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Dominican cuisine is made up of regional ingredients as well as others products commonly used throughout Latin America. A mix of sweet and salty ingredients results in unique and distinctive flavors. The typical products used from the Caribbean, include coconuts and bananas, which are found in a number of dishes. There is also a definite Creole influence, brought here originally by African slaves, as well as by the locals who lived on the island long before the Spanish arrived.
The preparation and presentation of certain foods have a definite resemblance to Spanish dishes. Sancocho Dominicano looks like a Spanish dish known as cocido, however, the numerous ingredients and complex cooking style really make it a unique treat. Locrio is another local dish which is similar to paella, containing rice, shrimp, herring, sardines and cod.
Sancocho is a thick stew prepared to celebrate special occasions, most often cooked when serving a large number of people. The ingredients include goat, beef and pork as well as corn, potato and a number of tropical spices, such as name (nya-meh) and yautia. It is considered one of the most representative and popular dishes in the country. >Moro is another dish that cannot be left out of a Dominican festivity. It's a mix of rice, beans and meat, and is often accompanied with cod. There's a variant of Moro called Moro de Guandules that has the very distinct flavors of coconut milk and guandules which are a vegetables similar to peas.
Asopao is a common dish in the Dominican culture, typically used to help with the aftereffects of a wild night of partying. It consists of a rice based soup with chicken, tomato and coriander. There's a variety of Asopao dishes and it is often served with seafood. Tostones, sometimes referred to as Fritos, are a popular side dish in the Dominican Republic. They are slices of green banana fried with salt and in some cases vinegar, garlic and other spices. The most popular desert, however, has to be Majarete. It consists of slices of corn on the cob mixed with coconut milk, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla.
La Romana has the majority of its tourist attractions inside Casa de Campo. Some of the most popular restaurants are located here, such as Cafe El Patio, serving Dominican cuisine, where people go to eat dinner or just to enjoy an appetizer. Lago Grill typically serves a breakfast and lunch buffet. When looking for a quick bite, between lunch and dinner, 19th Hole is an ideal spot as it is open all day and has a bar as well. Tropicana is a restaurant that serves succulent barbecued meats and fresh seafood. If meat is not your thing then they also have an excellent vegetarian menu.
A variety of excellent restaurants can be found in Altos de Chavon when tourists are looking to eat something a little less regional. La Piazetta is an Italian restaurant and a great choice for fine dining or a romantic dinner. Cafe del Sol is another Italian restaurant which opens for lunch and closes well after dinner. El Sombrero is an excellent Mexican restaurant open for dinner, and Casa del Rio is the perfect choice if you are looking for something more European, as they serve delicious French food.
This beautiful spot, where the river and sea meet, offers an interesting dining experience. Casita del Mar serves Spanish and International dishes and offers spectacular views from its terrace. This restaurant comes highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a selection of fish dishes. Peperoni is one of the most prestigious restaurants in the area, located in Portofino Plaza. It offers a number of high quality international wines, while the food is an eclectic mix of dishes prepared with all sorts of meats and seafood.