Bogotá: Bite by bite
A culinary movement has taken the Colombian capital by storm, and fine dining is the talk of the town.
Text: ALMA NÚÑEZ | Photos: MARCELA RIOMALO
Breakfast & pastries
Masa was founded by Mariana and Silvana Villegas. The sisters opened their first establishment in the Zona G a little more than three years ago, with the second – closer to the Zona T – coming shortly after. Both locations are as simple, warm and rustic as their wooden furniture, and both are the product of the administrative efforts of Mariana and the imagination and rigor of Silvana, who studied at the Culinary Institute of America. Masa offers 13 varieties of carefully prepared breads (their baguettes, for instance, take 14 hours to make), breakfast fare like shaksuka (eggs with vegetables and spices) and a dessert menu featuring delights like the pistachio and cherry tart.
Calle 70 #4-83 & Calle 81 #9-12
LES AMIS BIZCOCHERÍA
Once upon a time, there was an Argentinean boy who dedicated himself to baking (instead of following his father’s dream and becoming a soccer player). As a grown man – and inveterate chocolate addict – he came to Colombia to become head pastry chef at the Gato Dumas culinary school and ended up starting his own business. This is the tale of Sebastián Sánchez. On a long wooden table, you’ll find a world of treats waiting to be devoured: croissant bread pudding, muffins stuffed with huge chunks of fruit, Argentinean-style empanadas, quiches, alfajores and the famous Torta Sánchez, all free of artificial preservatives or additives.
Carrera 14 #86A-12
Facebook: Les Amis Bizcochería
Dinner & drinks
CACIO E PEPE
This Italian tavern and the highly recommended Black Bear restaurant have made the corner of Calle 90 and Carrera 11 a new Bogotá hotspot. Cacio e Pepe is the perfect place to sit down with friends and order as a group so you can sample the entire menu. Not-to-miss dishes include the tortelloni with ahuyama, sage and almond brittle, the ricotta gnocchi with prawns, crab and fava beans and the grilled octopus with chili pepper and green olive chimichurri, spicy alioli and yucca.
Carrera 11A #89-38
LITTLE INDIAN SUPERSTAR GIN CLUB
British soldiers in India used to drink tonic water to prevent malaria, mixing it with gin to cover the bitter taste. Thus, the famous gin and tonic was born, and along with it, a secret society of pacifist intellectuals called Little Indian Superstar. That’s the story the restaurant tells in order to explain its name. The Little Indian Superstar Gin Club has a small but terrific menu of Indian fare, with classics like chicken tikka masala and pork vindaloo. And you don’t just have to stick to a straight G&T: this gin club also mixes the fragrant spirit with lime, aniseed, cherry tomato, green mango or an infusion of basil.
Avenida Calle 82 #12A-23
APACHE ROOFTOP BAR
One of the most popular places in the Bogotá night Apache is located atop the Click Clack, a modern hotel opened less than 18 months ago. It goes without saying that the view is incredible, but according to a recent list published by the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, Apache also serves up offers one of the ten best hamburgers in the city.
Carrera 11 #93 -77
GORDO BROOKLYN RESTAURANT BAR
Gordo Brooklyn Restaurant Bar is named after chef Daniel Castaño’s adorable French Bulldog. Castaño and his partner Camilo Giraldo have a sterling reputation in the culinary world: they started out with the Italian restaurants Emilia Romagna and Julia. With Gordo, the duo has satisfied their urge to start a hamburger and sandwich joint. And there’s more to this place than just first-rate fast food: Gordo faithfully embodies the spirit of a Brooklyn bar, with a special cocktail menu created by the famous New York bartender Mayur Subbarao.
Carrera 4A #66-84
This restaurant is elegant and restrained but also hip and cutting edge. Located in the youth-driven neighborhood of Chapinero Alto, Salvo Patria employs a wood-burning oven and makes its own pasta. The extensive menu is packed with delicious surprises like pumpkin tortelloni with goat cheese and macadamia nuts. The restaurant Website generously shares their signature recipes and recently celebrated the opening of Statua Rota, an authentic cantina selling craft beer just two blocks away..
Calle 54A #4-13
Daily flights to Bogotá from São Paulo and Santiago.
For more information, visit lan.com