Don’t be put off by the drab exterior of Urdin (1105 Ave. Magdalena, 787/724-0420, Mon.–Fri. noon–3 p.m. and 6–10:30 p.m., Sat. 6–10:30 p.m., $17.95–27.95). Inside is a shocking contrast: an elegant, contemporary dining room filled with thick carpets and dramatic paintings. The Spanish-influenced menu features several unusual dishes, including mussel croquettes, sweetbread cakes, wild boar chops, and roast duck in sour chocolate sauce. Take advantage of the valet parking.
Across the street from Urdin is a fine classic restaurant called Ramiro’s (1106 Ave. Magdalena, 787/721-9056 or 787/721-9049, fax 787/722-6067, ramiros [at] caribe [dot] net, Mon. noon–4 p.m., Tues.–Fri. noon–9 p.m., $13–37). In a gorgeous green Spanish colonial mansion with enormous stained-glass windows, this chef-owned restaurant has exquisite table settings and tons of Old World style. The cuisine is international with an emphasis on Spanish interpretations, including halibut with banana chutney, yellowfin tuna in snail and chorizo sauce, and osso buco lasagna with foie sauce.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition