Corrugated City

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The Two Best Restaurants In Chile...

...are not, in my opinion, in Santiago; they are in Valparaiso and Santa Cruz.

Here in Valparaiso, Pastis (corner of Subida Concepcion and Abtao) is, quite simply, fabulous. It has, without doubt, the finest duck breast (with duck-fat fried potatoes) I've had anywhere. The quiche starters are fantastic and the gazpacho is also really very fine (or so I've been told, as I don't like gazpacho myself). The desserts are pretty decent but not as good as the savoury food. 

Pastis is expensive by Chilean standards (including a cocktail, 3 courses and a bottle a wine to share, it comes to around 20-25,000 pesos per person) but for the quality of the food and the restaurant aesthetics, it's at least two or three times less than something similar in New York, Paris, London or any western city would set you back. The wine list is decent and well-priced. 

Seema (an old friend from home on a recent visit) modelling duck breast, duck fat fried potatoes and salad)

Down in Santa Cruz, you'll find the best Peruvian restaurant in Chile (and I really don't say that lightly), La Casita de Barreales. Absolutely everything on the menu is fantastic, in particular the ceviche (of which I'm not usually a huge fan). The pisco sours are brain-murderingly good. And the other great thing about dining there is that you're just a short trip away from all the vineyards in the Colchagua Valley

Both restaurants are better than any I ate at over three years in Buenos Aires by quite some distance.

9 comments:

Emily said...

Pastis sounds delicious - you had me at duck fat fried potatoes! I'd say that it can be tricky to find a really good restaurant in Chile, but there are of course some that are on par with those in any big city. And of course as you mention, once you find one, you can enjoy the fact that you're eating top notch food for prices that would only buy you a casual meal in other cities around the world.

Matt said...

Yep, a lot of the restaurants in Chile are actually pretty good but there are very few that I ever really want to go back to. Pastis, La Casita de Barreales and Puerto Peru (in Santiago) are three that are worth the money you pay and places I always want to return to.

Allie said...

Oh my god. You are killing me. Ceviche. Duck-fat fried potatoes. Want it. Now.

Matt said...

Ceviche- next week.

Margaret said...

Great! Restaurant folks in Santa Cruz have been complaining that they don't get noticed enough. I've been hearing good things and can't wait to get down there for a few days to eat my way through and form my own opinion! (a foodie's gotta do what a foodie's gotta do!)

Matt said...

There are some great places down there. Alma Campesina is basic, hearty Chilean food served well and it's very cheap. Pan Pan Vino Vino is a bit more expensive but good. The restaurant at Vina La Playa is worth a visit. I've got a meeting at Residencia Historica de Marchigue next week and the Italian owner assures me the restaurant is excellent. El Asador del Valle is good for asado based food. And then there's all the wine to drink and a stay at the lovely Hotel Casa de Campo... :)

The only place I would suggest to avoid at all costs is the restaurant in Hotel Plaza Santa Cruz. From having (apparently) one of the best restaurants in Chile a few years ago, it's now truly revolting and horribly overpriced. Perhaps since senor Cardoen fell ill the standards have dropped...

Real Chile said...

Been a while since I read your, or any blog, I think I may have to try Pastis. Have you ever tried Pasta y Vino? I heard that it is expensive but possibly the best restaurant in Chile. Any opinions?

Matt said...

Pasta e Vino isn't really expensive, around 6-9 mil for a main. It's really good and excellent value but, at the end of the day, it's still just pasta. Definitely not the best restaurant in Chile but most definitely worth a visit. Service is really good and the place itself is nicely decorated and laid out. Good wine list.

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