Alejandro Ramirez honed his skills in London with Gordon Ramsay before he came home to Cartagena to open Maria. The striking room—with soaring ceilings, white wicker chairs, and striped banquettes beneath whimsical “pineapple” chandeliers and jungle-themed tapestries—provides the backdrop for a refined dining experience. The balanced meat and fish selection infuses traditional Caribbean flavors with an Asian slant. Highlights include a jalapeño-infused salmon appetizer, risotto with shrimp and chorizo, salmon bathed in coconut milk curry, and pork chops in a sweet-and-tangy hoisin sauce. Round off with a simple, light dessert of strawberries topped with vanilla and swirled with a balsamic reduction.