With the Colombian Peso being such a favorable exchange rate for USD, you bet we splurged a bit and had a few fancy meals while we were in Bogotá! Of course, at the very top of my list was Leo, which I did a full review here. But there were a ton of other cool restaurants that we wanted to try, including another member of San Pellegrino’s Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list and the Bogotá-branch of a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Our first night was an early dinner at El Chato, which holds the place of #25 in San Pellegrino’s Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Helmed by Chef Alvaro Clavijo, El Chato offers seasonal dishes that feature local Colombian ingredients. The menu boasts imaginative and experimentative Colombian cooking. The plates are pretty small – sort of like tapas-style – so we split a few dishes between the two of us. One of our favorites of the night were the Gambas, with papaya verde, portobello mushroom, and bisque de pimenton. The shrimps were sweet and melted in your mouth. We also really enjoyed the Roast Beef de Cordero, with arepa de sagu, chimichurri de higos, and labne. This was such an interesting a fun dish. The roasted lamb was tender and flavorful. Don’t skip dessert – they use some traditional Colombian ingredients to create wonderful sweets.
We also dined at El Cielo, which is #74 on San Pellegrino’s Latin America’s Best Restaurants, extended 50-100 list. The Washington DC branch of El Cielo has a Michelin Star, and my in-laws have raved about their meal there. When I learned that there was a branch in Bogotá, I knew we had to go. Your meal starts with a sensory experiment called the “choco therapy“, where you wash your hands with a chocolate liquid, that both smells and tastes amazing – but also really leaves your hands as soft as a baby’s butt. The entire tasting menu at El Cielo is a lot of fun and has a heavy interactive element. The desserts, in particular, are super interesting and we had a great time. If you’re looking for delicious food with an experience, I highly recommend El Cielo.
And lastly, perhaps our favorite meal of our entire trip (minus Leo, of course), was at Osk Peru. Japanese food is my absolute favorite cuisine – and X loves Peruvian food. A Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant seemed like a no-brainer for us. We both thought that the menu at Osk Peru was the most exciting and appealing to our palettes. To start, we had a delicious ceviche sampler with three styles of ceviche – Kiro, Kunsei, and Wasabi. We liked all three, but definitely had differing opinions on which was the best. I favored the more Japanese-style one, while X liked the more Peruvian-style one. No surprise there! My favorite dish was the Kuroi Ramen, with charred seafood and squid ink ramen in a creamy curry sauce. This was such an inventive and fusion-style dish and it tasted amazing! X’s favorite was the Niku Tartar, featuring tenderloin tartare, foie gras crust, quail egg, and nikkei anticucho sauce. The tartare is assembled tableside, with your waiter torching the foie gras crust as you watch the fireworks. And of course, as we were visiting during the Election, there was no alcohol served. This was absolutely no problem as Osk Peru has the most delicious selection of non-alcoholic mocktails. Make sure you try the Midori & White, featuring matcha, lychee, and soursop.