Higuero Restaurant, Santo Domingo, traditional food with a gourmet touch
Stepping out on to the busy streets of Zona Colonial in downtown Santo Domingo, the smell of fried chicken, pizza, pasta, steak and French fries envelopes one, wafting from terraced restaurants or through windows in old, ornate Spanish buildings.
So one must take a taxi five miles outside the old town to Parque Mirador Sur, where Higuero restaurant offers a diverse display of Dominican dishes, often with innovative twists to traditional cuisine, most with a historical perspective – many items being named after pivotal events or personalities involved in the development of the Dominican Republic. La Trinitaria, for example is the name given to empanadas of yucca, cheese and vegetables. It also is the name of a secret, revolutionary organisation led by national hero, Juan Pablo Duarte, which helped establish the Dominican Republic.
The restaurant was opened by Luis Marino Lopez, the lively owner of the Adrian Tropical chain of restaurants in Santo Domingo, who also owns the Arrozsal Restaurant, beside Higuero, that serves a mainly international menu.
Higuero, named after a small tree bearing a fruit used in the treatment of infections, has a well-stocked bar with a wide selection of local rums.
The chicken soup on the menu is a thick and wholesome broth, flavored with the subtle taste of cilantro ancho, and rich in pumpkin and plantain. Chichatata is a basket of deep fried pork belly and hand-cut potatoes, a combination of sweet and salty, crisp and soft that raises the concept of deep-frying to a gourmet level. The ‘Duarte peak’ is a healthy alternative starter, a mountain of cassava nachos covered with a lava-spill of guacamole and chicken pieces.
The fish dish, a red snapper, comes accompanied by Chenchen, a cracked corn pilaf in coconut milk. The fish is soft and tender, not overcooked in any way, its flavor enhanced by the sweet traditional corn dish.
Reflecting the traditional character of the restaurant, coffee is prepared in a ritualistic way tableside with the waitress using a wooden stand and a long filter pouch. Its rich aroma lingers in the air and its taste is truly uplifting.
Category: DR Living |