A Meal to Remember
I have the pleasure of serving as a Teaching Fellow for an undergraduate course. As part of the course, my class (along with four other sections) traveled to Santiago, Chile for about a week to learn more about international business and specifically business in Chile. There were over 200 people on this trip - we all made it back in one piece (mostly)!
It should be no surprise that I was focused on the food and beverage aspect of this trip. I love experiencing another country through its cuisine. There is a group in my class of very sharp and clearly very food-focused students and I overheard them mentioning they made a reservation at a culinary mecca in Santiago: Borago (http://borago.cl/?lang=en). Naturally, the nosey person that I am, I asked if I could invite myself. I am lucky that I have a great group of students and they warmly extended an invitation! Extra Credit for them :)
We got dressed up and called taxis to get to the restaurant.
Once we arrived at the restaurant, there was a bit of a SNAFU. Allegedly, the restaurant never got our reservation - that pesky internet can be unreliable! Oh well, our group was resilient and the host made a reservation for us at incredible restaurant: Astrid y Gaston (http://astridygaston.com/). You will need to translate the page with Google to English...unless, of course, you can read Spanish! This is one of the top ranked restaurants in Latin America as well as the world. It is Peruvian - my friends that are Peruvian are quite proud of this culinary gem!
We did the Tasting Menu with the Wine Pairing. There were 6 courses and as many (if not more!) wine pairings. The food was spectacular and the wine complemented each course. It is one of my most memorable meals to date; not only for the food but for the company as well.
If the table setting was an indication of the quality of the food, I knew I would be in for a real treat. We were served up delicious bread. It wasn't just tasty, it was warm! There was a hearty brown bread, a garlic focaccia-like bread and a seeded roll. The butter was also delicious - the perfect temperature. I hate when it is too cold.
As we hit the 5th course, I knew I shouldn't have eaten any of the bread. I got too excited at the beginning. Next time, I need to think that a Tasting Menu is a marathon...not a sprint! Now...the first course!
I tried to get the exact descriptions off the site, but naturally, this is a struggle because the menu changes daily and it is translated oddly. It would have been nice to have gotten a printed menu, but oh well! On the left, was a puréed sweet potato stacked with crab and served with two sauces that brought out the flavor profile. On the right, a beautifully prepared ceviche. Next up, the second course!
What is that above you ask? Let me tell you! On the left, a freshly prepared scallop served in its shell and on the right, a panko-crusted shrimp. I loved both of these!
This course was a great combination - salmon served over risotto with a shrimp sauce.
All over Santiago, I saw on the menu a super expensive type of crab: large spiny crab. About $200! This pasta had a bit of the meat in it to not break the bank. Very tasty though!
The last savory course was veal served with a soy-sauce, egg, french fries (or as the Chileans say, papas fritas!), and rice. I really liked the taste combo but I couldn't finish it. I was too full! I even had to pump the breaks on the wine - so cray cray!
This plate was full of stars! From left to right, a hot fruit soufflé, sorbets served in a cookie shell and Peruvian style donuts with ice cream!
This was an incredible meal and a great deal! The food was $60 and the wine pairings $24! In NYC, a similar experience could be over $200 a person. If you find yourself in Santiago, Chile and have time for an incredible meal (it took about 3 hours), this is the place to go!