With punched-tin ceilings, mason-jar lighting fixtures, and eclectic decor inspired by Versailles' Petit Trianon, the focus at this vegeterian restaurant is on pleasing the senses. Much of the organic produce used in the regularly changing menu comes from the owners' farm and other local sources. The flavor combinations are anything but accidental. Start with a garlicky "hummus" of local pigeon peas. The signature Verde Mesa rice is a mixture of in-season vegetables and
chickpeas that the owners say has turned many a skeptic into further exploring the culinary potential of vegetables. You'll also find quite a few expertly prepared tuna, salmon and scallop dishes, if you don't want to go all veggie. Your salmon might be cured with lavender and ginger and your scallop dish migh be served on a bed of parsnip mash, dressed with fig foam. Reservations are not accepted so arrive early; restaurant opens at 6 pm.
Feb 21, 2013
During many visits to Old San Juan, my wife and I have searched, not always successfully, for just the right place to have dinner. This time, prompted by Fodor, we peered in the windows of Verde Mesa and decided to give it a try. We're so glad we did. It's a charming place with an inventive menu and an appealing young staff. As far as we're concerned, Verde Mesa is just what the OSJ dining scene has needed.