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“Room for improvement”

Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar
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2
Fri, 2/21
8:00 PM
Ranked #3 of 1,317 Restaurants in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $109
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Fortaleza Street
Transit: Bus Station is located only two blocks from the center of San Juan where Marmalade is located
Description: To preserve the Marmalade experience at the respect of our patrons the age requirement for children is 7 years or older. Marmalade serves tasting menus only of 4,5,or 6 courses. Guests are allowed to select their own course thus creating an individualized tasting menu. Each tasting menu at the table may be different. We don't offer a Ala Carte format for dining. Dinner will take a minimum of two hours at your Leisure. Groups of 6 people or more will be invited to taste Chef's seasonal tasting menu of 15 courses. Dress appropriately please, no shorts and beach sandals in the restaurant.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

After all the fabulous reviews about the restaurant, my husband and I were looking forward to dining at Marmalade. We found the decor pleasing: a mixture of contemporary chic and subdued comfort. We chose the 4-course and 6-course dinners respectively. Mine consisted of pop-corn shrimp, golden beets, sea bass and coconut pineapple crisp. My husband had tuna tartare, ceviche, red beets, squash ramen, surf and turf (scallops and pork belly), and apple creme brûlée. We did not have paired wines but instead had glasses of Albariño and grenache blanc. Let me preface my review with this comment: opinions on food are inherently subjective. They are influenced by one’s culture, up-bringing, exposure, experiences and preferences. However, these factors also contribute to informed opinions. Marmalade’s creations were interesting and some were pretty good, but hardly superb. As we slowly wound our way through the courses, one recurring observation was that while each individual ingredient used to compose a dish might have been fresh, wonderful, and even impressive, there were too many of them tangled together, all fighting for attention. The end result was that they prevented the star ingredient to shine through. It’s like having too many brilliantly-clad and chattering bridesmaids around the demure bride who is in a simple monochrome gown, and who should have been the main focus but alas is diminished by the distraction. Or when you mix the seven beautiful colors of the rainbow (light), you just get plain white. Take the golden beet course. Each little round beet (there were 4 of them, pre-marinated in apple cider vinegar) is topped with hearts of palm, radish carpaccio, goat cheese and a marcona almond almost half the size of the beet itself. I was advised by the waiter to ‘eat the entire beet-pile like a sushi’ so as to experience the different tastes and textures at once. I love beets, and was expecting that wonderful earthy, slightly sweet taste of the golden beet to spread through my mouth, complemented perhaps by a tinge of smooth goat cheese. But I could not taste any distinctive flavor or experience distinctive textures, except the crunch of the almond. Astonishment was followed by disappointment. Similar experiences happened with the red beet course, the ‘ramen’ course, and the apple creme brûlée. The ceviche was better but the addition of avocado sullied the umami taste of the seafood. The scallops and accompanying vegetables and rice were very salty. The popcorn shrimp was cooked just right. The sea bass was good. The complementary white bean soup was delicious. The pineapple crisp was so-so. The portion sizes were perfect. We think a little restraint in integrating the ingredients may provide a more satisfying culinary enjoyment.

Date of visit: January 2020
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank pblossom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OrganicPuertoRico, Owner at Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Marina
Thank you for the recent visit and feedback....your review, which is lengthy and detailed shows your distinct and appreciated perspective on cooking and eating. For me, I would like to share a slightly different perspective. Food is often like music, it doesn’t require you to choose a favorite but simply select a mood. Although I truly appreciate your simple and untouched approach on ingredients my complex and uniquely thoughtful approach to cooking embraces more aromatic, textured and provoking flavor combinations. I rarely put more than five ingredients on a plate but yet carefully select their origin, preparation and proportion. If your meal was song, I would enjoy listening to your Aria, but My goosebumps come from the orchestra
All the best for you
Many blessings for 2020
Chef Peter

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 - 38 of 4,776 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were a group of 8 with 2 vegetarians and did the chef's tasting menu. We all agreed that this may have been the best meals of our lives. Everything was delicious. The chef's tasting menu involved 15 courses and the chef was able to create two separate menus for us (vegetarian and non vegetarian). The flavors were unique capped off by unbelievable desserts. I don't like creme brulee but the creme brulee apple pie was amazing. The way the flavors are layered into the dishes was unbelievable. The service was just as amazing and we were fortunate that they accommodated us. I highly recommend anyone looking for a fine dining experience to visit and make a reservation. On top of the food and service, the decor and ambiance is just perfect. I look forward to my next visit

Date of visit: January 2020
Thank Hemang S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We had the opportunity to eat here a few nights ago. Just an extraordinary dinner with the best service (thanks Jose!) in a fun, lively atmosphere. We did the six course dinner because I wanted to maximize the number of dishes we got to taste. Ended up stuffing myself because everything was so good. The bean soup is as great as everyone on here has said - velvety, rich, unbelievable. Could be the best soup I have ever had. A splurge to be sure, but completely worth it.

Date of visit: January 2020
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Mark_in_Mass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2020

We just completed our second visit within the last year. Marmalade was highly recommended by a dear friend who is a San Juan native. She said that it was the best place in town and I agree 100%.

The service is superb and the food quality and variety is unsurpassed in the region.

It's worth a long layover in San Juan just to sample this restaurant.

Date of visit: January 2020
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank G9838HZmarkj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2020

Upscale restaurant in Old Town San Juan with chic ambiance offers numerous options on the tasting menu or a la carte. Our party of three especially enjoyed the white bean soup, Moroccan tuna tartare, lobster risotto, lentil meatballs, lamb tagine and an interesting twist on “surf and turf” with scallop and pork belly. Delicious combinations of international flavors with adequate portions made for a great meal!
Our server, Jose was very knowledgeable about wine pairings and he went above and beyond to ensure that our dining experience was delightful!

Date of visit: January 2020
Thank maryrotunno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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