2006 Santiago, Chile Restaurant and Wine Reviews

We began our South American explorations in Santiago de Chile in April, 2006. We flew from Auckland, New Zealand and our excess luggage flew separately with an excess baggage service. We stayed a month in Santiago in an apartment and then moved to the ski area of El Colorado to an apartment there. We spent nearly five months skiing in the Andes in an area called the Tres Vallés: El Colorado, Valle Nevado and La Parva.
We moved back to Sanitago for a month after the ski season and rented another apartment in Boulevard Suites (Av. Pres. Kennedy 5749, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile fono: 421-5000, e-mail: info@boulevardsuites.cl, web: http://www.boulevardsuites.cl/) where we negotiated an excellent rate for a long stay. It’s a fabulous property. We will write more about the wonderful time we had in Santiago in another posting. If you would like more information before we the post is written, send us an e-mail and we would be glad to try to answer your questions. E-mail address: aleanddm@gmail.com

First things first though: food! We almost always ate dinner out. The bottom line is, however, for world class, elegant dining at half the price you would pay in the USA, go to Puerto Fuy, Europeo or Astrid & Gaston. Make reservations and enjoy the fabulous-ness! The list below is long, if you don't want to peruse it, then do a search on this website on a restaurant name that you are interested in or on a type of food. The way to do that is to use the Edit feature of your Internet Explorer and the "Find (on This Page)" tool that includes (Ctrl +F). Hopefully, the search results will be to your liking. When we returned in 2008, we again enjoyed the Santiago retaurant scene and we created another posting for our restaurant reviews. Click here for the 2008 Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM.
The following are our restaurant reviews:
Santiago Restaurants and Wine Ratings, Begun in 2006
The exchange rate used was US $1= CLP$512/520
* = Make a reservation, it's popular (actually make one everywhere!)
Arabe/Arabian

Ali Baba Restaurant, Santa Filomena 102, Bellavista, fono 732-7036, e-mail: santalibaba@hotmail.com, web: www.restaurantalibaba.cl We had one order of falafel, one order of hummos and pita and 2 turkish coffees for lunch. The bill was steep at CLP$8.280/US $16.11 but the tastes were authentic. Ratings: 8/10

Omar Khayyam, Avda. Peru 570, Recoleta, fono: 777-4129 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$10.000 per person). It was recommended but we haven’t tried it.

La Comida de Hend, Av. Vitacura 9406, fono: 211-1766 (Faud said: 229-5632), d-mail: lacomidadehend@terra.cl It is a restaurant as well as a take-away. The owners are Hend Awad and Esteban Jesaur. It was recommended but we haven’t tried it.

Qatir, Las Verbenas 9183, fono 342-0497 Restaurant, bazar y dulces arabes. Vitacura 8935, fono: 229-1865. Web: www.qatir.cl. We went and enjoyed it. The menu was varied and the food was tasty. We had a tripe stew but Dimitri didn’t think that it was authentic. On Sat. night they had a very good belly dancer. Our total dinner (appetizer, 2 mains, 1 dessert and wine) was CLP$19.200 /US$37.35. Ratings: 7/10, 6/10

Arabic Products
Al Manara de Oriental Productos, Las Urbinas 53G (Detrás del Drugstore), Providencia, fono 335-4275

Oriental Productos, Calle Punta Arenas 59, Providencia, fono: 777-7365.
Jabri for pastry: Ensebio Lillo 520, Recoleta.

Sahtein, Av. Presidente Kennedy 7929, Las Condes, fono: 211-7025, sitio web: www.sahtein.cl. The sweets as well as the savories are fabulous. Also sells “real” pine nuts (not from an araucaria) and other hard to find items.

Carnes/Meat

Happening, Av. Apoquindo 3090, Las Condes fono: 233-2301 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$15.000). Recommended. Won as one of the best new restaurants in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We liked it; they have a no smoking area. We had appetizer, 2 mains, 1 side, 2 desserts and wine. It was delicious. Dimitri had tornadoes (the portion was huge) and it was delicious. I had stuffed trout and it was tasty and moist. The desserts were good too. It cost CLP$40.000/US$77.82. The second time we went we liked it again. Rating: 7.5/10

Terramar, Av. Padre Hurtado Norte 1460, Vitacura, fono 224-8180, e-mail: restaurant@terramarsantiago.cl, web: www.terramarsantiago.cl (20% discount by using Citibank Mastercard or a bottle of wine worth CLP$6.000). We spent CLP$20.200/US$38.71 and weren’t impressed. Ratings: 5/10

Centro Civico

Bristol, Hotel Plaza San Francisco, Alameda 816, Centro, Fono 639-3832, e-mail: fcohotel@entelchile.net. Won in the best hotel category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. Recommended but we haven’t tried it yet. Lonely Planet says: “it has a reputation for fine food and wine and excellent service… Its award-winning restaurant is well known for its new Chilean cuisine. The wine shop stocks a daunting selection of Chilean wines at wholesale prices.”

Restoran Jofre, Jofre 388, Santiago, fono 635-1927. Won in the best value category of the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We were impressed with the décor; and the way the 2 story restaurant was laid out. We also loved that it was totally non-smoking. We were the first ones there at 8:30pm when they opened and we seemed to surprise them. By 10 pm when we left, the place was almost full. We had one rollizo al horno, a rock fish with a white bean purée. Both the fish and the purée were excellent. The second main was arroz con pato, a duck confit with a rice made with black beer and chillis. It had a delicious spiciness and was dotted with choclo. The one dessert we had was natilla, a crème brulée type of dish. We also had a bottle of wine. Our waitress was charming. We liked it. CLP$26.000. Rating:7/10

Vichuquén, Hotel Galerías, San Antonio 65, Santiago, fono: 470-7400, e-mail: eventos@hotelgalerias.cl, sitio web: www.hotelgalerias.cl Won in the best hotel category of the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The room is well decorated and the waiters wear cowboy outfits. The menu is interesting but the food doesn't match the descriptions and isn't prepared with care. The wine list is small and has a terrible selection. The service isn't good; the waiters are too rough. CLP$33.000. Rating: 6/10

Chilena/Chilean

Isla Negra, Av El Bosque Norte 0325, fono: 231-3118. We found this restaurant when we were walking by. It was a delightful experience for us: food, wine and price were all very good. Others have told us that it can be unreliable. CLP$29.200/ US$ 56.80. Ratings: 7/10

La Vaquita Echa, Restaurant Turistico, Ramón subercaseaux 3355, Pirque, fono 854-6025, e-mail info@lavaquitaecha.cl We went to this restaurant because it’s in the Chile: A Remote Corner on Earth guidebook and it’s been around for a long time. It is terrible and obviously relying on unsuspecting tourists. We spent CLP$29.500/US$57.39 and it absolutely wasn’t worth the long trip. It’s near the Valley of Maipo. Ratings: 0/10

El Pollo al Coñac, Lo Barnechea 901, Lo Barnechea, fono: 216-0617. We went to a dinner organized by the ACC. We had 2 complete 4 course meals, including wine for CLP$20.000/ US$39. The meal was very good but the room is large and uninteresting. Ratings: 6.5/10

El Parrón Av. Kennedy 5413, Local 462, 2° Nivel, Las Condes, fono: 252-2262. It was good and they have a no smoking section. We spent CLP$21.840/ US$46.38. On each subsequent visit, we have liked it less. Ratings: 5.5/10

Hosterias Dona Tina, Los Refugios No. 15125, Lo Barnechea, Santiago fono 321-6546 CLP$19.000 Rating: 6/10

China/Chinese

Asian Bistro Parque Arauco Boulevard, Las Condes from Liz Caskey’s blog http://lizcaskey.blogspirit.com/restaurant_recs_and_reviews/
The basic concept: get Chileans to eat more REAL Asian food. Mission impossible? Maybe—or maybe not now that Asian Bistro is about to open. I must admit, I was and still am dubious given the locale—a mall, Parque Arauco—located in the area that us expats jokingly refer to as Santiago’s “Tyson’s Corners”. However given the owners’ track record, owner of the Palacio Danubio Azul, it could work for mass consumption. The concept is to bring Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food under one roof for a high-density space. Could be an option those heavy shopping days when you need to eat without leaving the mall or for those staying at the Hyatt, a non-hotel option within walking distance. Will keep you posted as to its gastronomic developments.
We tried it during its opening week. The food was bland but the place was packed. We spent CLP$15.000 (they weren’t serving wine yet.) Ratings: 6/10. We tried it again in 2008 for lunch and the food is still bland and uninteresting.

El Danubio Azul, Reyes Lavalle 3240, Las Condes, fono: 234-4688 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$15.000 per person). Recommended. Won in the best and best value categories in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The first time we went we thought it was excellent, authentic and incredibly inexpensive for such a lavish place. They have a separate no smoking section. We’ve been back 3 more times and the food now seems to us to be bland, uninteresting and unauthentic. Have we changed or has it? We spent CLP$16.000/ US$31.12 for the two of us (we were given a 20% discount for using Citibank Mastercard, without having to ask for it). Rating: 7/10

*Chang Cheng, Av. Las Condes 7471, Las Condes, fono: 219-9718 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$10.000). We spent CLP $17.000 and had one appetizer, one soup, a main and a vegetable. It was good and the decor is nice. The garden with a waterfall was pleasant to look at. Rating: 6/10

China Village, Av. Manquehue Sur 1022, Las Condes, fono: 229-0363. Won in third in the best value category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. CLP$10.600. We had a pork dish and a tofu vegetable dish. Both tasted the same and were bland. Rating: 5/10

Nueva China, Los Condes 8956, Las Condes. We entered from a street near Chesterton. Fono: 229-6311. Recommended but it didn’t seem authentic to us. Rating: 4.5/10

He Yi Restaurant, Apoquindo 7613, Las Condes. It’s near the ACC but we haven’t tried it.

Tai Pan, Avda. Los Condes 9010, Las Condes, Santiago, fono: 206-6317. We had dim sum on a Saturday for lunch. The dim sum was good enough. CLP$6.200/US$12.06. Ratings: 5/10

Violeta de Persia, Vitacura 8657, Vitacura. It was recommended and we went but didn’t stay. They don’t have a no smoking section and the area where we were seated was shabby and unappealing.

Chinese Products:
Chinese Mark Alimentos, Centro Santiago: Merced 555, Santiago, fono 639-3527, also Las Condes, Av. Apoquindo No 6043, Loc 15, fono: 224-8643 and Providencia: Av. Providencia No 2337, fono: 232-5795. Web: http://www.chinesemark.cl/ Has a good range but is not cheap.
China Mark Apumaque

Española/Spanish

Pinpilinpausha, Avda. Isidora Goyenechea 2900, fono: 233-6507, sitio web: www.pinpilinpausha.cl (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$12.000 per person). Recommended but we were very disappointed. Dimitri and I had different main courses (one a shrimp dish and the other a stuffed pepper dish) and the sauces for each were the same and insipid. The dessert wasn’t good either. The price was CLP$22.850/$44.46. Ratings: 4.5/10

La cocina de Javier, Alonso de Cordova 4309, Vitacura, Santiago, fono: 245-6317, e-mail javier@mi.ci, web: www.lacocinadejavier.cl Won in the best value category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We went one night when we couldn’t find the restaurant we were looking for. It was good but not great. We spent CLP$25.500/US$49.61. Ratings: 6/10

Francesa/French

La Cascade, Avda. Isidora Goyenechea 2930, Las Condes, fono: 231-1887 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$15.000 per person). Recommended but we haven’t tried it yet.

Les Maitres, Av. Americo Vespucio Sur 922, Las Condes, fono: 206-9098. Won in the second best restaurant in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. They do not have a separate no-smoking area and when someone started smoking across the room, we could smell it. We shared a pejerrey entree CLP$5.400, a cordero CLP$12.200 and a soufflé CLP$5.000. We had a William Cole Camenere Reserva CLP$10.500. Total CLP$33.100 + tip. The pejerrey was good, the cordero was tough and the souffle was good. When the hostess asked us about our meal, we told her that the cordero was tough. She said that lamb in Chile is always tough. We told her that has not been our experience. Then she said that the cut of lamb on the menu is tough. So why do they offer a tough piece of meat? Our rating: 4/10

Restoran Opera, Merced 395, Santiago, fono: 664-3048, web: www.operacatedral.cl Won second place in the best new category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. CLP$28.900 Amuse bouche of mushroom cream in phyllo, Blanquette de veau, trio of goose, pan perdue, Casa Silva Reserva and coffee. All very good and so was the service. The room has brick walls which are not decorated, except for one large black and brown painting. It is not a cold room, however. The tables are small and too close together but the wall of windows onto the street make it seems more spacious than the room is. It is a non-smoking restaurant. Ratings: 7.5/10

Good and Not Expensive

Cafe Melba, Don Carlos 2898, Las Condes, fono 232-4546, We had a Sunday breakfast there and it was enjoyable and good. Also it has very salads for lunch. Breakfast was CLP$10.000. Ratings: 7/10

La Sal, Av. Vitcura 2911, fono 233-6312 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$10.000 per person). Won first place in the best new category and won in best value category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. Recommended and we liked it but had to change tables because of the smokers near us—they don’t have a separate no smoking area. We spent CLP$16.940/ US$33.08. Ratings: 6.5/10

Hindú/Indian

Hotel Majestic Indian Restaurant, Santo Domingo 1526, Centro Santiago, fono 695-8366, e-mail hotelmajestic@hotelmajestic.cl, web: www.hotelmajestic.cl Won in the best hotel category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We had one main, one vegetable dish, rice, bread and masala tea. It was all good and not at all spicy. CLP$18.300/US$35.60. Ratings: 7/10

Salaam Bombay, Rancagua 390, Providencia, fono: 4152287. It was favorably reviewed in El Mecurio. The décor is old-fashioned and looked dirty, as did the restaurant. The food was bland and uninteresting and the server was aggressive and annoying. CLP$12.400 Ratings: 3/10, 4/10

Internacional/International

Aquarium Hotel Kennedy, Av. Kennedy 4570, Vitacura, Santiago, fono: 290-8100, Won in the best hotel restaurant category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio.. We each had the special Thursday night "Cena del Gourmand". Entremés-Parmentier de salmón con crujiente de hierbas y limoneta de azafrán paired with Sauvignon Blanc Reserva de Torreón de Paredes 2002, Entrada-Crème brûlée de jaibas con ensaladilla de la casa y compota de palta paired with Chardonnay Reserva de Torreón de Paredes 1999, Sorbete de mango, Plato de fondo-Magret de pato con flan de berenjenas y acompañado con papas rösti y salsa de miel de palma con especias paired with Cabernet Sauvignon Colección Privada de Torreón de Paredes, Postre-Timbal de chirimoya gratinado con sabayón de amaretto y crema de murta. CLP$16.500 fixed price. Consumo ilimitado de vinos, café espresso, té e infusiones. We spent CLP$37.000 and it was an unbelievable quantity of food and wine for that price. It was also very good. Ratings: 7.5/10

Agua, Av. Nueva Costanera 3467, fono: 263-0008, sitio web: http://www.aguarestaurant.cl/ Won in the best category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards by El Mercurio. There was nothing we liked about this restaurant. CLP $37.900. Ratings: 5/10, 5.5/10

Alma Restaurante, El Coihue 3886, esquina El Mañío, Vitacura, fono: 208-6095, cerrado los domingos. reservas@almarestaurant.cl, web: www.almarestaurant.cl Precio por pareja CLP$37.000. Reviewed in El Sábado as nouvelle international. Won in the best category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We spent CLP$29.600 and shared an appetizer, soup, main and dessert. We liked it. We had ceviche de atun, sopa picante, a Thai curry, wine and lemongrass pie. Ratings: 7/10

Restaurante Astrid y Gaston, Antonio Bellet 201, Providencia, Santiago, 650-9125, www.astridygaston.cl, e-mail: astridygaston@astridy gaston.cl, Won the third best restaurant in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. CLP $40.100. We shared one starter, a delicious octopus dish. For mains we had one baby goat and a starter of goose and fois gras which was enough food for me. We had one dessert and a bottle of carmenere Ca Chocalan. The food was excellent. The service was very good even though a little formal. The non-smoking area was a little out of the way—the wine cave, actually. So, we felt alone for the first hour there, until the restaurant (and the non-smoking area, started to fill up). The second time we went to this restaurant the non-smoking area was downstairs and the smoking room upstairs. We liked everything about the restaurant, and we going to increase its rating. However the dessert was disappointing on our second visit so the rating stays the same. Ratings: 8/10

C, Monseñor Escrivá de Balaguer 5970, Vitacura, Santiago, fono: 355-6900 Wiken Awards published by El Mecurio gave it 5 out of 6 forks. We weren’t impressed. We shared a starter and a main and a dessert. The starter was crab in a rice paper roll. The crab wasn’t tasty and neither was the main course. There isn’t a separate no-smoking area and we could smell the smokers even though they weren’t nearby. CLP$34.100 Rating: 6/10

De Cangrejo a Conejo, Av. Italia 805, Providencia, fono 634-4041. Recommended and the review in the EMOL site was very good. Modern international with prices of CLP$8.000-12.000 per person. I had tuna and Dimitri had rabbit, both of which were good. We had one dessert and one accompaniment. With wine, the price was CLP$27.800/US $54.08. It is in a warehouse-like room and it was cold and uninteresting. The service was bad. There was no separate non-smoking area. Ratings: 6/10

Delmónico, Monseñor Escrivá de Balaguer 6400, Loc. 4-A, Vitacura. Fono: 953-8330 E-mail: delmonico@delmonico.cl. Won as one of the best new restaurants in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The food was ordinary. There is a no smoking area. CLP$24.900/US $46.89 Rating: 6/10

Emilio, Monseñor Escrivá de Balaguer 5970, Vitacura, Santiago, fono: 355-6910, web: www.restaurantemilio.cl CLP $44.800/ US$84.53. We had one starter and one main, one dessert and a bottle of wine. The starter was a trio of shellfish: ceviche, pulpo and ostiones. The sauces were all good except the one for the ostiones which tasted like ketchup. For the main we had duck which was served in three parts. For dessert we had a fruit salad. The food was quite good and the service was excellent. The space is large, open, airy and modern. There is no separate no-smoking area. The second time we went, the room was freezing and the food was okay. Ratings: 7/10

Enebro, El Bosque Norte 0210 (Plaza el Bosque Park and Suites), Las Condes, fono 498-1800. We went on a Sunday night when other restaurants are closed. It was okay. They have a separate no smoking room and there is covered, free parking in the hotel garage. CLP$24.600/US $47.85. Ratings: 5.5/10

Europeo, Av. Alonso de Córdova 2417, Vitacura fono: 208-3603, e-mail: europeo@tie.cl (Carlos Meyer Anwandter, chef) (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$20.000 per person). Won the best restaurant in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. It was excellent. The service was attentive and well-informed. The food was very tasty and beautifully presented. We shared a fois appetizer done three ways: traditional fois gras sautéed with a port wine sauce, paté with a crunchy coating of honeyed pumpernickel bread crumbs, and a smoked slice of duck liver. Then we shared a tuna main course. They split it in the kitchen and gave us two mushroom “lasagnes”. The sauce was a port wine sauce and delicious. Then we had two desserts and coffee, as well as a Ventisquero Reserva Sav Blanc. The sorbets were not flavorful but my chocolate soufflé and chocolate mousse were very good. The only negative is that they don’t offer amuse bouche and we love that! The second and third visits were also triumphs. CLP$50.550/US $97.21 Rating: 9/10.


Favorite restaurant: Europeo. We shared the turbot pave with mariscos and a divine sauce.
Raúl Correa y Familia, Av. Las Condes 10480, fono 243-4747 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$10.000 per person). It’s at the end of a long driveway between the Audi dealer and a tire shop. It was recommend as Chilean. The Santiago “Aliv” pamphlet says it’s international. I had a dish called a cassolet de marisco but it was nothing like a cassolet and the shell fish was old and tough. Dimitri had roasted pork which he said was good. We had 2 desserts which were too sweet. The cost, less a 20% discount for using Citibank Mastercard, was CLP$28.000/US $54.47. Ratings: 5/10.

Tony Roma's Av. Kennedy 5413, loc 370, fono: 220-6404 CLP$21.578 The ribs were good but Dimitri’s filet steak was bad. No atmosphere whatsoever. The server was good. Rating: 5/10

Zanzibar, Mons. Escribá Balaguer 6400, Local 6, Borde Río, Vitacura, fono: 218-0118, web: www.zanzibar.cl. It was recommended by Linda Schnell, an AAC member whose husband and daughter run the restauant. We loved the décor but didn’t like our waiter (who seemed to have a chip on his shoulder). Dimitri was happy with his couscous dish. I had the most expensive item on the menu—a combination of duck, lamb chops and ostrich. The ostrich was so tough it was inedible. The duck was tough but edible and the lamb chops were okay. It cost US$37.600/ US$73.15. Ratings: 5.5/10

Italiana/Italian

Da Carla, sitio web: www.ristorantedaclarla.cl. Has the best pisco sour (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$15.000 per person). Won in the best category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio.
Centro: Enrique Mac Iver 577, fono: 633-3739
*Vitacura: Nueva Costanera 3673, fono 206-5557, e-mail: ristorante@daclara.cl CLP$38.600 + tip. We enjoyed it although nothing was noteworthy. Rating: 7.5/10

Da Fiore, Isidora Goyenechea 3185-B, fono 334-0209, e-mail: da.fiore@netline.cl. We had a fine meal there for CLP$21.000/US$40.85. They make an excellent zabaglione. Ratings: 7/10

Due Torri, Isidora Goyenechea 2908, Las Condes, fono 231-3427. With 20% discount total was CLP$30.000 (otherwise CLP$34.600 without tip). The restaurant is traditional but the food and service were good. Dimitri had rabbit and I had veal scaloppine al marcela (which was excellent). We had wine and 2 portions of zabaglione (which was perfectly prepared and enough for 6 people). Ratings: 7/10

Il Grissini, Vitacura 3797, Vitacura. Won as one of the best new restaurants in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The food was good but we were the only ones in the restaurant on a Friday night at 9 p.m. The stone floor was cold and the décor is nothing special. CLP$29.600/US $55.74. Rating: 6/10

Nolita Restaurant, Isidora Goyenechea 3456, Las Condes, Santiago, fono 232-6114, e-mail: nolita@mi.cl Won in the best restaurant category in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. Because the restaurant does not have a separate no smoking section, we were given a table that was a little bit separate. The menu is not inspired or modern and it doesn't have the traditional Northern Italian dishes either, such as veal marsala. The appetizers were not interesting so we chose 2 fish dishes: a stuffed trout and a talapia mediterranean style. The wine list was good since it had half bottles. When the meal was served, the waiter brought a corvina in a gloppy white sauce instead of the trout. We decided to share just the talapia. It was a huge portion, clearly enough for the 2 of us. We had ordered 2 side dishes, rice and stir fried vegetables. We had plenty to eat. The fish was good and the sauce was tasty, although it should have had olives in it too. There was no dessert that sounded good. CLP$18.000 Ratings: 6.5/10, 7/10

Pasta y Basta, Av. Kennedy 5413. Won second place in the best value category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The first time we went it was good enough. The second time it was awful (food and service) and the neighboring table was offensive. We spent CLP$22.400/ US$33.57 and CLP$16.000 the second time. Ratings: 5.5/10

Senso Restauant, Hyatt Hotel, Av. Pres. Kennedy 4601, fono: 950-1234. Won third place in the best new category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. CLP$30.300. We didn't think that the food or the service was good. The wine prices were astronomical and definitely not worth the CLP$15.000 price tag for an ordinary carménère. We shared a pasta with porcini mushrooms. The pasta itself was good but the mushrooms did not have the intense taste of a fresh porcini. The main that we shared was roasted pork that was dry and the skin was not crisp like the menu described it to be. Rating: 5/10

Japonesa/Japanese

Ichiban, Padre Hurtado Norte 1521, Vitacura, fono: 453-1793, web: www.ichiban.cl It describes itself as a Japanese bistro. We both had udon soups and they were good but the service was not and it was a disappointing experience. Ratings: 5/10

Izakaya Yoko, Merced 456, fono: 632 1954. Haven’t tried it but this was a review I read on www.destino.com said: “This Japanese canteen is an eternally popular diner for hungry city workers at lunchtime and party people during the evening. The best value dishes on the menu are the enormous bowls of noodle soups. But it is also a great place to try some quality sushi without breaking the bank.”

Kintaro, Monjitas 460 (Metro Bellas Artes), fono: 638-2448, sitio web: www.kintaro.cl (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$10.000 per person). Recommended but we haven’t tried it yet.

Matsuri at the Hyatt Santiago, fono 950-3051. Won in the best hotel category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We thought the food and service was good. The booths aren’t particularly comfortable, however. There were some authentic items on the menu, such as chawen mushi, a thick egg soup (like a flan) and udon noodle soup with tempura. We had 2 chawen mushis, 2 noodle soups and tea. The total was CLP$17.280 with a 20% discount because we used Citibank Mastercard to pay for the bill (US$33.61). Rating: 6/10

Shoogun, Enrique Foster N 172, Las Condes, fono: 231-1604, sitio web: www.shoogun.cl It was favorably reviewed in El Mecurio. The space is nicely done. We had two udon soups and one dessert. The soups were not made with udon but a noodle that isn't as good. The dessert was Japanese red bean in a rice flour casing and Dimitri liked it. At about CLP$5.00 each, the soups were expensive since they had no meat or fish in them. The whole bill was CLP$14.800 (tea was no charge). Rating: 6/10

Sakura Fusión, Av. Monseñor Escrivá de Balaguer 6400, Borde Río, fono: 218-0130 (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$14.000 per person). Recommended. Won in the best category in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We looked at the menu but didn’t try it because there was too much sushi and sashimi and nothing else that sounded good. However, one day at lunch we had one order of a California Roll for CLP$4.300/US $8.09. It took forever to get the order and it was 8 pieces of an uninteresting roll. Too expensive and not good enough. Rating: 5/10

Koreano/Korean

The Gaon, Av. Manquehue Sur 674, Las Condes, fono: 242-0082, sitio web: www.gaon.cl, e-mail: gaon@man2uehue.net This new restaurant has a lovely design. Upstairs there are private rooms that are even nicer. The Korean owner is present and attentive. The food that we had is authentic and delicious, as well as appropriately spicey. They serve the little nibbles at the beginning which we love (and they will re-fill). We had the traditional bibimbab and it is very good; the rice is really crispy at the bottom. Dimitri had a soup of tofu and maricos and said it was good but didn’t have enough maricos. The Korean dessert was a red bean with shaved ice and ice cream. Unusual and also good. We spent about CLP$13.000 (with a discount because the waiter spilled soup on my jacket.) Dimitri rated it down because, the first time we went, it didn’t have a menu in English or in Spanish. If you didn’t know what you wanted through the Korean transliterations, you’d have a big problem. The next time we went there were more explanations of the menu items in Spanish. Ratings: 9/10, 7/10

Kosher

Yafo, Comida Kosher Para Llevar, La Niebla 47, Loc 14, Lo Barnechea, fono: 245-8674 CLP$3.000. The falafel and hommos are great. It is on a quiet street and there is a small area outside with tables in the shade. It makes a pleasant place for lunch. Rating: 8.5/10 because for what it is, it’s great.

Mariscos y Pescados/ Seafood

Aqui Esta Coco, La Concepión 236. Fono: 235-8649, sitio web: www.aquiestacoco.cl (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$20.000 per person). Recommended but we haven’t tried it yet. The EMOL site for this restaurant says that it is the restaurant most recommended to foreigners visiting Santiago. We probably won’t go.

*Ibis de Puerto Varas, Avda. del Condor 600 Of. 34 Huechuraba, fono 443-1177 (near Zanzibar at Borde Río) (a guide book lists the price at around CLP$17.000 per person). Recommended and we loved it. It cost CLP$40.000 for 2 including 2 mains, 2 desserts, wine and coffee. Dimitri had tuna and it was some of the best he has ever tasted. I had a mixed seafood dish that was also very good. Rating: 7.5/10

Donde Blanca, Mercado Central, Local 87, fono 699-4052. We had a delightful lunch for CLP$10.000/US$19.45. Ratings: 7/10

Doña Camila, Mercado Central, fono 671-8411. We had one conejo (eel) soup and one mixed seafood soup, both of with were full of fish in different and tasty broths. Lunch cost CLP$6.200/US$12.06. Ratings: 6.5/10

Infante 51 Restoran, José Manuel Infante 51, Providenica, fono: 264-3357, e-mail: restoran@infante51.cl, web: www.infante51.cl. Won in the best category of the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The décor is nice. There is a big non-smoking area on the ground level. The service was very good and the food was okay. I had a crab shell stuffed with crabmeat. Unfortunately it wasn’t back fin so it was neither a good-looking dish, nor a particularly tasty one. CLP$34.800/US $65.64. Rating: 6.5/10

La Tasca de Altamar, Noruega 6347, Las Condes, fono 211-1041. www.altamaraparthotel.cl We had a starter of pulpo done in a Spanish way. It was a large soup with potatoes and green beans and onions and quite good. Then we shared a trout that was delicous and beautifully sautéed. We shared a half bottle of wine. The room is nautical; a bit old fashioned but nice. The tables are small with a pedestal that is too large for comfort. There is no area for non-smokers indoors. Outside there is a patio on the street, protected by bushes. The dueña is conscientious and helpful. The costs was CLP$16.000. Rating: 7/10

Puerto Fuy, Nueva Costanera 3969, Victacura, fono 208-8908, e-mail info@puertofuy.cl, web: www.puertofuy.cl Won in the best category of the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. (Chef is Giancarlo Mazarelli.) We were very happy with the food, service and ambiance. There was an amuse bouche of 3 items, a basil sorbet as an intermezzo and a pre-dessert of a delicious foam. We ordered and shared one starter and one main and one dessert. The starter was a very innovative sea urchin and mushroom mixture in a spinach leaf, for the main we had a trio of congrio (dorado, colorado and negro) and for dessert we had a berry concoction. CLP$36.000. The second time we went there we liked it just as much. The third time was also terrific. Ratings: 9/10

Puerto Marisko, Isidora Goyenechea 2918, Barrio El Golf, Las Condes, fono 233-2096. Recommended highly in Ercilla No. 3291, 10 Abril Del 2006. We spent CLP$31.300/US$60.89 and we were extremely unhappy with the food and the service. Aggressive waiters, dry fish. Need I say more? Ratings: 1.5/10

Puerto Sur, Av. Kennedy 5413, Loc. 367, Las Condes, fono 224-6839, e-mail: puertosurchile@hotmail.com CLP$13.000. We had lunch there in the enclosed patio on a sunny day. The food (oysters naturale and jardin de marciscos) was good and the waiter was good too.

Tio Lucho, Mercado Central, Loc 88, San pblo 943, fono: 688-1353. We have eaten several times and each time it has been great and not expensive. We love the small oysters called ostras de borde negro and the way they serve the erizos (sea urchins) with onion and lemon juice. Ratings: 8/10 because for what it does, it’s great.

Tio Willy, Mercado Central. Everything was good but it was more expensive than it should have been. CLP$20.000/US$38.91. Ratings: 5.5/10

Mediterraneo/Mediterranean

Adra, Santiago Ritz Carlton, El Alcalde 15, Las Condes, Santiago. Fono: 470-8500. Won first place in the best hotel category of the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We had a great meal there. The room is gorgeous and the service was excellent. We enjoyed the amuse bouche—a tasty crab ball with a strawberry sauce. We had two mains and two desserts and wine. My main was lamb chops and an asparagus, mushroom stir fry with a lovely concentrated sauce. Dimitri’s main was a perfectly cooked and delicious tuna with a carrot, cardamon purée. I had a chocolate fondant with ginger ice cream and Dimitri had a chestnut mousse. Both were very good. Our wine was Ventisquero Queulat Gran Reserva Carménère 2005 priced at CLP$12.500—a little pricey but not over the top. The cost of our meal was CLP$51.000. Rating: 9/10

Ristorante Fiume, Av. Monseñor Escrivá de Balaguer 6400, Loc 3, Borde Río, fono: 218-0108, e-mail: fiume@adsl.tie.cl, web: fiume@hotmail.com I had salmon and Dimitri had lamb chops. We also had 3 accompaniments and wine. We liked that it had a no smoking area. CLP$22.080/US$42.95 with a 20% discount for using Citibank Mastercard. Ratings: 7/10

La Niebla 47, local 14 phone # 245-8674. This is upper Las Condes, just above San Francisco de Asis, on the left side of the road. Sunday -Thursday they are open from 10:30am to 9:30pm. They close on Friday at 3:00 and are closed on Saturday. Middle eastern food. There are a few small tables so it is possible to eat there as well. No atmosphere at all but very clean and neat. The food is all kosher, fresh and home-made and wonderful. The owner is Jewish/Iranian and has been in Chile for nearly 30 yrs.. A very nice man.

Nueva/Nouvelle/Modern

Akarana, Reyes Lavalle 3310, Las Condes, fono 231-9667. Dell is the Kiwi owner. We had 2 mains and 2 free glasses of wine. The tuna was delcious as were the garnishes. The trio of curries was also very tasty. CLP$20.000 Another time we had a crab ravioli and a very expensive and bland langosta salad (that could have been a tasteless crab). Akarana also catered an event that the AAC had. The appetizers were delicious at that event. Rating: 7/10

Alkimia, Av. Padre Hurtado Norte 1480, Vitacura, fono: 954-1263, web: www.restaurantealkimia.cl. Won as one of the best new restaurants in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mercurio However, Caras Magazine gave it a terrible review. This restaurant opened in March 2006 and it is world-class. Although it is expensive by Santiago standards, the chef, an Argentinean woman named Cristina Brino, is fabulous. The space is dramatic although minimalistic and quite comfortable, particularly the chairs. (It caught our eyes when we were going to Terramar, next door.) There is a separate no smoking area. The service was exceptionally good (ask for Francisco). We had 2 mains and 2 desserts, wine and coffee and it cost CLP$46.700/US$90.85. The meal was a work of art. The dueña is Sra. Ines de la Quintana. When we returned for a second visit, we went with 4 others. We had drinks, three starters, 6 mains and 4 desserts. We paid a CLP$5.000 corkage fee because we brought a bottle of wine. The whole bill was CLP$111.600 or CLP$37.300 per couple. Very reasonable. When we first experienced this restaurant, we rated it 9.5. Since that time, we’ve been to other greater restaurants in Santiago so we have to reduce this one’s rating. Rating: 8/10

Capital Federal, Av. El Bosque Norte, Las Condes, fono: 232-1913, e-mail: reservas@capitalfederal.cl. Web: www.capitalfederal.cl Won in the best new and best value categories of the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The food and the service were delightful. Modern Argentinean is how it describes itself. The chef, Juan Manuel Peña came to our table twice to make sure we were happy. The space is minimalistic but very pleasant. They had a separated area for non smokers. The next time I called for a reservation, it was not clear whether they had a non-smoking area so we didn’t go. CLP$17.520/US$34.08 with a 20% discount for using Citibank Mastercard. Ratings: 8/10

Peruana/Peruvian

Alfresco, Las Condes 7542, Las Condes, fono 211-8054. Web: www.alfresco.cl Won in the “best new” and “best value” categories of the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. Although the restaurant has only been open for about a year, the building is not new and has not been redecorated. Consequently the restaurant looks old-fashioned. Our order was mixed up badly and the food wasn’t good. Ratings: 5/10

Barandiaran, 38 Constitucion street, Bellavista. recommended by El Mercurio and we went with another couple. Won in the best new and best value categories in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. We hated the service and the food was okay. The bill for the 4 of us was CLP$44.500. When the bill came the restaurant had already added 10% for service to the CLP$40.000 bill but didn’t tell us. We had 4 mains, wine, 2 aperitif and 2 desserts. Ratings: 6/10: it was really less than a 6 but got extra points for being inexpensive.

El Chalán, alta cocina Peruana, Manuel Montt 1616, Providencia, fono 204-0989, e-mail: reservas@elchalan.cl web: www.elchalan.cl We went with the ACC and had a fixed price dinner for CLP$22.000 with a pisco sour and 1 glass of wine. The ceviche was good. The rest was not memorable. Ratings: 6.5/10

*Costanazca, Av. Príncipe de Gales 6777, fono: 277-2184. Recommended but we haven’t tried it yet.

*El Otro Sitio (good pisco sour). A guide book lists the price at around CLP$18.000 per person and it was recommended.
Las Condes: The Boulevard Parque Arauco, fono: 220-5800. We didn’t like it or the service but we were in bad moods that night. We spent CLP$25.400/US$49.41. Ratings: 6/10
Borde Rio: Av. Monseñor Escrivá de Balaguer 6400, Borde Río, fono: 218-0105

Sofisticado/Sophisticated

California Creations, Isidora Goyenechea 3477, Las Condes, fono: 378-6411. Won as one of the best new restaurants in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. The décor is modern and sophisticated. We had three different pizzas and each was good but not great. Each couple paid CLP$22.000 Rating: 6/10

Makandal, Av. Vitacura 4111, Vitacura, fono 207-5483, sitio web: www.makandal.cl, A molecular restaurant, Makandal, was good but not great. The amuse bouche was the best part of the many, many courses: an unlikely concoction of slightly sweet olive oil which had carbonated rice crispy like morsels and delicious wisp of fois gras. The place is very "in" and Dimitri was annoyed that there were so many 20 somethings in a restaurant that is so expensive. There were many foams used to fancy-up the dishes but they were not Blumenthal of the Fat Duck or Ferran Adria of Spain quality. They didn't have intense flavor and they didn't last long. The tasting menu (which is the thing) was CLP$23.000 per person and there was no option to include wine tastings (as there had been before Sept. 2006). So wine was extra. Ratings: 6.5/10

Sukalde Av. Bilbao 460, Providencia, 665-1017 from Liz Caskey’s blog http://lizcaskey.blogspirit.com/restaurant_recs_and_reviews/
“The buzz going around about this restaurant is “(de)constructivist”, “vanguard”, ‘our little Ferran Adriá'. It is the place of the moment in Santiago’s dining scene and to get a reservation, put your speed dial on and let it go to work. The charm comes from the young chef Matías Palomo who has put together a deconstructed style of cuisine through years of working and traveling. Simple, young, modern, and very, very small, for us “gringos”, it probably won’t seem as avant-garde as it did for the locals but there are some clever food tricks like making caviar out of soy or foamy things that look cool on the plate (but lacking consistency in the mouth). The menu is quite small and thus easy to navigate. Go with an adventurous mind—and a reservation, please.” Won as one of the best new restaurants in Santiago in the Wiken Awards 2006 published by El Mecurio. It doesn’t have a no smoking area so we won’t go.

Tailandesa/Thai

Anakena at the Hyatt Santiago, Av. Kennedy 4601, Las Condes, fono: 950-3177 CLP$22.700/US$44.16 after the 20% discount for using Citibank Mastercard. The food was good and authentic. Rating: 7/10 (because they charged extra for each cup of tea).

Thai Bangkok, Constitucion 92, Providencia-Bellavista, Santiago, fono: 732-6930, e-mail bangkokrestaurant@gmail.com, sitio web: www.restaurantbangkok.cl CLP$21.000 with wine. We had pad Thai with shrimp and a green curry with chicken. The food was good. The ambiance is too trendy for our tastes and they don't have a non-smoking area. This is a new Thai Restaurant opened in September 2006. Ladda’s friend, Montiel, who is Thai, is a head-chef there. He had worked for several years as a Thai Chef in the Anakena Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Santiago. Recommended. Rating: 7/10

Vegetariano/Vegetarian

Unicornio, Plaza Lyon, Loc. 49, Lado Lider, Los Leones, fono: 231-5657. We had soup for lunch and it was quite good. CLP$2600/US$5.00. Ratings: 7.5

Wines

Carmenère: a varietal from Bordeaux, originally, but in France it was wiped out by Phylloxera and evidently not replanted. In Chile it was not affected by the disease and was marketed as a merlot until recently. Now it has been given back its rightful name. We like it; any label has been good. In restaurants the prices range from about CLP$6.000/US$11.67 to CLP$27.000/$52.53.

Ventisquero Reserva, Carménère, 2004 was fabulous. In a restaurant it was CLP$9.500/US$18.48. In the supermarket it was CLP$3.000/US $5.83. The Ventisquero Selleción Carménère at CLP $2.799/US$5.27 in the supermarket was almost as good as the Reserva. We also tried the Ventisquero Queulat Gran Reserva Carménère 2005 priced at CLP $4.990/US$9.34 was not twice as good as any of the others.

Casa Silva Los Lingues Gran Reserva Carmenere is fabulous

De Martino Single Vineyard Carmenere 2005 won an award and deserved it.

The Sommelier from Europeo recommended that we try the following Carmeneres:
2004 Concha y toro Terrunyo Carmenere
2005 Perz Cruz Limited Edition Carmenere 2005

The Sommelier from Puerto Fuy recommended that we try the following Carmeneres: :
Arboleda Carmenere Valle Colgagua 2005
Terrunyo Carmenere Valle Cachapol 2005 (Concha y toro)
San Pedro 1865 Carmenere 2005 Valle del Maule