Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar

“Holy crap. I just had the best dinner of my entire life in Puerto Rico. The only words I can utter are holy crap. Blog post to come!”

That was my Facebook post after visiting Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar my last evening in Puerto Rico.

Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico is simply the best restaurant I have ever visited. End of story.

Oh, you want to hear more?

Perfect.

Marmalade Menu

Everything from the ambience to the service to the food to the wine deserves 5+ stars at Marmalade. Make sure you put this restaurant high on your list of priorities when you visit Puerto Rico!

Plus, the owner and chef of Marmalade is from eastern Iowa. I love supporting my home state and everyone from it!

We arrived early for our 7pm reservations on Sunday, March 24th – as a side note, make sure you make your reservation far in advance of your vacation, Marmalade fills up quickly and we were lucky to get a table on short notice! – and were warmly greeted by the wait staff and taken to our table.

Table View

I don’t have great photos of our table but it was situated in a corner of one of the dining rooms making it great for both Kyle and I to people watch during dinner :)

After being seated, our server walked us through the menu and gave us recommendations on what to try for both food and wine. He highly recommended the 5-course tasting menu accompanied with wine pairings so Kyle and I both decided to try the tasting menu!

The tasting menu allowed each of us to select a plate from the Amusements, a plate from the Intermediates, a plate from the Flavors of the Sea and Land and a dessert. The 5th course was Marmalade’s famous “Tiny White Bean Soup” which I will detail out later in this post. Each plate was matched with a wine so Kyle and I didn’t have to worry about selecting wines that would complement each course.

My plate and wine selections included:

 Becky's Marmalade Meal

I won’t go into detail about each of my plates – I don’t want to give you too much food envy bore you with all of the delicious details – but I do want to share my two favorite tastings and my favorite wine pairing with you, the Tiny White Bean Soup, the Milk Chocolate Mousse and the Meiomi, Belle Glos, Pinot Noir – Santa Barbara 2009!

First of all, I want to tell you that each one our courses was absolutely outstanding. I could go on and on about every delicious detail but you should really just go there and try it for yourself! You will be amazed by the gorgeous plating, the intense flavors and the phenomenal pairings that the chef creates.

So, let’s start with Marmalade’s famous Tiny White Bean Soup.

Tiny Bean Soup

To be honest, I was skeptical when our server told us that a soup was their signature dish. A soup? But its hot and humid outside. Okay, whatever, I guess I’ll try it if I don’t have a choice.

Well, let me tell you, the Tiny White Bean Soup is one of the best things I have ever tasted and I am SO glad that this soup is included on all of Marmalade’s tasting menus! Perfectly creamy and topped with a drizzle of truffle oil and a few flakes of pancetta, this soup is to die for. Kyle and I enjoyed every last drop in each of our bowls. Amazingness.

I will be attempting to recreate this at home so look forward to a delicious recipe coming your way!

My other favorite course was dessert. Of course, right? Milk chocolate mousse doesn’t sound like anything spectacular but holy moly, it was orgasmic. Yes, I just referred to my dessert as orgasmic.

The description above does not do this mousse justice. A light passion fruit sauce drizzled onto the base of the plate topped with a gooey, flourless brownie that is topped with a decadent chocolate mousse rolled in cocoa powder that is topped with a small scoop of macadamia nut ice cream. Yes, please!

Mousse

I was insanely full after my meal but there was no way that I couldn’t not eat all of this dessert. Even Kyle was envious of my selection :)

And then there was the wine, lots and lots of wine. Our server told us that their wine tastings were not really tastings but more like 4 ounce tastings. Ummm… 4 ounces is a glass, right? Needless to say, there was lots of wine enjoyed that Sunday evening!

Trying to pick a favorite wine is like trying to pick your favorite child. You love them all, just differently. At least that is what I think I will feel like when I have children.

Anyways! My “favorite” wine of dinner was the Meiomi, Belle Glos, Pinot Noir – Santa Barbara 2009 which was served with my Organic Baby Kale Salad. This wine is the epitome of a Pinot Noir – Rich, flavorful and delicious. Our server saw how much I (and Kyle, he stole a few sips!) enjoyed this wine and refilled my glass.

Kale Salad

That is the type of service you can expect to receive at Marmalade. If you don’t like something, they will bring you a new plate. If you have allergies, they will alter their menu. If you love one of their wines, they will pour you another glass.

Impeccable service to go along with impeccable food. Again, the best meal I’ve ever had.

Kyle’s plate and wine selections included:

Kyle's Marmalade Meal

I tried each of Kyle’s meals but since I didn’t eat as much of them as Kyle, I am not going to pick a favorite of his. I will just share his menu above and let you decide for yourself!

One thing to note, Marmalade is not cheap – impeccable food and service should never be cheap! Our meal totaled approximately $300, including the food tastings, wine pairings and gratuity, and it was more than worth the price.

Please promise me you’ll go to Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar the next time you visit Puerto Rico. It is a must see.

What has your favorite restaurant experience been? How do you find great restaurants while on vacation?

Comments

  1. If I am ever in Puerto Rico, I will be sure to try that restaurant out! Happy Easter!

  2. This sounds like an absolutely fabulous restaurant, and how cool that the owner and chef is from eastern Iowa! Represent! :) What specific town, if I may ask?

    That soup sounds amazing! I cannot wait for you to recreate it and share the recipe :).

    • I am not sure what town! It didn’t say in his biography and I forgot to ask when we were there. He did mention a small college town so I am thinking maybe Decorah??

  3. My favourite has been a place in Melbourne called Hellenic Republic it is sort of fancy Greek style Tapas they do the most beautiful food and I would happily go back there time and time again :)

    Love that tiny bean soup it looks so good!

  4. that tasting menu sounds amazing…i hope the soup turns out amazing when you try to recreate it!!

  5. Woot for choosing a Santa Barbara wine as your favorite :) I went to college in SB, but never got a chance to go wine tasting because a) I didn’t turn 21 until my senior year and b) I was a poor college student, duh ;)

    This all sounds AMAZING! I think I’ve already mentioned that I studied abroad in France so pretty much most restaurants there were out of this world. But I’m definitely jealous of your meal!

  6. Hi! I’m a friend of Melanie (beautifully nutty) and found your blog – just for back from Puerto Rico yesterday, and completely 100% agree on marmalade! It was to die for. And that soup? Unreal.

    Our server actually have me a card with the recipe on it – which shocked me. I’d be happy to pass it along though! :)

    • Marmalade was absolutely incredible! I’m glad you agree :) I have almost perfected my own recipe, I’ll let you know if I need the real thing though!

  7. Thanks so much for your review. I read this post a week before my trip to Puerto Rico, and ultimately decided that I had to go to Marmalade. I’m thrilled I had that experience. And it looks like we now both have a new favorite restaurant.
    Justice recently posted…Must Dine at Marmalade!My Profile

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