Dominican Republic 2012: Santo Domingo, Boca Chica, Punta Cana, La Romana, Cueva de las Maravillas (5th Trip)

Dominican Republic 2012
Santo Dominco, Boca Chica, La Romana,  Punta Cana, Cueva de las Maravillas - November 2012

Boca Chica, Dominican Republic

Beautiful wedding in Boca Chica at 'Boca Marina', not a far drive from Santo Domingo.

Family at the wedding.  Great food.

The town of Boca Chica, is small and best avoided at night I was told.

These children were selling Johnny Cakes, a popular snack in Boca Chica for about 30 pesos, or 60 cents. 

Boca Chica is famous for its fried fish, the locally caught Mero, an island favorite, and one of mine also.


Frying Tostones

Fantastic fried fish.  Very fresh, crispy and delicious.  Watch for the bones, and give the fish a squeeze of lime.

Santo Domingo

 The Gate of San Diego.  The old entrance into the city from the port.

This Chicharron was a typical style you find in the Dominincan Republic.  
Its heavy and greasy and fantastic in small amounts.  They also serve Chorizo.

Plaintain Tree

Mango Tree

We always eat well in DR!

Half sweet baby pineapple purchased at the local farmers market.

Home Foie Gras (Rougie)
Block de Foie Gras al 100% Hecho en Casa Acompañado de una Jalea de Pork Belly y Baguette Au Se I (
Block of Foie Gras to 100% Homemade Accompanied by a Jelly Belly Pork Baguette) at Pat'e Palo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Crispy Apple
Fondue de Parmesano, Confitura de Cebolla & Jengibre, Coronado con Camarones salteados. 
(Fondue Parmesan and Onion Jam Ginger, topped with Sauteed Shrimp) at Pat'e Palo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Dominican Sushi at YOKOMO, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Tostones, Pollo, Guava Paste, Platanos Maduros, Tono, Mero, Tocino.

Mostly local ingredients, and quite good.

This was a ceviche sandwich on Tostones (twice fried crispy plantains).

Much of the sushi was sweet.  Combined with local fruit, plantains, guava paste and sweet sauces, it reflects the local taste.  One memorable Nigiri was a piece of crispy bacon and sweet Platanos Maduros.  No fish or anything remotely Japanese aside from the shape and the vinegar rice, yet it did not feel out of place alongside the sweet eel, or the white fish with guava paste.  Very interesting food, much of it was delicious.  

There is street food and drink being sold on many streets in Santo Domingo both on the corners and actually in the street.  Walking in between cars stopped at red lights at many intersections, people of all ages sell roasted nuts, fruit, baked goods, and drinks among other edible and non edible items.  Men circle the streets riding bikes outfitted with a cooler, and a basket that they use to string coconuts around.  It appears as if they are riding in a larger coconut themselves.  I was surprised to see them on the street riding around, trying to avoid traffic, and announcing their offering to the neighborhood and using a huge Machete to cut the top of the Coconut off.  There are also carts that don't seem to move often.  The one above was selling sliced pork sandwich topped with cheese, mayo and bbq sauce. 

One of the bridges on the south east side of the Island.

Pantheon National, Dominican Republic

Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The road from Bavaro to Punta Cana is lined with tall beautiful trees.

We stopped and had lunch at a local serve yourself spot near Bavaro.  They were serving typical Dominican cuisine, braised meats in thick sauces, roasted chicken, fried pork, rice, beans, a few starches, potatoes, yuka, yams and other i could not identify, along with fried fish balls and empanadas.  Very good and cheap.  

Maybe the biggest billboard I've ever seen outside of a major city, this thing was massive.

Fuego Gastro Bar, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
By Martin Berasetagui, Bavaro | Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, Punta Cana

Having missed his food our 2 times in Spain, we were excited to find that this place on Tripadvisor, where it is rated as the number one restaurant in the area as of this writing.  We can see why.  Fantastic menu, reflecting the basque region of Spain as well as local ingredients. The 7-course tasting menu along with a few other bites, was a great value at $55.  Even for DR that is a good deal for a meal of this caliber, and in NYC it would have easily been double.

Amuse Bouche of Ham Broth, Melon Pearls and Patatas Bravas

Vegetable Minestrone Soup with Cream of White Asparagus and Lobster

Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Salmon Tartar

Egg Cooked at Low Temperature with Beet Carpaccio and a Liquid Herb Carbonara 
(after I popped the egg and beet)

 Grilled Red Fish with Cauliflower Cream and Chard

Sirloin with Gnocci in Parmesan Cream
Green Apple Ravioli with Chilled Coconut Juice and Iced Rum

I opted for the Passion Fruit Mousse instead of the usual 7th course (Tiramisu).

Fresh Cheese and Sweets in La Romana, Dominican Republic

 Fruits in syrups, fresh soft salted cheese, and dulce de leche.

This fantastic sweet chutney like dessert had pineapples and papaya.

 We stopped for lunch, and I had this incredible roast pork.

Cueva de las Maravillas, Dominican Republic


Pulpo a la Griega at La Bohome Bistro, Santo Domingo

Foie Gras Creme Brulee at La Bohome Bistro, Santo Domingo

Octopus Carpaccio at La Bohome Bistro, Santo Domingo