t

teresasusan's Profile

Title Last Reply

Montevideo

Sorry for the late reply. Gardenia is not to be missed and is located in the World Trade Center. Estrecho, downtown, is excellent--only open M-F for lunch. Bar 62 in Pocitos is great. I have heard the newly reopened Umaga is excellent, though I have not tried it myself.

Montevideo: Bar Tabare--The Bad Service Trumps the Good Food

.

Montevideo: Bar Tabare--The Bad Service Trumps the Good Food

For lunch, a trip to Mercado del Puerto is a must. El Palenque is the best spot in the Mercado, but it is also the most expensive. I normally find any of the grills where there is a open spot, watch the chef, and enjoy the food.

Another excellent spot in Ciudad Vieja (Old City) is the Estrecho Bar. It is a small little, restaurant where everyone sits at a long bar. The food is excellent. It is on Sarandi, which is the pedestrian walkway that goes from Independence Square to Mercado del Puerto. It is only open for lunch M-F.

You can't go wrong with either place for lunch.

Montevideo: Bar Tabare--The Bad Service Trumps the Good Food

I am a resident of Montevideo, and Bar Tabaré is in my neighborhood. I am also a member of Chowhound, and therefore I feel I should advise visitors to this city. In my second, and last, visit to Bar Tabaré, I must say that I was appalled with the service we received at what is hailed to be one of the best restaurants in town.

We went to Bar Tabaré because they had a promotion of a guest chef from Astrid y Gaston, a famous restaurant from Lima, Peru. The menu was set, and while excellent, was primarily meat based. One of the members of our party was vegetarian. Instead of asking him to stay home, we called to Bar Tabaré earlier in the day to see if an alternate plate could be made. We were told that yes, a pasta dish would be offered and to discuss this with the waiter upon arrival.

When we arrived, we talked with the manager and then the waiter who stated that an pasta dish would be served. After the appetizer, the waiter approached the table and said their was no more pasta. He offered instead a salad. Bear in mind that the vegetarian meal was still $40/person just like all the other customers (who were receiving a four-course meal). We asked to speak with the manager, who stated that she could do nothing and that all of the pasta was pasta filled with lamb. When I spoke to her firmly that she needed to resolve the problem and that we had called earlier to prevent such a problem, she said again that she could do nothing. She simply interrupted us and was argumentative.

Finally after several minutes of discussion, she said, "Well, we have spaghetti," to which several of us said that was acceptable and asked why it had not been offered before. She told us that we had refused this option of spaghetti, which we had not. The waiter had told us simply there was not pasta. Later we talked with the waiter who refused to admit he had made a mistake and who said it was the kitchen who had erred.

In all of this debacle, no one ever apologized. Instead they argued with us, claimed it wasn't their fault, and refused to accept responsibility. Regardless of how good the food is, I will never return to Bar Tabaré as there are many other establishments in Montevideo that take care of their patrons and appreciate their business--something Bar Tabare does not.

Are There Good Eats in Punta del Este?

One of my favorite places in Punta del Este is La Fonda del Pesca, a great hole in the wall joint on Gaviotas Street. There are no table cloths or cloth napkins, but the place has wonderful character. My favorite dish is the salmon raviolis with the tomato cream sauce (rosado in Spanish, I think). If you are lucky, the very colorful owner will come out to chat with you. This is mostly a favorite among locals and is off the normal tourist circuit, which also means it is more reasonably priced than other places in town.

If you are looking for something more upscale, Lo de Charlie is always good. They serve excellent seafood, and the desserts are also not to be missed.

Santiago recommendations

I was just in Santiago. The best dinner I had was a La Mar on Nueva Costanera. They serve about 20 different kinds of pisco sours, the national drink of Chile. Also, they have about eight kinds of ceviche. My main dish was the albacora (sword fish), which came on a plate of very well seasoned garbanzo puree. The creme brulee dessert was also fabulous.

Another good restaurant was Akarana, which is owned by a New Zealander. The dishes are different, but I had an excellent salad with coconut, chicken, and cashews. My friend had the orange curried scallops, which were also excellent.

Montevideo advice

I went to Cafe Misterio once, and everything I had was good. In a large group, everyone got different desserts, which were all excellent. The best looking one on the table was "death by chocolate." I had fish for my main dish (salmon I think), which I would also recommend. Downsides to Cafe Misterio are the price and it's location in Carrasco (about 30 minutes from downtown).

Another good place that has consistently good fish is Bar 62. Again, I've never had a bad meal there, and I take all my visitors to Montevideo there.

La Perdiz is also a good option and is located near the Sheraton Punta Carretas. They are known for their meat, but they have a variety of other dishes, including fish and pastas. La Perdiz has consistently good food and service.

Depending on your daytime schedule, you can try Estrecho Bar, which is located on Peatonal Sarandi. They always have a fish of the day. Estrecho Bar is only open for lunch M-F.

Hope this helps and that it arrived in time.