Back towards the beginning of the year, CT and I learned that CT’s Sister’s Sister-in-Law would be getting married in Panama at the end of July. Why Panama? The Bride’s parents live down there now full-time. We learned that Panama has a huge ex-pat population mostly because it is so cheap and the U.S. Dollar is the functional currency down there. Since CT’s whole family is quite close with her brother-in-law’s family, we were all invited to the wedding. Since neither of us had been to Panama before, we decided to spend an extra couple days down there to explore the city and of course, the food. Join us the next couple of weeks as we eat PANAMA!
For our last night in Panama, we had to have a special dinner to wrap up our wonderful vacation. Unfortunately, we were both still pretty full from our lunch feast at La Mexicanita No.2. Regardless, we decided to check out one of the more famous restaurants in Panama City, La Posta. They specialize in Italian food with a local Panamanian flare.
CT says: Fair warning, I was more than “pretty full” at this point, even after swimming and walking quite a bit that afternoon. However, I really tried to push past that and enjoy our last meal.
The restaurant was located in an old “plantation-style” house downtown and not too far from our hotel. Tables filled up quickly with a mix of businessmen, ex-pats and tourists. Service was off to a strong start with a couple waiters and bussers floating around with water, bread and wine.
Bread service included some generic rolls and one nice piece of tomato focaccia.
CT started with the Pedasi Day Boat Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with mango, cilantro and plantain chips ($9.50). It’s hard to complain about an order of tuna tartar that cost less than $10.
CT says: This was pretty good – the tuna was incredibly fresh and tasted delicious topped on the crunchy plantain chip. It could have used a little more acid to balance the large amount of fish, but I still happily ate it.
When I saw “Octopus Three Ways” on the menu, I obviously had to get it, especially when it cost $10.50. This was the worst picture of the bunch, sorry. It consisted of grilled on top of fried chunks on top of a bed of carpaccio. It was good, but none of the preparations were very notable. I eat octopus almost every time I see it on a menu so it was worth a try. I think my lack of appetite resulted in the lower appreciation of this dish.
CT said: I took a few bites and really liked the dish. I don’t eat nearly as much octopus as TT, but I thought it was cooked pretty nicely. The grilled was my favorite.
CT wanted a light entreé so she thought one of the fresh house made pastas would do the trick. She chose the Canelloni di Polo e Bietola ($14.50). It had swiss chard and chicken. She was pretty taken aback when a huge pile of sizzling cheese was placed in front of her. It tasted good, but was the last thing both of us wanted.
CT says: I definitely didn’t expect a cheesy gut-bomb and I felt over-the-top full just looking at it! However, I pushed the cheese aside and ate just the pasta stuff with chicken and swiss chard and it was really good. The pasta had a nice bite to it and the filling was flavorful enough. But again, I was just too full to fully appreciate it. I think less than half way through I gave up. The cheese won. I tried, I really did.
I also decided to order “light” by getting a fish. Corvina with mojo and cassava ($13.75). As you can see we ate a lot of corvina during our short time in Panama. The mojo was nice and tangy but also pretty rich. We were able to eat about half of the nicely sized portion. The large green beans were lightly cooked so they retained a nice crunch.
Once we waived the white flag of our less than half eaten entreés, I noticed the previously attentive waitstaff disappeared from our entire dining section. I saw a couple of our neighbors start to get frustrated with the lack of service since they were ready for dessert and/or a check. CT & I were in too much of food coma to be bothered by it and just sat and digested. The restaurant was completely packed by the time we left so it was a little understandable why the service dropped off.
All in all, La Posta was a nice restaurant that we unfortunately weren’t able to fully experience due to our lack of appetite. CT was right and we should have shared an appetizer or only have gotten one entreé. If I ever find myself in Panama, I would definitely give La Posta another shot.