We met with a very dapper young banker yesterday. He was dressed in a elegantly tailored suit complete with designer tie, cuff links and Rolex watch. We met him at his office, and then his driver took us to lunch.
Having a driver to fight the city traffic is a beautiful thing. This is my third time to have a car and driver, and it is something that's easy to love. Is it politically incorrect to say that a car and driver is one of my favorite things about Panama? Oh, that's right... I left political correctness back in States along with my winter clothes. I'm finally allowed to say what I really feel.
Lunch was at Rausch, a 5-star restaurant worthy of ballads and poetry. One glance at the tuxedoed wait staff, the sparkling crystal, the layers of linens, and I knew I was going to love it.
Each course was a vision of beauty and perfection. The foie gras was buttery and delicate, the tuna tartare was fresh with just the right amount of sesame, the steak tartare melted in my mouth, and the cracker bread had a spicy topping that was actually--well, spicy. Panamanians typically don't like spicy food, so my Texas taste buds have been missing the punch you get when hot Habanero stops your breathing and kick your tear ducts into waterfall mode. The cracker bread wasn't Texas-hot, but the hint of spice calmed my craving.
My main course was a lobster stuffed ravioli in a red curry broth, and it paired perfectly with the bottle of Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio that I ordered. The funny thing is that this bottle of wine cost less in this high-end restaurant than it does in Texas at a grocery store. Another reason to love Panama.
If you need a dining partner at Rausch, call me. I'd be happy to become a regular and have a dish named in my honor. Perhaps a jalapeno-infused foie gras? This is Panama, so anything is possible.