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Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo introduces five new dining venues

  • Caleta
  • Mayda
  • Vera Cafe

Vibrant flavors take center-stage at Sofitel Legend’s first property in North & Central America with five good and beverage outlets in the heart of Panama’s most historic neighborhood.

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA – As one of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2023, the exclusive Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama is making a name for itself in Panama City’s ever-evolving and exciting culinary scene. Housed in the iconic Club Union building of Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo district and with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the luxurious property opened in January with a masterful culinary program. Led by award-winning Executive Chef Lorenzo Di Gravio, Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo boasts five food and beverage outlets, each effortlessly fusing Panama’s rich culture and history with Sofitel Legend’s art-de-vivre spirit.

Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo’s flagship restaurant and refined Mediterranean brasserie, Caleta, brings elevated dining to the walkable neighborhood and shines a spotlight on the region’s rainbow of fresh and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant, situated steps from the hand-tiled and nautical inspired hotel lobby, and adjacent to MAYDA Lobby Bar & Plaza, provides a warm and intimate setting where rich mahogany tones, leather banquette seating, antique mirrored walls and contemporary lighting impart the feeling of being in a classic Parisian café. Guests can start their day at Caleta where breakfast classics are the true stars of the menu, including eggs benedict with pacific salmon; buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries and maple syrup; and fresh acai bowls with bananas, strawberries and coconut. Come evening time, guests experience Chef Lorenzo’s inventive menu which seamlessly blends flavors of the Mediterranean with vibrant Latin ingredients and where hero dishes include marinated kampachi with caviar, avocado and mango; scallops with red chard and wood-grilled octopus. For guests and locals looking to celebrate a special occasion, Caleta’s private dining room is a refined and yet spacious room to enjoy a bespoke and curated tasting menu by Chef Lorenzo. Caleta is open daily for breakfast from 6:30am – 11:00am, for lunch from 12:00pm to 3:00pm and for dinner from 6:00pm to 10:30pm.

Chef Lorenzo comes to Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo with the vision of imparting his colorful culinary experience in Panama City. “Panamanian cuisine is full of history and heritage, and I am constantly fascinated by all the new ingredients I’ve discovered during my time here,” says Executive Chef, Lorenzo di Gravio. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to infuse these rich tropical flavors and fresh produce with my experience in Mediterranean cooking here at Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo and I look forward to taking our esteemed guests on an exciting journey of culinary discovery.”

With chic and uplifting decor, the MAYDA Lobby Bar & Plaza provides guests with a generous variety of both classic and French inspired cocktails, alongside a light, shareable menu including fresh oysters, scallop tartare with citrus and plantain chips, corvina ceviche, stuffed arepa with crab and stracciatella, and lobster brioche bun with sriracha. Situated on the ground floor in the hotel lobby, MAYDA is centrally located in the heart of the hotel and spills out onto the lush sun-drenched Plaza terrace, where pink and purple bougainvillea line the walkways, hand-made ceramic blue tiles and a peaceful central fountain make it the perfect setting to spend an afternoon. Guests can absorb the views of the Panama City skyline under an ocean-blue tasseled umbrella with signature cocktails in-hand including the “Legendary” featuring Bacardi 8, tomate de arbol and walnut; and the namesake cocktail the “Mayda Fresh” made with Tanqueray gin, cucumber and pineapple. For those looking for a more indulgent treat, MAYDA’s signature afternoon tea, Le Gouter, offers sweet and savory treats crafted by talented Pastry Chef, John Moreno. At sundown, guests will have the opportunity to watch the daily “Candle Ritual” ceremony, where Panamanian folk dancers perform a traditional routine, enveloping guests into the vibrant history and local culture. MAYDA is open daily from 11:00am to 11:00pm.

The hotel’s rooftop destination Ammi offers unobstructed views – from six different terraces – of the glistening city skyline and Pacific Ocean where at night, palm trees, al-fresco dining and a dancefloor with live Latin music create a colorful and energetic ambiance. Guests can sip on locally inspired cocktails and enjoy tropical flavors at the restaurant’s ceviche bar, as well as signature dishes cooked by the chef on the robata grill in the restaurant’s open kitchen including octopus skewers; beef fillet skewers marinated in achiote BBQ tamarind sauce; and a prawn and coconut ceviche. Ammi also offers a selection of fresh pizzettas, making it the perfect destination for group gatherings, where guests can enjoy delicious food and dance the night away. Ammi is open daily from 5:00pm to 1:00am.

Down the hallway from Ammi and hiding behind a library shelf, hotel guests are welcome to check out Arcano, an exclusive speakeasy bar. A small and intimate space with dark wood paneled walls, floral wallpaper, a mirrored bar lighting up a unique selection of Panamanian rums and a secluded private terrace, Arcano provides a cozy yet lively atmosphere for any kind of occasion, whether cocktails with friends, a romantic date-night or private event. Arcano is open from 6:00pm to 1:00am.

Guests can recharge after an evening at Arcano or Ammi by the pool area overlooking the Pacific Ocean and enjoy a selection of fresh juices and smoothies at the Pool Bar. Situated below the property’s vast and lush Plaza terrace, the Pool Bar also serves healthy snacks and exotic bowls at lunch time, with craft beers and tropical cocktails making it the perfect place to relax and bask under the Panamanian sun. The Pool Bar is open daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Last, but by no means least, is Vera Café, where guests can start their day with a freshly baked croissant and a cup of signature coffee blend from the Panamanian highlands or a Geisha pour-over experience. Accessible directly from street-level, the gourmet coffee shop offers an impeccable pastry program from pastry chef John Moreno including a variety of beautifully appointed patisserie items, classic French pastries and gourmet sandwiches, ideal for guests-on-the-go. For guests looking to cool down after a busy day exploring Casco Viejo, Vera Café also offers artisanal gelatos and refreshing sorbets, as well as a fresh and zingy homemade lemonade. Vera Café is open daily from 6:30am to 6:30pm.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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