Everyone we asked recommended Pat'e Palo as the best restaurant in Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial. Styling itself as a European brasserie, the enticing menu of executive chef Saverio Stassi manages to seem both exotic and familiar at the same time, ranging from ceviche to sea bass and foie gras to ossobuco.
The classic French tartar was served with truffle oil, mushrooms, and other accompaniments and was an intense — and surprisingly filling — way to start the meal. The short ribs were melt-in-your-mouth tender and came with an interesting potato tortilla; the creamy coconut curry shrimps were fat and juicy.
There are various tasting menus you can try if you don't want to go à la carte, including a rum pairing menu. If you'd rather stick to the grape there is, of course, an extensive wine list.
The restaurant is set on the buzzing Plaza España, and the outdoor terrace is a fun and lively space for dining and people-watching. There is a bar and a lounge for those who would rather eat indoors. The service is attentive.
Pat'e Palo is popular with tourists and locals, and it's advisable to make a reservation in advance. Expect to spend at least $100 on a meal for two with wine. But if you are going to splurge, this is the place.