I had foolishly decided to meet jetlag head on with an early morning stroll up Cerro San Cristobal, Santiago’s equivalent of Arthur’s Seat.
Due to my own incompetence coupled with Google Maps changing its mind on routes, this had been rather steeper and longer than expected meaning I’d walked 20km at fuck knows what gradient by the time I sat down to lunch. I stank pretty badly from the effort.
To say I was ready to eat was an understatement, so I was pleased to have chosen a place specialising in hearty fare called Liguria. It’s apparently a very popular spot for an initiation into traditional Chilean cooking.
The place has a couple of sites across the city. I’d chosen the one that was closest staggering distance from the hill. It was a smart diner style place. It gave the impression of being as much a lively place for drinks as a place to eat.
I don’t speak any Spanish beyond the odd phrase or two, so it was helpful to find a waiter who was super friendly and had enough English so that we understood each other very well.
The menu looked very much like pub grub fare to me and without the need to resort to translation services I settled upon the ossobuco stew. There was a discussion about whether this needed a side dish which concluded no to rice but yes to salad.
The dish was with me in double quick time following hot on the heels of bread and some seasoned tomatoes.
It looked very much like a hearty Irish stew or a plate of mince and tatties. Given my general state of mega tiredness, this was like manna from heaven.
The meat – on-the-bone veal – was fall-apart tender and served in a flavour-packed gravy. The accompanying carrots, peas and potatoes were soft and comforting. The side salad of chunky tomato and green bean brought required freshness. It was all a very enjoyable eat.
I accompanied this with a jarrito of excellent carmenere as seemed appropriate.
So overall, Liguria was a splendid place to start my Chilean dining adventures. It was just the type of place I needed when I was feeling so stinky, hungry and drained. It took a day or two more for me to be back to fighting fitness but the food at Liguria played a hugely helpful part in that.
Blythe scores Liguria
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15.5/20
I ate: ossobuco, tomato and bean salad
I drank: carmenere, water
I wore: quite the odour
Total bill: 22,200 pesos
Address: Avenue Providencia 1353, Santiago