PORT ST. LUCIE DINING
The casual but inviting environment puts diners in a
comfortable and cozy mood. A goal of the Sarzuelas was
to make everyone feel as if they were being welcomed
into their own home for a special meal. The décor resonates
with that of a countryside cantina amid warm lighting,
lively music and an open-air kitchen.
Patrons are greeted upon entrance and given genuine,
individualized attention from either Rafael or Vicky, or
one of the wait staff.
“We want people to know that we are making every
dish with passion,” he says. “I want them to enjoy themselves
and taste the flavors of my home.”
Dominican cuisine draws its inspiration from a combination
of cultures: Spanish, Middle Eastern, African and
the indigenous Taino of the Caribbean. Puerto Rican food
resembles Dominican food and that of neighboring Latin
Sarzuela uses recipes he learned from his mother in the
Dominican Republic and adds some Puerto Rican flair, or
He maintains the philosophy of supporting local businesses
by purchasing fresh foods almost daily. To Sarzuela,
it’s not so much about the money, but rather his love of
cooking. He aims to put out dishes that are perfect every
time. “I would never serve a dish that I would not eat myself,”
he says. “I encourage and remind my chefs to think
in the same way.”
Although many of the dishes at Dom Rico are curated
from a more simplistic set of ingredients, combining
them with Latin herbs and spices makes for an incredibly
savory meal. Mofongo, originally of Puerto Rico, has
become a flagship dish with Dominicans. Sarzuela fries
green plantains and creates a particularly stand-out dish
at Dom Rico. The aptly named “tri-fongo” is a grouping
of yucca, sweet plantain and green plantain. Sarzuela
manages to keep the inside incredibly moist but crispy at
the same time, a feat in itself. Mofongo is always served
with a traditional garlic sauce.
“You must always eat mofongo with the garlic sauce,”
he says with a smile.
One of his favorite house-specialty dishes is the “mofongo
de churrasco,” a juicy skirt steak served with a
bright and tasty chimichurri sauce. All entrees are served
with rice and beans and either plátanos maduros or
tostones, both prominent side dishes in the Dominican
Republic and Puerto Rico.
The “chuleta kan-kan” is a popular dish with a presentation
that embodies Puerto Rican flavor. It is a magnificent
display of a double-loin pork chop with pork belly,
rib meat and chicharrones (fried pork skin) still attached.
The pork is marinated with cilantro, oregano, vinegar,
onion, paprika and garlic, along with other indigenous
ingredients. The entire cut of meat is deep-fried, creating
its signature crunchy bite, a huge hit among diners.
The menu also maintains two traditional dessert plates,
tres leches and flan. Both are made in-house and have
long been quite popular for both the Puerto Rican and
Dominican cultures. The flan is a perfect individual serving
size with a flawless, creamy texture.
ISLAND DRINKS APLENTY
Aside from your usual bar suspects, Dom Rico offers
an array of jugos naturales (fresh juices), batidas (milk- >>
Chef Manuel Acevedo puts flame to one of Dom Rico’s specialties, a
churrasco, grilled skirt steak, with chimichurri in the open-air kitchen.
The juicy churasco with chimichurri
sauce goes perfectly with platanos
maduros (sweet fried plantains) and
arroz con habichuelas (rice and beans).
36 Port St. Lucie Magazine