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“Excellent” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Copa Llena at The Black Eagle

La Copa Llena at The Black Eagle
Black Eagle Marina | Bo. Ensenada, Rincon 00677, Puerto Rico
+1 787-823-0896
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Ranked #9 of 79 Restaurants in Rincon
Price range: $3 - $30
Cuisines: Asian, French, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Description: The management team of Casa Islena Restaurant (also known as The Tapas Bar) has proudly taken over the the historic Black Eagle Restaurant, rechristening it "La Copa Llena". Located right on the ocean, specifically the south side of the Tres Palmas Marine Preserve, people have been enjoying the sunsets from the Black Eagle deck since the 1970's. The combination of Chef Brendan Basham's cuisine, Casa Islena's charm, and the view of the waves, whales, and sunsets, provides a singular Rincon dining experience. With the adoption of a larger space, Brendan has been able to expand the menu and experiment more while maintaining the strict standards of quality that the local community and returning tourists have come to expect for the last 6 years. We have included some of our old favorites such as the char-grilled octopus with heirloom beans and papaya salad, and introduced some incredible new dishes like poke (yellowfin tuna, avocado, and seaweed), coconut steamed mussels with homemade chorizo and fresh herbs, and a 20 oz. T-bone steak with flageolet-corn succotash and a yukon-parsnip mash. As always, the menu tends to change upon the availability of ingredients, keeping the chef creative and our guests surprised. Brunch is served Sundays from 10am-2pm with diverse offerings such as brown butter crepes and southwest style chilaquiles (eggs scrambled with fried corn tortillas and green chile-tomatillo salsa). Happy hour everyday from 3pm until 7pm includes $2 Medallas, $3 well drinks, and $4 house wine. And we're excited to continue the legacy of the ever entertaining Wednesday night Bingo starting around 9pm. Sunset live music Sundays from 4pm-7pm.Buen Provecho!
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

I had two excellent meals here, skirt steak, good flavor but could have been more tender but still pretty tasty. The 2nd meal was better, the green curry fish was delicious. I left the waiter A BIG tip the first night, on second trip he wouldnt even make eye contact so I decided to eat at the bar. Nothing worse than an attitude except maybe a bad meal.

Visited February 2014
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205 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    138
    46
    9
    9
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best Valentine's Dinner Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

La Copa Llena is the best place to have a sunset dinner, facing the ocean. The food and drinks were phenomenal, and there's little lizards that run around the railings (but don't jump into your food). The only downside was the battery of flies that swarmed around our food as soon as it was set before us. I would have liked to savory my meal, but I had to eat quickly, to make the flies go away. Otherwise, this was the most romantic setting I've ever been in for Valentine's Day. Wonderful.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Mellow views of great sunsets await - - -”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Started with bite-sized appetizers in the bar area that were interesting and creative and priced bite-sized as well. Two different toast points piled high, one topped with an olive and the other with an anchovies followed by a bowl of excellent muscles were just enough to wet the whistle for dinner but not ruin it.

We moved to the outdoor dining area in time to experience a great sunset. Each of the guys ordered the large, 22 ounce porterhouse steak served with yummy smashed potatoes and topped with thin, lightly battered friend onion strips. Only caution here is to clarify exactly how you want the steak done. One ordered medium and it was raw, blood rare in the center. The other steak was ordered medium rare and it too was raw, blood rare. My red snapper was served on a bed of yellow rice and was very tasty.

Skip dessert. We split the chocolate lava cake which presented and tasted like it came from a restaurant supply service and not made on site -not worth the calories.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Laid back with great location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

We Trip Advisor'd Rincon restaurants after a 3+ hour drive from San Juan that included not-at-all-worthwhile detours to Aguadilla, Arecibo and Camuy (do not believe the "city of romance" promotion) and were looking for a good meal, a good drink (or three) and some place very lovely to simply enough an ocean vista. La Copa Llena was the perfect spot. Location is great with the ocean not 15 yards from the deck and bar. We hit their happy hour time so the menu was limited but still excellent. Medallas $2, well drinks $3 just topped off the afternoon. A definite visit and return to place!

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Mayaguez
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“A Failure of Excellence”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

NAME: La Copa Llena (= The Full Cup) at the black eagle. Why does everyone change the name of this restaurant (e.g., The Spot)? It should simply be the Black Eagle! Like they want to be different, but they are afraid to completely abandon the historic and wonderful name “BLACK EAGLE.” Everyone is just going to call it “The Black Eagle,” anyway. So Kick the Cup.

CHEF: Brendan Basham

E-MAIL: LaCopaLlena@gmail.com

TELEPHONE: +1 (787) 823-0896

WEB PAGE: http://attheblackeagle.com

RESERVATIONS: Only for parties of 6 or more. Strange.

HOURS/SEASONS OF OPERATION: Dinner Tuesday-Sunday 5-9:30 pm; Sunday Brunch 10 am-2 pm. They close after tourist season each year (19 August-5 November).

AMBIANCE: The Bar is Upscale California Hippy. We have not been to the restaurant, since it was the original Black Eagle, but I suppose it is Fine International Cuisine at an open-air Sea Shack. [1]

LOCATION: La Copa Llena is located in Rincon, Puerto Rico, at the Black Eagle Marina [2] off road 413, just north west of the town. A map is provided on their web page.
Black Eagle Marina, 413 km, 1.0 Bo. Ensenada, Rincon, Puerto Rico 00677

DIFFICULTY LOCATING: Easy. People once missed the last turn, but now it is plastered with a lot of signs.

OCCASION: A couple’s afternoon beach excursion

PARKING: They have a large dirt lot, which is often packed, but there is more space all around.

VIEW: Superb. Good enough during the day when you can practically sit in the waves and truly outstanding facing the sunset and the surf. We have enjoyed this magic location for 41 years.

BAR MENU: They no longer have their excellent and generous Fried Calamari on their bar menu. This is very sad. Many of the more interesting things in their online menu were not listed on their paper menu. This was very disappointing.

DRINKS: During their 3-7 pm Happy Hour, “Well Drinks” (= mixed drinks) were $3. We arrived before 3 pm, but they let us start “Happy Hour” early. I had Gin-and-Tonics and my First Mate Rum-and-Cokes. The gin was cheap Lord Calvert, but the white rum was Don Q. They were served in wide, short, pressed-glass glasses (wrong glass for Gin-and-tonics) and were mostly booze.

BEER: They have some craft beers (names chalked on the wall). Medalla was $2 during happy hour, but everyone was drinking Corona. [3] They have no beer on tap. I do not know why not. There is a microbrewery in Rincon.

BAR FOOD: A Papaya Salad (ensalada de papaya verde) for $8 (shredded green papaya, coarsely crushed peanuts, cherry tomato wedges, cilantro, jalapeño, [4] and “nuoc mam” [= nuoc mam cham]) [5] was excellent, but too hot. “Chorizo y Manchego” $3 (toasted baguette, small thin slice of sausage, roasted pepper fleck, half a hard boiled egg, and an olive on a tooth pick) was too tiny to even taste. This was far less than a “small plate” and we could find no Manchego Cheese. After seeing a picture of this item in a review, I know that the cheese was definitely left off our order, we only received a half order, and it was the smallest one ever made. [6]
They had nothing fried! A bar with nothing fried? No tostone; no squid; nothing.
Since the Bar Menu was so barren, we tried to order an item off the Evening Menu. However, they would not serve evening menu items until 5 pm, which is understandable. We walked to the Ship Wreck Restaurant (since we were too inebriated to drive), which was already serving at 4 pm.

SERVICE: Excellent.

EVENING MENU: They call their dishes “Progressive Cuisine” (= Molecular Gastronomy). [7] Their new evening menu looks pretty expensive and disappointing. Using a folded piece of paper for your menu is rather weird. A few unusual or interesting items included: Smoked Duck Salad $16, small plate of Octopus $12, Paella (Clams, Mussels, Shrimp, and Scallops) $32, Rack of Lamb $40. They had no fresh seafood items. Most of the more interesting things in their online menu were not listed on their paper menu. Had some of these been available, we would have stayed for dinner.

BUSINESS: When we walked back from the Ship Wreck, the large Black Eagle parking lot was packed full of cars. Therefore, they must be doing well. This reminded me of the days of the original Black Eagle.

PROBLEMS: [A] We ordered 2 things at the bar and both were messed up. The papaya salad tasted excellent, but was too hot, and we received 1 Chorizo y Manchego, when we should have had 2, it was the tiniest one ever made, and the big piece of cheese was left off. [B] I was very disappointed in the menu reductions. Everything good or interesting seems to have been taken off the menus. We had to go to Ship Wreck to eat. May be we just caught them at a low point. We will try again. [C] No fresh seafood.

SUMMARY: Their new menus are a bit too expensive, disappointing, and lacking many of their best items. However, they seem to be doing quite well, so may be they do not care.

HISTORY: The original Black Eagle was a very good to excellent fresh seafood and steak evening place for 30 years (probably longer, but we only went there for that long [1974]). They had a bit of a snippy waitress (daughter of owners). They were closed for quite a while. Then re-opened under new management, but it was both too expensive and bad. They had a marvelous, online menu, but it was curiously offensive. Now under better management (3rd or 4th?)(since November 2002), they have become sandy gourmet. http://attheblackeagle.com/history/

Footnotes:
[1] There is an old Puerto Rican tradition of seaside shacks selling excellent, fresh seafood. A few restaurants still fake this concept, but they do not serve international Cuisine.
[2] The commercial marina became defunct shortly after they destroyed a nice little coral reef to build it. We once snorkeled up lobsters on that reef. How they ever received a permit was amazing. How quickly they ruined the reef and then abandoned the marina was disgusting.
[3] The brand name “Corona” in Puerto Rico and the USA is from the old brewery that was in San Juan. The right to the name was sold at bankruptcy (An interesting, but too long story for this review.).
[4] There is no need to put jalapeno pepper in the salad, if there is chilli pepper in the nuoc mam cham. If the chilli pepper was left out, then this is not Progressive, but regressive.
[5] Also called “Vietnamese Dressing” (fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilli peppers, and lime juice). Fish Sauce is an amber-colored liquid extracted from raw fish fermented in wooden containers with sea salt.
[6] The picture in a review (25 January 2014) also showed 2 pieces on a plate, larger sized pieces, more sausage, and large pieces of cheese (we had none). Why was ours shrunk and incorrect?
[7] Actually, more correctly called “Molecular and Physical Gastronomy.” This is the study of the process of cooking foods as it applies to Chefs in kitchens, not Scientists in laboratories. I believe the oblique meaning used by Brendan Basham is to create and discover new and novel means of improving food dishes.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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