The secret ingredient: service
Many argue that the way you present a dish—the china used, the methodical piling of the different ingredients, or the strategically plac...
Many argue that the way you present a dish—the china used, the methodical piling of the different ingredients, or the strategically placed, not-for-consumption decorative vegetables or flower—can make or break the meal.
Not me. Favorite restaurants have suddenly appeared on my black list because of terrible service. And I have found myself returning to average-rated restaurants because of a safeguarded memory of a kind smile and a jovial conversation in the back of my mind.
Two weekends ago, I visited VISO Fifty Two with a couple of my girl friends. The restaurant is located on the Galerías Punta Paitilla mall, near Popeyes in Paitilla. A front terrace was built especially for the restaurant, taking up former parking spots, and my friends and I had a private joke that we would only justify the mall modifications if the quality of the food surpassed our expectations.
Viso Fifty Two and Chef Mario Castrellon represent the new face of creative cuisine in Panama’s restaurant scene. All of the dishes offered are created with a fusion of recipes and culinary influences from around the world, placed within the context of Panama City thanks to fresh local ingredients.
Our meals—we ordered the seared tuna with a soy glaze, a fish fillet of sorts adorned with shrimps, shrimps skewers with coconut rice and topped it off with a shared tres leches—were all well prepared, beautifully presented, and absolutely delicious. And the ambiance, with the modern and cosmopolitan interiors, left us asking for nothing more.
Although a hard to find combo, what is going to keep me going back for more is its flawless service. Our waiter was incredibly attentive, checking up on us enough to answer our questions without imposing on our luncheon. The lasting enthusiasm with which he worked, which tends to fade after the first months in most restaurants, added the ideal zest to our meals.
Viso Fifty Two is participating in the upcoming Restaurant Week. If you are having a hard time choosing which restaurant to indulge in, I highly recommend it. For a fixed price, you will get 3 succulent meals, complimentary wine, great presentation and taste, and top-notch service.
Now, THAT’s a deal too good to let pass. And, for those wondering, we forgave them for using up the parking space. The experience justifies their terrace.