February 24, 2002
’Elegant dining in an informal setting’: That’s the only way to describe my experience at the Bay View Restaurant. It’s a large, airy room with floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides; a bright, cheerful place with live music already playing at 5p.m. on the evening I visited. (But not LOUD music, fortunately.)
I was greeted, seated, and presented with a perfectly made Manhattan cocktail within three minutes of arrival. Amazingly, I was shown to an oceanfront window table --- one of the most desirable in the house --- despite that fact that it was a table for four and I was alone.
The most expensive main course on the menu was ‘Jack Daniels New York Strip Steak’ at $22. Other options included Seafood au gratin at $15, Eight-ounce grilled salmon in mango cream sauce at $16.50. ‘Shrimps on Five Herbs’ at $18.50 and ‘Tempting 8-oz. Sea Bass on Butter-shrimp Sauce with a Bacon Stick’ at $14. Somewhat less appealing --- at least to me --- was ‘Pork Ribs on Prune Sauce’ at $12.
The only worthwhile-looking poultry entry was a 10-oz. grilled chicken in wine sauce at $15.
My own dinner that night was ‘Pistachio-crusted’ beef medallions at $16. Two perfectly-cooked, almost fork-tender, four-ounce filets with a delightfully crunchy coating that was, in fact, ground-up pistachio nuts crisped under the grill.
Main courses come with a simple house salad and choice of potato or vegetable. For an extra $7, I chose the a la carte salad bar which included all the standard greens plus melon balls, assorted cold meats, and some delicious cold smoked salmon.
Appetizers --- ‘entrees’ on Spanish menus --- included the usual ceviche and shrimps plus some uniquely Panamanian twists: Try ‘Panamanian Chicken Soup with Yam, Coriander and Yucca with Rice’.
There was an ample wine list, including several quality reds and whites by the glass as well as the bottle.
Bay View Restaurant isn’t even the Hotel Intercontinental’s premier fine-dining venue, but it draws raves from this reviewer --- who doesn’t need formality but appreciates fine food, drink and service. I also appreciated being able to order dinner as early as 5p.m. --- a very early hour for Latin American restaurants.
Bay View offers special theme dinners from 6:30 to 11:00 every Tuesday and Thursday and is open for buffet lunch Monday-Saturday.
Hotel Intercontinental Miramar is on Balboa Ave., the main oceanfront traffic artery, about halfway between city center and the causeway toward the airport. It adjoins the wharf leading to Miramar Marina.
From journal Panama: Much More than a Canal