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Demanding diners have reasons to be pleased
By Jacob Ehrler
Photos Gustavo Miller
Guests and visitors to The Waldorf Astoria Panama have a fabulous restaurant to look forward to in BRIO Brasserie, headed up by executive sous chef José Gómez. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant delivers everything and more that one should expect from the pinnacle brand of the Hilton hotel chain’s first incursion in Latin America.
Start with attentive, look-you-in-the-eye, service, move on to a glass of expertly-served wine and take off with a succulent Kobe Beef Carpaccio ($17). While in mid-air, do not pass up the Australian Lamb Chops ($38). Return to the earth with one of the delicious desserts, but request that it be served with the signature Raspberry and Red Pepper Sorbet and a cup of Tea Forté brand tea.
The Yellowtail Tuna Tartar ($14) proves that a proper prime ingredient is all it takes to make a successful dish. This one is dressed with citrus soy, mustard oil and avocado. Also standing out is the Farm Salad ($13). It brings a flavor-packed mix of crisp, fresh vegetables set in the most perfect of scenarios – among oregano, Kalamata olives and Feta.
The main course
The Chicken Adobo ($21) is the most economical dish on the menu and wins points for preparation. Tangy dark meat is served in a demi glazed roll presentation with haricot vert and sweet potato puree. It’s outstanding. The Osso Buco ($29) puts a new twist on this
continental favorite that has been pleasing Panama City diners since the birth of the modern gastronomic scene on the isthmus. It is served in a glaze sweeter than what diners are accustomed to probably atop a home-style rigatoni with Taleggio cheese, garlic, herbs and butter.
The devil’s in the detail. The little things prove that The Waldorf Astoria has successfully delivered its cut-above brand to the nation. These include Gluten Free Bread and the capacity to maintain culinary standards while paying attention to specific dietary needs, expert tableside service of the soup of the day and the tenderness of the Grilled Octopus Salad starter.