PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
For my first visit Punta Cana, I stayed in my resort the entire time and did not venture off property. I was just so incredibly relaxed and satisfied there, that I did not see the need to. That said, at the end of my trip, I knew that I would be returning many a time to Punta Cana and staying on a resort property the entire time would get incredibly boring for me. I am quite the adventurer at heart always in search of places and experiences that I will learn from, grow and feed my soul. I consider myself a citizen of the world as I always look to immerse myself in the local culture starting with the best place to learn in my opinion… the food! So thank you Eden Roc Cap Cana for being fantastic and a place that I will most definitely visit every time I am in town. There is no way I cannot come to Mediterraneo to have its fabulous wine. I know you are reading this and that is why I am addressing you directly :-). Ok love letter over let us get to the good stuff of Barbudo, the best restaurant in Cap Cana in my opinion of the restaurants that I have visited till date. You know how there are some restaurants that are just flawless in all they do no matter how hard you try to push the envelope to see if they will rip. That was the case here with my experience at Barbudo. It was so amazingly good the first night that I decided to make an unplanned visit for lunch the next day. There was just no way that I was going to leave Punta Cana after all the fabulous wine and dishes that I had the evening before when there was a marked opportunity for another visit for lunch. I am used to New York where the sheer majority of restaurants of this caliber are only open for dinner service and I was beyond glad to be wrong in this case. So here’s what I ordered
Pork Belly Taquitos
Sweet and salty is the play that was made here with these little bites of heaven. The pork belly was cooked to incredibly delicate and yet rich and full of flavor. Flavors came together in waves, starting with the bare flour tortillas which were immediately ensconced by the fatty pork finally finishing with the sweet peppers. They might have been piquillo but I forget. This is a must order in any case
Never would I ever have imagined that I would have quite possibly the best escargot that I have ever had in my life in the Dominican Republic. My dear dear France… do not worry, the days are numbered when I will be back and you can attempt to recover your title. These were so buttery and rich in garlic that I just cannot describe the richness of it. I never have my escargot with toast – I am a purist that way – just my snails alone and this I could eat a full bowl of. As I ate this, I thought to myself how amazing this would be with a small buttered brioche roll. This is beyond a must order!
And finally we get to some Italian food! I had the pappardelle as I wanted to break my no pasta diet for the night. The ossobuco was cooked to the same delicate texture as the pork belly for the taquitos. Rich and bright seasoning that enhanced the flavors of the pasta as opposed to weighing it down which can sometimes happen with pastas as this. The implication of this was that the pasta did not taste heavy with an uncomfortable feeling of sitting in my stomach. They have generous but yet not overwhelming portions so it was easy to enjoy much of the dish. I had this dish with a 2014 Tempranillo which brought ecstasy beyond words to my palate
I had a serious craving for a cheeseburger. Do not ask me why, I have no idea. Since they had done such a phenomenal job with all their other takes on foreign cuisine, I knew I was in good hands having one here to fulfill that craving, scratch that it fed my soul and so on and so forth. I took a bite of the burger and my head screamed “Damn! Now that is a good burger”. I had it medium rare and this was beyond juicy. The bun was lightly buttered but the win on it was its flufiness. The cheese was cheddar and the bacon was cooked to just crispy enough with a little bit of softness left. The fries were crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside lightly seasoned with salt and a herb that I could not recognize. You know how at some places you eat fries and you cannot tell that you are eating potatoes… well that is not the case here at all. True russet potatoes were used here. I could eat these all day. I had this with a 2014 Tempranillo that had been aged in French and American oak and I found it to be a fun and lively combination
This was it for my visit to Barbudo and I am longing to go back already. It would be a crime for anyone to visit the DR and not make a stop at this restaurant. Enjoy eating loves!