It took a canceled flight, the very last spot on a standby list, and a couple hours of shoveling my car out of the airport parking lot, but I am back home in snowy Richmond. Sooo... let's turn around and head back to Puerto Rico. It's warm and there are piña coladas.
My mom, sister, and I take a long weekend every January to escape the cold and head to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We get plenty of sun (rather, I get a spray tan from my girl Alison then douse myself in SPF and don a giant sunhat), catch up on our reading, stroll around old San Juan, and eat. A lot.
Our hotel is just a few minutes' drive from the center of old San Juan, and we go into town most nights to stroll the blue brick-paved streets and find dinner. Dinner the first night was at Aji Dulce, which is down a little side street with tables right on the sidewalk and a musician playing inside. We started with mojitos and appetizers of conch and lobster before moving onto mofongo and red snapper. Our waiter brought out a tray of the freshly caught fish for us to choose, and then fried it whole and served it alongside rice, beans, and homemade hot sauce. Just the thing to make us forget about the snowstorm back home.
Our Saturday night tradition in San Juan is dinner at the stellar Marmalade. Over several years of doing the tasting menu here I've had too many amazing dishes to name, but a few standouts this trip included the red snapper ceviche, the braised rabbit over polenta with olive pesto, the pork with black bean purée and roasted peanut emulsion (my mom ordered this and I think I stole most of it - will definitely be attempting this recipe at home), the killer white bean soup with bacon dust and truffle oil, and a dessert of coffee and donuts.
We were supposed to fly back on Sunday, but that flight was canceled thanks to Jonas so we made the most of our bonus day with snorkeling and a fabulous dinner at El Jibarito. Once again we went with mofongo and fried whole red snapper because Puerto Rico does this meal right. El Jibarito's fish is just about perfect in its fresh simplicity: crunchy, salty, and served with a lime wedge. Our waiter left bottles of homemade hot sauce and garlic sauce on our table for our meal and it took all my self control not to drink them with a straw.
While I can't say I was antsy to get home, it was a relief to finally catch a plane and get back to my husband, pets, and, sigh, work. Edward and I are off again tomorrow to Charleston for a long weekend. The band that played at our wedding will be playing at a little bar on Sullivan's Island and hey, that's reason enough for us.
And just in case all this snow is making you thirsty, I'll have you covered with a piña colada recipe on Friday. Slush belongs in your glass, not on the streets.
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Welcome! I'm Arielle, and this is Scotch & Nonsense. Whether you've come for the home projects, the recipes, or the cocktails, I'm thrilled you're here and I hope you'll stay a bit.