Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo
I`m excited about Casco`s restaurants raising the bar in the City. Last week, Fish Market got featured in the magazine 9 -80, and the American Trade Restaurant opened doors featuring great stuff. This week I wanted to catch up and feature Donde José, a different type of restaurant that has just opened doors and is worth mentioning for many reasons.
First, there is the food. You`d think talking about restaurants, this should always go first, but so many times it is not. I`m glad to report food is the whole point of it. José, a Panamanian chef with experience in faraway places such as Australia, is passionate about food and has a touch for unusual combinations. I`m still tasting that killer octopus, very good! He defines it as a New Panamanian Cuisine and takes pride on trying to bring out the soul of a culture through the authenticity and freshness of ingredients.
Second, is where the food comes from. One of the things that makes this place great is the farm to table connection. José personally works with micro producers to get native ingredients that are little known (even to Panamanians) to work new recipes with his team through the week and be able to present the best he can to his 16 guests at his restaurant.
Third, you heard it right: only 16 seats. Chef`s table is four, the restaurant is only 16. A unique, intimate ambiance, where the chef gets to interact with every guest and share insight about the delicious 8 course meal that comes out of his kitchen. Open only 4 nights a week!
I`m not aware that anything like this has been done in Panama yet, and I`m glad Casco has been chosen to be on the leading edge once more. To make a reservation, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.