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“Permanently closed”
Review of Pikayo

Pikayo
Ranked #25 of 1,140 Restaurants in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$25 - US$100
Cuisines: Caribbean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Pikayo is the flagship restaurant for Chef Wilo Benet. The restaurant has set standards and raised the level of luxury in fine dining in Puerto Rico. Pikayo combines exquisite taste with exclusive ambiance and unique creativity in its cuisine.Avant-garde and intrepid are two words that can be used to describe Chef Wilo Benet’s cuisine. Benet has redefined Puerto Rican cuisine and in the process has put the Island’s enchanting flavors on display for the whole world to admire.Pikayo uses the best ingredients from both sea and land. Enjoy favorites such as Maine Diver Scallops and Petit Duck Magaret.Chef Wilo and Pikayo have been featured on television and in many publications. Recently, Chef Wilo appeared as a guest judge on Bravo’s popular show, Top Chef. He followed up that experience by competing alongside other well-known chefs on Top Chef: Masters. Pikayo has also hosted Andrew Zimmern and his television show from the Travel Channel.
Reviewed January 7, 2018

This excellent restaurant is permanently closed. Rumors that Willo Benet, one of the best chefs in Puerto Rico will open a new restaurant elsewhere are running.

    • Value
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6  Thank 27Ruben27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 861 reviews

Reviewed December 11, 2017

Went there for a Saint Valentines dinner and it was a good choice. The service was excellent from the beginning till the end. The food was exquisite as well as the deserts. This is a fine dinning restaurant that you must go.

    • Service
    • Food
Thank riveraraule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 7, 2017

My wife & I have not been to San Juan for a number of years. As such, we were not familiar with a lot of the newer restaurants. Pikayo being one of them. It was literally a block away from the Condado Vanderbilt, where we were staying.

After reading the reviews, we had great expectations. We were not disappointed. The fresh fish is to die for....flavorful, and cooked to perfection. My wife had the cod the first night. She has eaten cod all over the world, and emphatically stated that it was the best she has ever eaten. The first night I had the escargot & barbecued shrimp.While I love escargot in the shell, the flavors were amazing. Not drowned in butter & garlic. The large shrimp, cooked to perfection.

We both enjoyed it so much, we went back two nights later. We NEVER do that ! Two out of four nights at one restaurant? Worth going back for. Our meal the second night was just as good as the first night.

I don't want to leave out the service. Impeccable, without being over-the-top (in your face). Everyone from the initial assistant who got us our drinks, to the manager who came over to insure that everything was outstanding - which it was.

Price wise, exactly were you expect a fine dining establishment to be. On the pricey side, but reasonable.

    • Value
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Thank Scubajk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilo B, Owner at Pikayo, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2017

It's a pleasure to hear your wife considers our cod to be the best she's ever had -- thank you for your kind remarks on our shrimp and escargot as well. I'm more than happy our impeccable service and wonderful flavors could entice you both to return for another wonderful meal just two nights later -- that fact alone brings us as much joy as any complliment.

'Til next time,
Chef Wilo, Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 16, 2017

I don’t write this with ill will. Rather, I hope that Chef Benet takes a good look at what’s going on in his kitchen.

What we expected and why: A really great dinner as reward for uncompromising parenting.

Once a month I treat my wife to a very special sexy dinner. Price is not an issue because it's parent’s night out and we deserve nothing but the best when we take a break from the three rascals. So as you can imagine, dinner has to be extra especially yummy. It was Pikayo's turn. We've been in San Juan for 10 years now and we still haven't tried the place. Reviews seemed really good, and even the owner of the office supply company I make business with recommended it. So we happily left three relaxed kids watching a movie with the baby sitter and off we went. Free at last, we certainly expected something special. Both my wife and I went to school and lived in several big cities in the mainland, and we like to think that we know a bit about sexy food. We can definitely tell when someone just drowns a piece of anything into fruit sauce and calls it a foodie dish by tripling the price. We also know the talent and skill required to make a complex dish without overwhelming the flavors of its main ingredient. We were expecting that level of craftsmanship at Pikayo. Naturaly, we take as a given top-notch service, elegant or at least sexy ambiance, and above-average dish presentation.

What we got: Everything except for the amazing food.

Once we arrived to the restaurant we were greeted by our names, very nice indeed, and given a great table. We were ready to try and share as many things as possible, and after perusing the menu we began by ordering the following dishes:

1- Saute Foie Gras with Ripe Plantains & Black Truffle Honey;
2- Tuna Tartare with Jalapeño, Wasabi Tobiko & Umeboshi Vinaigrette;
3- Fennel, Arugula Salad, Manchego Cheese with Truffle Oil Vinaigrette ; and
4- Escargot with Wild Mushrooms & Balsamic Vinegar Sauce.

We continued checking and discussing the main dishes trying to settle on two or three because we had planned for a feast. But then the food started coming.

The salad was the first disappointment. It was an Arugula salad, period. Why write fennel in front of the name of the dish if there's no fennel or anything resembling fennel flavor in it? Why didn’t the truffle oil vinaigrette have any trace of truffle flavor at all?

The Tuna Tartare arrived immediately after. I must admit it’s one of the most amazingly beautiful dishes I’ve even seen in a plate. Unfortunately, except for the little slices of jalapeños, there was not much more flavor in there. The Tobiko looked beautiful, very colorful, but it was definitely there to add some crunch because it added no flavor what so ever. The Umeboshi was part of the name, but certainly not part of the dish. My wife and I looked at each other and said the same thing: “very pretty tuna in chipotle hamburger sauce!”

Then the foie gras came in. It was a $30 dollar gamble I made taking Benet celebrity chef status as collateral. It didn’t pay off. Sure, I have to admit that this is the biggest piece of foie grass I’ve ever been served, sadly it just didn’t taste like anything. It didn’t taste like it was sauté at all, and we sure didn’t taste any of the advertized black truffle honey. It was more like it was boiled, not even fried, on cheap truffle oil you buy at the grocery store. By the way, where was the honey? Where was at least the dust of the black truffles? This was the dish that made us just call the waiter, cancel the scargots, and ask for the check.

Three disappointing dishes in a row is a pattern not worth challenging. We couldn’t gamble anymore and put our sexy parent’s-night-out on the line. It was time to leave. The waiter, as good as they come, asked what was wrong and called the manager after I declined to explain my reasons for leaving. The manager, also as incredibly gracious and respectful as everyone else with whom we came in contact that night at the restaurant, very nicely approached the table with an honestly concerned face to try to find out what was wrong. Focusing on the sexy parent’s-night-out theme, I only told him that the food was something different than what we expected and left it at that. I didn’t want other patrons to hear me complaining, or to get a free meal because at that point we were done trying.

We paid; we left, and raced to a steakhouse at a nearby hotel to forget the whole thing. I mean, it’s not that the food was terrible, but none of these entry dishes lived up to the great service and the lovely setting. This was bistro food, nothing else. And you know what? Poking the kitchen staff now, perhaps giving the floor staff a shot at the stove may be a good idea.

An extra note: the valet parking situation. When first arrived at the hotel, there was absolutely no one to take care of our car. Not one single valet parking attendant to be seen. It took more than just a few minutes for someone to take the keys to the car--not to actually take the car away to the parking lot. It was the same when leaving. Wanting to just leave, we just paid for parking and walked down with the keys to find the car. I know this is not the restaurant's fault, but these things matter and definitely add up.

    • Value
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Thank angelo999090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 14, 2017

Chef Wilo Benet - PR Celebrity Chef. What a great meal full of flavor. Love his Pegao Bites, Gouda Cheese Parisenne with Guava Sauce, Risotto de Gandules and Bistec Encebollado.
Great for Special occasions, Family, Friends or Business.

Thank margaretcH7095EI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilo B, Owner at Pikayo, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2017

Margaret, thank you so very much for the lovely review. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed everything about your meal here.

'Til next time,
Chef Wilo, Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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