La Casona Renew
If the elegant restaurant tables at La Casona in Santurce could talk, many books would be written on the contemporary history of Puerto Rico.
It was founded in 1971 and has been in operation continuously since then. It is the only restaurant that has been in business with the same management for so many years. And it's Manuel Caamaño, chef and owner of the premises, and their employees those who have witnessed the most interesting stories from characters that make headlines.
"Almost all Puerto Rican governors, foreign ambassadors, and even former President of Spain, José María Aznar, visited our local repeatedly. That fills us with joy", Caamaño said.
With seven rooms spread over an acre of land, the place is perfect for a discreet dinner or lunch without many knowing.
Visitors to the local know that La Casona could pass as just another building in San Juan, but once you step in it's inevitable to get caught by the magic of its architecture and design.
The local is so ample that depending on where you sit you will have a different experience. A huge tree planted in the same place 130 years ago overshadows the tables in the main hall, almost like you're dining in a garden; handmade stained glass windows are in place in another hall, and balconies on the second floor offer incredible views of the area.
Undoubtedly one of the most pleasant surprises of the place is the large courtyard covered by orchids and fruit trees, where many enjoy a a drink before dinner with the companion of Manola, a macaw pet who has been in the restaurant for over 30 years.
It also has a unique wine cellar in Puerto Rico, built by its owner and maintenance personnel.