On Vieques Island in Puerto Rico, the W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island seamlessly blends sustainability, luxury and local culture. One of my favorite aspects of the resort is its farm-to-table menu, which features traditional Puerto Rican dishes with a Vieques twist. Many of the many items are based on recipes from the grandmothers of the chefs, which are then tweaked to cater to the international palate.
Many of the ingredients come from the property’s organic farm, which grows everything from watermelon to microgreens to avocado. I recommend opting for their tasting menu so you can sample a variety of dishes, each one prepared and served by the chef himself with commentary to help you learn about the island and its culture. Some dishes I sampled included a Caribbean ceviche made with mahi mahi and passionfruit to make it local; a lobster salad cooked slow to make it sweet with spicy lime vinigrette, mushrooms, local sprouts and garlic chips; and shrimp marinated in rum and sambuca, a sauce reminiscent of the local chichaito drink made with local white rum and anise liqueur. In my opinion, Sorcé Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico.
Patrons can choose to dine inside — adorned with Vieques-reminiscent artwork, natural wood tones, rustic textures and a lattice wood and rope installation inspired by the island’s many beehives helping fruit trees to flourish — or outside at The Fire Pit Lawn, an event area where guests can choose to have a special dining event catered. If it’s nice out and you have a group I recommend the outdoor dining, as the table is illuminated by candles and tiki torches and you hear nothing but the crashing of waves and the clinking of wine glasses.
Beginning in Fall 2013, guests will also be able to tour the hotel’s organic farm, pick their own produce and cook a delicious meal under the guidance of a chef.