Best restaurant in the DR (Perhaps)
La Casita De Papi in cabarete, best seafood I've had in the entire DR. Huge fresh langostines, lobster, prawns , etc in a butter garlicky parmaseanny sauce and comes in a huge bowl in the middle of the table. Even the side dishes are great, carmelized carrot and zucchini strings and insanely good butter sauteed bacon potatoes. Um.. price is higher than most restaurants around there and the bill was 2500 RD$ or so for my wife and i with our 3 year old. When I first got to Cabarete I broke my culinary experience rule, never eat at an empty restaurant. I tried like 3 different places on the beach that had great looking menus and very mediocre food. La Casita de Papi is packed full literally every single night and the quality of the food reflects it. People say tourism is dead on the NC and there's no money to be made, but how are excellent restaurants full every single night if this is true. I've also never seen Gordito's empty and compared to most mex places in Cali I'd give it like a 3/5 . This goes to show, if you live on the NC and can do something properly, there is plenty of meat on the bone, and anyone saying otherwise is just making an excuse for their laziness/inability to do something properly.
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Nevermind... wrong restaurant.
Yes - Papis is great. Glad you newbies have found it. If you like seafood it is probably the best I have known. In Florida the East Coast Fish restaurant was close with stone crabs but it was a bit off putting to have a gun totting guard outide and the restaurant in the Penisula Hotel in Hong Kong was great when we were there last - the lobster wrapped in lettuce leaves was fantastic. Its on the first floor of course? LOL
Olly and the team
Planning a trip to cabarete soon.will give the restaurant a try.Love me some lobster!
Papi sold it and retired a few years back. But he left his recipes with the new owner and it is still the best in the area.
Go early and ask if they have Longostinos, the small lobsters. They cook it in the pan the same as the shrimps, but it is even better than the shrimp dish.
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You are right is was sold but as you say the new owner kept the recipes the same and it is still perhaps the best in the DR for seafood.
Great environment and great food!
I like Papi's.
I would not call it the best restaurant in the DR, but they do make some nice food, and the portions aren't stingy either.
And yes, they are pricy. But keep in mind they have to pay for the location as well.
And yes, you can be successfull with a restaurant in Cabarete, if you offer high(er) quality, and something different than all the other rubbish.
You have found one of the north coast's treasures. La casita de Papi is excellent!! And even though "Papi", Don Alfredo, is no longer cooking, the people who have taken it over are doing an excellent job keeping up the tradition. His namesake dish - langosto, langostino or camerones a la Papi - is absolutely wonderful. I have literally eaten there with hundreds of different people over the years and everybody who has tried his famous dish raves about it.
There was even a New York Times article featuring Papi "Don Alfredo" himself and the restaurant several years ago.
Everbody I have taken there to eat over the years when they return to the north coast from the U.S. the first thing they ask is when are we going to eat at Papi's.
All of the dishes I have tried there are excellent and always fresh. When things were busier here on the north coast there was always a wait to be seated in the evenings. On the weekends reservations with the specific dish you were going to order were a must. Since everything is fresh caught there was the possibility of your favorite dish not being available if not reserved in advance. I remember countless times making reservations for ten people and specifying each main course in advance.
One of the waitresses who has been working there for years rents an apartment from me in Sos˙a and tells me it is still the busiest restaurant on the beach, I certainly know why. I haven't been there in several months but now that you reminded me I'm going back this weekend. Thanks for reminding me.
There are perhaps only a few restaurants in Cab that know what they are doing and do it well:
Papi's, Gorditos, Casa Mami, Mojitos and now that the italian chef is back for a while, Natalie Simon.
And yes, they are all pretty busy.
I could swear I always taste a hint of saffron in their sauce. Very, very good!