Traveled to Puerto Rico to see my family and decided to gather them, per a friend's suggestion at the Hacienda Luz De Luna, chef Ventura Vivoni's restaurant in the mountains of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. His father, Edric Vivoni, greeted us with a ginger sangría, a tour of their coffee plantation and stories galore. His mother, Luz Rivera de Vivoni, handled the business side of the half-day long visit. (We arrived at noon, after a couple of hours on the road from San Juan, and stay until past 5pm.)
The food was creative and delicious. Thoughtfully and beautifully presented. After a series of tasty hors d'oeuvres, we had many Puerto Rican staples, each presented with "molecular" flair and details. My husband and I are vegetarian and they were able to accommodate our requests. The prix fix was $75, which would be on the high side for a country restaurant in Puerto Rico, but is completely understandable given the number of dishes, duration of the meal and the sophistication and detailed attention that accompanied each dish and the meal in general. The charismatic chef came out each time to explain each dish, the ingredients for which all come from nearby farms and ports. They included a deconstructed root vegetable soup, an arroz con gandules topped with capitan fish, a yuca and pumpkin "pastel" topped with pulled pork (roasted eggplant for the vegetarians), and "arroz con dulce" arancini balls in coconut cream and crumbs, local cheeses,
"cidra" paste and "jobo" jam/ They also have a less expensive kids meal, which in our case included chicken, rice and plantains. The sorbet making with liquid nitrogen was a big hit with kids and adults alike. Do make sure you set aside the whole day!
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