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“First Class Dining Experience In Antiguo San Juan”
Review of Panza Restaurant

Panza Restaurant
Ranked #312 of 1,047 Restaurants in San Juan
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: A modern, refreshing combination of international and regional flavorful Puerto Rican cuisine.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

We recently had the pleasure of dining at this fabulous restaurant in Viejo San Juan. We travel a lot and I can confidently report that Panza is as good as any world class restaurant we have ever visited. The kitchen is definitely upscale, and is imaginative without drifting into the realm of the bizarre. For a starter my wife and I shared perfectly cooked calamari rings that were lightly breaded in a crushed black rice flour and served with an aromatic sauce. For the main course my wife had a shrimp risotto with small bits of sausage and I had a scallops stuffed with truffles served over a bed of orange and saffron risotto. We accompanied this with a very nice, and reasonably priced Albariño. The staff was attentive and our waiter very knowledgeable (he had worked in New York for many years.) The only qualifying comment that I have is that the wine list does not specify the grape variety or vintage. This did not turn out to be a problem with our knowledgeable waiter, but it would have been a little more convenient for us as patrons if the information had been included. That said, I would not let that interfere with anyone looking for a first rate dining experience in San Juan.

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1  Thank Tom32066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (42)
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12 - 16 of 42 reviews

Reviewed April 21, 2013

Excellent food, excellent service!!! My wife & I were looking on TripAdvisor for a nice place and decided to try Panza. Very happy we did. The location is great, we ate outside and enjoyed the people walking by, and the music from the cars of the locals as they cruised the strip! She ordered the Chilean Sea Bass, which was cooked to perfection and melted in mouth, while I highly enjoyed the Lamb Chops, also cooked to perfection both by Chef Pete. The service was one of a kind, Chef Pete took the time to come visit us at our table to make sure our dining experience was first class. All served to us by Juan Carlos, a down to earth waiter whose knowledge of the food and wine was outstanding, and kept a smile on our faces the entire evening. Trust me, if you like fine dining, excellent food, and excellent service, stop looking elsewhere, and just go!

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1  Thank Mdcapt2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We were 7 people and everyone ended up very satisfied with the food and service. The only negative issue I see with this restaurant is that Chef Maldonado has long hair and we could see him cooking in his kitchen with his hair hanging over his face while cooking which made me wonder if this was unsanitary. Also, they were out of several choices from the menu, especially of the chocolate dessert we had heard about. But over all, the ambience was very nice, the people friendly and the food was delicious. We were the only table at the restaurant so we do not know if the food and service will be as good when there are other people? But for us, it was very good. We liked it so much would go back to this restaurant.

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1  Thank Maria E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Went last night to celebrate my wife's B-Day. Couldn't ask for a better meal, service, or time. Since the moment we walked in we were treated like family.From the waiter, bartender, to Chef Maldonado. We started with the lobster bisque and Cervantes trio, both superb. For main entree we had the shrimp/sausage risotto and the lamb loin chops. The lamb loin chops came with vegetables but the chef honored my request to switch the vegetables for his sage risotto. There were 3 letters that kept coming out out of our mouths... W O W!!!!!! We've just experienced the best risotto we've ever had. It was cooked to F'N Perfection, excuse my language. To end the night Chef Maldonado gave us 2 complimentary banana creme brulees in honor of my wife's B-day.

Tip to owner: Sign up to participate in OpenTable.com/Opentable App for smartphones and you'll have Panza as crowded and popular as Marmalade- PR's #1 rated rest according to Tripadvisor.

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4  Thank Vicarrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

We ate dinner at Panza during our mid-March trip to Puerto Rico. It was recommended by the concierge at the Ritz and I was a little skeptical when we walked in because there was only one other table filled. We sat down and spent the next 2 hours enjoying every course and and the highly attentive service. My Margarita was perfectly mixed and shaken. We all ordered something different and we all exclaimed how fresh, delicious and memorable our dinner was.

It seems to be the best kept secret in Old San Juan and San Juan alike. Make this your first dinner location because you'll want to go back again.

3  Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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