Located in the hip hotel Chateau Cervantes, Panza (named after Don Quixote's sidekick), is one of Old San Juan's chicest eateries. In the high-ceilinged, soft-lit dining room, fashionable hotel guests sample chef Rafael Alejandro's creative modern-tropical dishes—like lobster bisque flavored with coconut and whipped to a foamlike consistency; or tuna cutlets rolled in plantain flakes and served with a guava glaze. The pain perdu, a crunchy-moist bread pudding with maple syrup, guava sorbet, and pineapple marmalade, makes for a decadent finish.
Tip: Among the extensive selection of Spanish wines is an especially good Albariño, a crisp white that pairs beautifully with seafood.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.