Located in the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, Pikayo is one of the most well known restaurants on the island, and rightfully so. Chef Wilo Benet leads ... More
Located in the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, Pikayo is one of the most well known restaurants on the island, and rightfully so. Chef Wilo Benet leads a team that creates some simply exquisite dishes. Pikayo fuses classic French, Caribbean Creole and California nouvelle cuisine with definite Puerto Rican flair, to offer an impressive array of complex, but delicious concoctions. The decor is smartly contemporary, with lots of black-and-white accents that gives Pikayo a New York deli ambiance.
I called the restaurant directly and made a reservation. They repeated my name to me and pronounced it correctly. They did not ask how to spell it. Arrived at the restaurant and there was no host, but I noticed that there were only three names left on the list for the evening. One was my name, badly misspelled (it is a simple, two syllable name). When the host arrived and I gave my name, he looked at the list and then informed me that I had no reservation. He asked what hotel I was staying at and who made the reservation. I told him that I made it directly. I pointed to the name on the list that had to be my name and was told that "maybe" that was my reservation. He then said he may have a table for me anyway (as if he was doing me a favor).
I'm sure the food is good. That is why I made the reservation, but being told you do not have a reservation is not a nice way to start a very expensive meal. After we were seated and water was poured (with being asked if we wanted bottled water) I noticed on the menu that the charge for water was $3.00 per person. Coupled with the valet parking (you have no choice but to get valet parking after the museum closes for the evening) you are out $16.00 just to sit down and look at the menu.
I was asked if I would like a cocktail or the wine list (not sure why you can't have both) so decided to I asked for the wine list and it was delivered. The next time someone came by the table (a good two or three minutes later) I asked about a cocktail list and was told they didn't have a one. I asked for a suggestion and the best they could come up with was "Mojito". I declined and the waiter moved on.
The wine list was disappointing. In terms of whites, the largest section was “California Chardonnays”. I have trouble pairing those with food. The "Other Whites" section was also about 40% Chardonnay from places outside of California. The selection of Reds was better.
Given the prices (e.g. $47.00 for a fillet) and the fact that we then went without our waiter for another five minutes we decided to leave. When we walked past our waiter he joked about us “both having to use the rest room at the same time” and we just smiled. He then followed us out of restaurant into the museum lobby and asked what was wrong. I said that I just wasn’t having as nice an experience as I expected. He asked if we were staying “at the Ritz”. We said “no, we’re at the Hilton”. I’m not sure what that had to do with anything, but he never left a message at the hotel apologizing or inviting us back.
I don’t mind spending a great deal of money on a truly great meal, but I expect it to be a great experience from the time I make the reservation until the time I leave. I certainly don’t expect a poor reservation process, paying for water I didn’t even ask for and then trying to match my meal with Mojitos and Chardonnay.
The beauty of it all is only surpassed by the food! From the moment you arrive, you are greeted as if you have dined there forever! Professional and warm staff is the only way to describe this experience.
Pikayo has been ranked as one of my most memorable dining experiences. We were greeted with care from the onset and taken care of with pleasure throughout our dinner. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was a sight to see and the service ranked as best yet. I highly recommend this restaurant and make sure it's part of your Puerto Rico experience.
The service was spectacular and detailed, at the same time warm in a respectfull way. The flavors were intense but yet balanced and there is a general feeling of wanting to make sure it is truly a memorable experience.
I can't say enough good things about Pikayo...but please note that the location listed in this directory is incorrect. It now resides in the Puerto Rico Art Museum on De Diego Avenue. The atmosphere is beautiful and serene. Excellent place for a romantic dinner, entertaining clients, or friends. The food is unique and all of the entrees we had were wonderful. They don't have an extensive white wine list, but they have pages and pages of reds. The restaurant is a bit pricey but it is well worth it. Definitely give this one a try when in San Juan.
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