In Old San Juan the El Convento Hotel is very well-known around the world especially for americans who grew up watching the Flying Nun with Sally Fields the pilot episode, its series opening and closing credits were filmed on site in Puerto Rico.
El Convento was an actual Carmelite convent converted into a hotel in the later years by one of the Woolworth family heir, is one of the most exclusive hotels in Old San Juan.
In it is El Picoteo Tapas Bar in a beautiful setting this place offers a nice menu and all is bite size, if you are hungry do not expect to have a plate filled to the brim with food.
As the name mentions it is a Tapas Bar small orders, yet enough to satisfy you have dessert and not feel uncomfortable.
Chef Fernando Lopez has a great menu the food is delicate and hearty at the same time, the evening we went for dinner pre-theatre he was not there. His Sous-chefs Felix Sierra and Pedro Salerno did a good job with the food extremely flavorful and visually stunning.
We ordered the Tabla Mixta a Chef’s choice of Antipasto, consisting of Serrano Ham, Manchego Cheese with Truffled Honey, Mahon Cheese, Sliced Spanish Sausage, a variety of Olives and Herb cheese toast.
Served on a cutting board very rustic looking.
Grilled Lamb chops with Berry chutney, beautifully seasoned and cooked perfectly at a medium rare temperature
Desserts we ordered Custard of the day which was a cheese custard dense flavorful and satisfying,
also in our quest to find the perfect moist Tres leche (a milky, moisty, sponge cake made with three different types of milk)
we ordered one and finally we found the one nice balance on the different milks, the consistence was extremely moist without, falling apart, it held together nicely the topping of the beaten egg white was sweet enough without being overpowered.
This is a definite place to visit, you will satisfy your hunger and walk away without feeling uncomfortably full.
Hotel El Convento
100 Cristo Street, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
Contact: 787-723-9020 Fax: 787-721-2877
A lively room open air overlooking the interior of the convents garden, high energy without being intrusive
Attentive very outgoing staff and knowledgeable without any fuss.
Tabla Mixta; Grilled Lamb chops; Tres Leches.
PRICES Appetizers $7 to $29; main courses, $9 to $29.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner