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The Honeymoon Eats (Part 1)

Here we are – it’s Monday. Did everyone have a fabulous weekend? We couldn’t have asked for better weather here. It was in the high 50s with sunshine and the Fall colors are still just glorious.

We’re definitely out of the wedding/honeymoon groove now and back to the day-to-day routine. We watched the first game of the NLCS (Go Cards!) and watched the nail-biter Packer game yesterday afternoon. The weekend rounded up with an invite to watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead with some friends.

I’ve been taking it easy this past week (and maybe this week too) winding down from all the chaos. Fall is my favorite time of the year and while I’m already bundling up, I’m taking time to enjoy the weather, the scenery, and my share of all things pumpkin and apple. But I still have a bunch of fun honeymoon pics left to share and I promised I’d get them up – so here we go!

La Riviera – buffet

Like most resorts, ours had the standard buffet restaurant that served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The first night we arrived in Punta Cana, we were tired, HOT, and hungry. Since we didn’t want to mess around getting out fancy dining clothes (most of the dinner places had dress codes), we opted for the buffet the first night. I couldn’t believe how empty the place was! In retrospect, why would people eat at the same place for dinner that they’d eaten for breakfast and lunch?

Later in the week I regretted wasting one of our dinners on the buffet but I did get to sample that night’s specialty item: Jamaican coffee flambé. They make espresso and add brandy, rum, a layer of sweet cream, and a dash of cinnamon. Then they add a small capful of brandy to your saucer, light it on fire, and then you blow it out (and they clap). I could have drank 5 cups had I not been so hot and sweaty. Delicious!

After our first night, we used the buffet for breakfasts and lunches only. They had a really good breakfast buffet and I would have been content with that same food for lunch too!

053They had a fresh smoothie bar, an omelet station, tons of fresh fruit, and a large variety of other breakfast items. I wouldn’t say all the food was amazing, but the presentation definitely was first-rate!

076Can you believe someone had the time for this??

073074203It’s funny how you get into a routine even on vacation. We’d always sit in the same spot – where we were inside getting the benefit of the AC but also where we could look out and see the palm trees and the water. It’s a pretty relaxing way to spend the morning.

One day we traveled over to the sister resort and we took a look at their buffet. Very similar but the dining area was one large room instead of the more secluded nooks we had on our side. You could tell that was a much larger resort but it was weird hearing all the crying babies in the morning. It was much louder and seemed way more chaotic.

075039038Seaside Grill – Steak

On Sunday we decided it was time to tackle some of the fancy dinner places. Nothing required a reservation (which was wonderful) and since we were on the off-season, most places were pretty empty with no waits. There were 3 dinner options on our resort: a steak place, a sushi place, and a seafood place. Since neither Ben nor I eat fish/seafood, you can guess where we were headed our first night.

Appetizer course:

I went with the chophouse salad which had HUGE blue cheese chunks, bacon, and fruit. Oddly enough, I picked off all the bacon. Punta Cana bacon is not the same as US bacon and the difference was not good. Ben picked a creamy bacon and leek soup. He also noticed the bacon difference.

026 025In our 2011 trip to Cozumel we challenged one another to pick menu items outside the box knowing we could always go to the buffet if we were still hungry afterwards. We had considered doing that here as well but it didn’t end up that way…

Main courses:

Ben went with the steak (when in Rome) and I picked the smothered chicken. One of the more amusing aspects we discovered was trying to decipher that you ordered vs. what we thought you’d actually get. “Smothered chicken” to me meant a juicy piece of chicken piled with the menu-specific onions, tomatoes, and cheese. What I ended up with were two thinly-pounded flat and dry chicken breasts with all the toppings deconstructed… and Velveeta cheese.
028 027Dessert:

You can’t go wrong with cheesecake so I selected that and Ben picked the brownie. Safe desserts! Well… Dominican cheesecake has neither the sweetness or texture of American cheesecake and Ben graciously swapped desserts with me.

029 030032We gave our meal there a B-. Nothing too tragic but nothing to really write home about.

Capers – Italian

Capers was located on the far side of the other resort. For guests looking to go there for dinner, you’d go to the front lobby and they’d shuttle you over in a large golf cart. Because of the rig-ma-role, we asked our new friends if they wanted to join us for dinner that night. It was a pretty ride over with all the grounds lit up.

It’s worth mentioning that this was now Monday and that morning I had my first meet-and-greet with what the 4 of us would affectionately term “The Dominican Cleanse”. I remembered a brief but similar issue in Cozumel which lasted one afternoon and then was thankfully over. I was feeling better by dinnertime but Ben was starting to not feel so great, so unfortunately he picked around at the food and kept careful eye on where the bathroom was.

Capers was beautiful. I loved the look and feel of it. Of course I say that realizing I didn’t take any pictures of the inside. *doh* They had amazing wait staff who made you feel like royalty and we had some great laughs with them. You got a quick trip up to an appetizer bar where we watched a chef toss pizza dough in the air (the pizza was amazing).

Main Courses:

Ben chose the pesto gnocchi and I went with basic ravioli. My ravioli was edible but not great but Ben’s gnocchi was absolutely terrible. I felt bad because he was already not feeling very good and he picked around the unappetizing plate of food. I kept sliding a few raviolis over to him so he could have something to eat.

046 045

Dessert:

Ben and I both picked the tiramisu while our friends went with the cannoli. Our tiramisu was absolutely amazing. I wished I could have had another piece! The cannoli was just so-so.

047 048One of the things we learned while dining out was that the consistency of food wasn’t very good. One dessert would be incredible and the next would be so bland and tasteless that we often didn’t eat more than the first bite. I imagine it must be a challenge to make food that is acceptable to palates from countries all over the world!

Despite the unfavorable main entrees, I gave this place a B. The staff were my favorite and I just loved the feel of the restaurant. They played Italian opera music softly in the back and it just had this awesome feel to it that we weren’t even on a resort anymore.

Whew, this is taking longer to type all this out than I thought. I’ll break here so I won’t be late for work. More food to come!

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3 Responses

  1. Well it all looks good sorry some of it wasn’t up to snuff. Love the fruit carvings. I always wanted to try that 🙂

    • We certainly didn’t starve though! Yes, I’ve always wanted to try fruit carvings too. I remember my mom would cut a watermelon in the shape of a basket and put the cubes in that and I always thought it was really cool. I am not very clever that way. Someday maybe!

  2. I imagine it is a lot like a cruise. Nothing stellar as far as food goes because of the huge quantity they have to turn out. I think the food always has what I call an ‘industrial’ taste to it.

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