Maria in the small plaza outside of La Estancia.
With an outdoor bohio area, and air conditioned indoor area, the ambiance is not exactly chic, yet nor is it casual, it offers that perfect blend of relaxed elegance.
De Maria is owned and ran by Pepe and Maria, from Spain. Pepe runs the front of house, while Maria is the chef – hence the name De Maria (Maria’s). They’re a friendly, happy couple, so make sure you say hello to them when you visit.
OK so what about the food?
We started with an amuse bouche of Iberico ham, bread and olive oil, which although small is worth mentioning – as it marked the start of one of the best meals we have ever, yes really, ever enjoyed in the Dominican Republic.
Now on to the serious stuff…
There’s nothing special about croquetas, right? Wrong! At De Maria the croquetas are exceptional. Our friends Jacob and Nora, who were lucky enough to join us for the experience, described them as”tastes like my bubby’s potato knish, but with a twist of ham” and “the best croquetas I’ve ever tasted”. Delicious and without being at all greasy, the smooth texture combined with crispy crust is a sublime experience, and an amazing way to start the meal. Both varieties, ham and shrimp are equally good.
Sensational texture and flavours. This is easily the most authentic and delicious Tortilla Española to be had for many miles. Exquisite!
Tortilla Española (RD$350)
An incredibly simple looking dish, so much so that is almost looks like you could make it at home. Well let me tell you, if you can cook this good, you should open a restaurant – which is of course exactly what Maria did! My new favorite breakfast, I personally loved this so much, that we came back for breakfast the very next day!
Huevos Rotos (RD$550)
Looking disappointingly like meat and fries, the Zorza will leave you stunned – and coming back for more! So while it looks ordinary, the meat is actually the pork used to create chorizo, and it’s that characteristic chorizo flavor that really shines through. Served with delicious hand-cut home-made French fries that are perfect for absorbing the beautifully flavored juice.
Pulpo al Ajillo
Amazingly simple and delicious octopus, on a bed of potatoes and olive oil, with a great garlic flavor. If you love octopus, you couldn’t ask for more.
Pulpo al Ajillo (RD$990)
Raya a la Gallega
Without a doubt the most interesting and unusual dish on the menu. Raya a la Gallega is stingray, the wings of the stingray to be exact. Where else in the Dominican Republic can you try that?
Oh and it’s flown in from Spain. Why? Because Pepe and Maria decided the stingray from here just wasn’t good enough. And it’s that commitment to quality that makes De Maria so outstanding.
Raya a la Gallega (RD$690)
Calamares en su tinta (Squid served in its ink.)
Crisp and tender, not chewy. Served with slightly sweet onions and sliced fried potatoes. Delicious.
No Spanish restaurant could ever be complete without Paella, and De Maria offers the full range. Although we haven’t tried them all, (give us time), given their track record, we’re sure they are all excellent.
We did however get the opportunity to try the seafood Fideuà and it did not disappoint. This noodle-based seafood cornucopia is a less often seen variation of Paella, and De Maria’s version was a seafood lovers delight. But be warned – it will require at least 3 or 4 hungry sailors to polish it all off!
Queso con Membrillo
A nice refreshing reprise from the food marathon and a beautiful way to end the meal on a hot day. This delicious combination of manchego cheese and guava is surprisingly good, and a welcome change from typical rich, creamy dessert options.
Queso con Membrillo (RD$300)
Go to De Maria today! You won’t regret it and we guarantee you’ll be back time and again!
Oh and be prepared to wait a little bit, everything is freshly prepared – and let’s be honest, this kind of quality is worth the wait.
De Maria Restaurant
Where: La Estancia Plaza, La Estancia
Opens: 8 am – 11 pm (closed Tuesdays)
Contact: (829) 203-0866