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While events, activities, excellent dining and the beauty of this little piece of paradise keep us busy during the weekends, we try to make time to break from the routine and embark on new adventures every once in awhile. With the Autovia del Coral giving us easy access to Santo Domingo, Juan Dolio, Punta Cana and Bavaro (all in about an hour), it makes sense to break from the routine and discover somewhere new now and then. A few weeks ago we did just that, and had the pleasure to enjoy a dining experience unlike any other at El Mediterraneo Restaurant. Seldom does a restaurant have the ability to delight the senses and whisk you away quite like we experienced there so we have been anxious to share!
Nestled in Eden Roc at Cap Cana, just 40 minutes away from Casa de Campo, and headed by Italian Chef Gianluca Re Fraschini, the restaurant showcases Mediterranean specialties with a very signature style that integrates European glamour with a Caribbean twist. Chef Fraschini presents a dining experience for culinary enthusiasts who appreciate the intricacies of fine cuisine. Complemented by a striking setting and decor, right as we walked into El Mediterraneo, we knew we were in for a treat.
“Mi-cuit” Foie Gras with Five-Spiced Bread
Our first dish began with “Mi-cuit” Foie Gras with five-spiced bread. A picturesque display of the spices accompanied our plate and something about seeing the cinnamon, turmeric, curry, sea salt, and fresh vanilla awakened our ability to decipher the tastes and textures within the delicious artisanal and densely spiced bread. The bread could have been enjoyed solely on its own and been quite a treat. The foie gras itself was a very creamy, melt in your mouth buttery texture and absolutely worth trying. We decided to keep the tray of spices on the table throughout the entire dining experience since there was something about the distinct scents that awakened our appetite!
Baby Lobster Tail in Cold Tarragon Infused Consommé
After the foie gras, we were expecting the baby lobster tail in cold tarragon infused consommé to be delicious, but we were honestly impressed by the artistry as soon as the dish was laid out in front of us. (We kind of didn’t want to spoil how beautiful it looked!) One too many Instagram pictures later, we tried the consommé, which ended up being a burst of flavors just as much as it was a burst of colors. The hint of cauliflower and pine nuts was what stood out for us the most, evidencing that El Mediterraneo is true to its promise of taking its guests on a journey of flavors and ingredients from the Mediterranean culture blended with local elements.
Open Faced Ravioli with Local Crustaceans
An open faced ravioli with local crustaceans was our first hot appetizer, and reinvented a European technique with fresh local ingredients. The lobster and crustaceans’ individual flavors stood out among a bed of sautéed zucchini, vegetables and rosemary. Very distinct flavors and ingredients complimenting themselves perfectly. And we were not even into the main dishes yet!
Roasted Rack of Lamb
My favorite dish among the main plates was the roasted rack of lamb served with fine, crisp potatoes “paillasson” and green beans. The tender rack of lamb was perfectly cooked, rare and with just the right amount of outer crusted spices. Fans of red meat will adore it!
Grilled Fresh Fish of the Day Served on Himalayan Sea Salt
If however, you prefer to try a lighter option as a main course, don’t miss the opportunity to try the grilled fresh fish of the day served on a beautiful block of Himalayan sea salt! Elegantly displayed, it comes with fresh tabbouleh and Mediterranean virgin vinaigrette with sun-dried tomatoes. The fish was absolutely tender with just the right amount of salt and spice.
Cream of Chocolate with Passion Fruit Sorbet
After such a rich and decadent appetizer and main course, who could even think about dessert? WE CAN since we never skip the best part of a meal!! When it’s the chef’s specialty it cannot go unnoticed! He said the heart of the Dominican Republic lies in the Dominican cream of chocolate with passion fruit sorbet, and we have to agree. The smooth chocolate paired with the tangy passion fruit is exactly what you would expect and more; we loved the addition and surprise of the crispy, popping rocks of jerez!
Dates and Cognac Whipped Soufflé
The Mediterraneo Restaurant’s signature whipped soufflé of dates and cognac with Tahiti vanilla ice cream was delicious! Just the right amount of cognac flavor and with hints of honey standing out. The fluffy and impeccable souffle is not too sweet and perfect for those liking a traditional souffle.
Although Lauren Llenas’ pictures look absolutely gorgeous and the Chef’s impeccable presentation made everything look delicious… everything was indeed delicious! Throughout the meal, we loved identifying distinct ingredients in every dish which on their own stood out, but together made for an experience for the senses. This truly was a dining experience unlike any other, and if you can appreciate the artistry in some amazingly crafted dishes you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to try El Mediterraneo.
Valentine’s Day is coming up, so if you want to impress your significant other with a gourmet dining experience we found your perfect date spot!
Stay tuned, because after the meal we ventured across the hotel lobby to the Riva Bar and the cocktail experience (they call it Gastro Experience) was so good that it warrants its own article! Coming soon…
Thank you Lauren Llenas for the spectacular pictures! It takes a chef’s artistry to prepare beautiful dishes and a passionate photographer to capture their essence.
El Mediterraneo Restaurant
Chef: Gianluca Re Fraschini
Where: Eden Roc, Cap Cana
Opening Hours: Mediterraneo is open daily for breakfast, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and for dinner, Mondays to Saturdays, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Dress Code: Resort Elegant
Reservations: Reservations for dinner are always highly recommended
Contact: (809) 695-5555 or (809) 469-7469, or [email protected].
Check out the virtual Tour of El Mediterraneo HERE!