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Great food is like great people, it sticks out in your mind and beckons you to return for another visit. Such was the case when we visited Simon Mansion at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.
The restaurant itself is part of five iconic locations under Kerry Simon, who has been dubbed the “Rock & Roll Chef” by Rolling Stone Magazine. The bold menu and bold setting will delight all your senses.
Upon first entering, we were impressed by the restaurant’s posh decor scheme. Oversized chairs, ornate mirrors, and bold colors brought us very far from the casino floor, even though it’s separated by just a sliding door. The staff was very welcoming, and throughout the entire evening we felt the sense that we were home. A very attentive staff and promptly prepared dishes added to the evening’s fine dining experience. The artful presentation of the dishes has well improved, not to mention the cuisine’s savoriness and intensity of flavors. With a lot of peruvian cuisine influence, the food selection is a fusion of South America and the Caribbean with Asian flavors.
To begin, we tried the Solterito Salad, a bold salad, with definable flavors and ingredients; the carrots and burrata cheese certainly stood out within the mix of cherry tomatoes, lima beans, corn, and olives. Drizzled with light Dijon mustard dressing, this appetizing salad could well make an afternoon lunch all on its own.
Crispy Sesame Rice
The Crispy Sesame Rice appetizer was as tasty as it was picturesque. Artful in form, it’s flavor came with a kick due to the spicy tuna and habanero chili. Tamed slightly by a sweet soy sauce glaze, overall the dish was hot and meshed a good crunchiness of rice with a smooth topping of tuna.
Wok Charred Edamame
Never one to shy away from Edamame, we jumped at the opportunity to try it. As a perfect accompaniment to most meals and a popular appetizer within the restaurant, this dish surprised us for its unique flavor. The togarashi spice brought an added texture and hot flavor to the Edamame, that paired nicely with lime and ginger salt.
Many dishes emerged from the Simon Mansion kitchen with appealing display, and the Shrimp Ceviche was certainly one of them. Suspended in a glass over an iron fixture, the ceviche itself was also anything but tame. The combination of tomato, avocado, and chili oil was savory and provided the tender shrimp with a coating of spiciness.
Perhaps our favorite dish of the evening came in the form of Blackened Salmon. Over a bed of cherry tomatoes and mixed greens, and topped with brussel sprouts, this dish won us over with the sesame yuzu vinaigrette. The citrus and honey sauce softened our palette from the previous spicy ensembles and gave way to a delicious sweet flavor that added to the juiciness of the salmon.
Seco of Lamb
Their rack of lamb entrée is by far a must-try dish in Simon Mansion. Served with route mousseline, its tender lamb was well accompanied by creamy, whipped potatoes.
For dessert, we tasted the Apple Terrine, a warm decadent anise sable with fun, chocolate “pop rocks” and a scoop of miso ice cream. Have it with a glass of wine or an evening coffee to finish off your succulent meal.
Street Food Platter
Lastly, we were definitely game to try the Street Food Platter. Offering “Alfajores” (shortbread cookies with dulce de leche filling), Cotton Candy (vanilla rose flavored), Suspiro Limeño (dulce de leche custard), Cuatro Leches (vanilla cups with four milks), and Churros (classic churros with chocolate ganache), there’s little to say no to, and lots to fill up on. A dessert worthy of sharing among friends!
Ranked #2 in top restaurants in Punta Cana on Trip Advisor, Simon Mansion is a worthy stop during your weekend getaway. Nestled inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino directly off the casino floor, and not far from the expansive outdoor pool areas, you’ll find many times to enjoy this restaurant among your lively resort schedule. See their full menus below and more pictures from the tasting!
Photography by Lauren Llenas.
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Reservations: (809) 731-0094; [email protected]
Hours of operation: 6pm – 12 am daily
Dress code: elegant
Facebook: Simon Mansion & Supper Club