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2. February 2015: Restaurant Criterión

| March 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Restaurant Criterión is apparently the best restaurant in Colombia according to the San Pellegrino list of the best restaurants of the world. Frankly speaking, I tend to not agree. But step by step. I started with a “Mojito Zacapa” (22’500 COP) which was smoother than the Mojitos I usually have which was definitely a pleasant experience.

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Before you are able to chose what you want to eat, you already are served “regular butter and butter with almonds” which contains a slight hint of sweetness making it an interesting combination with the bread.

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I decided to go for the Tasting Menu – the “Menú Degustación #2 Temporada 2015” (129’900 COP) which started with a “Vichyssoise Caliente con Capuccino de Mero y Whisky”. The way it was served was interesting and taste-wise it was insofar interesting as the whiskey flavour was present but not overwhelming.

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With the second course, a “tiradito de pez León con espuma de guanábana (tartare de patilla y tomate, gelatina de lulo, crema de coco y cilantro)” started also the wine paring (“Nuestra Recomendación de Maridaje”, 59’900 COP) with a glass of “Millaman limited reserve sauvignon blanc, valle del curico, Chile”. The dish was refreshing but lacked somehow the originality I was hoping for.

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Next in line was a “medallon de langosta con esencia de tomate y jamón jabugo (con pure de alverjitas, edamame, habitas fescas y pétalos de tomate semi seco)” accompanied by a glass of “Château Schengen Auxerrois, Luxemburgo” …

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… refined with the broth to make the dish complete. Again, the dish was good but somehow it was a good but rather regular taste experience.

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The next course was definitely the highlight of the evening – the “confit de salmon ahumado con Carbón de yuca (Version #2) (con pesto de acedera y avellanas, tapenade con tinta de calamar, pure de palmitos frescos y ralladura de Macadamia)” was probably one of the best salmons I have tried in my life. The salmon was so incredibly smooth, fine like butter, having an intense but not overwhelming salmon taste refined with a hint of smoke – absolutely lovely! The wine which accompanied the dish, a “Maison Guy Saget Muscadet sur lie AOC Francia” was fine as well.

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Since my scallop experience in Porto last year in June, I can somehow not enjoy other scallops anymore as they never match the quality of the scallop I have had there. However, the “scallop a la planca con chicharrón cocido al vacío (con houmus, tahine pimenton confitado, aceietunas deshidratadas, salsa de perejil y jus de ave y romero)” accompanied by “Foppiano Russian River Pinot Noir, California, USA” was insofar interesting as the scallop with its distinct soft consistency and rather dull taste (in this case) was balanced-off well with the intensity and saltiness of the pork belly.

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My personal disappointment this evening was the “Carne Wagyu con salsa Bordelesa (con papa fondant, cebollitas ocaneras y salsa baernesa)” (which costs an additional 40’000 COP). I always was of the opinion that wagyu beef is absolutely overrated as so far in only one occassion I actually thought it was outstanding (August last year, in the Restaurant Sonnenberg) but every other time it was a disappointment. Again so this time. The potato fondant was quite interesting though and went well with the “Carmelo Rodero Crianza Ribera del Duero, Espana”.

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While definitely not something everyone would like I was positively surprised by the next course – “queso Emmenthal con ensalada de repollo y pan pumpernickel (con vinagreta de semillas de alcaravea y helado de mostaza dijon)” which was basically a small sandwich made of pumpernickel bread and Emmenthal cheese and a hint of dijon mustard. While definitely a bit weird in taste as unexpected it was absolutely nice. The “Hiedler Weine, Grüner Veltliner, Loess, Austria” matched the dish very good.

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The first sweet part of the dessert was a “Sorbet de Mojito Zacapa (con Marshmallow de Limón)” which was basically the same Mojito flavour I had chosen to start the evening with. Perfectly refreshing to start the beginning of the evening.

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The final course did not only look interesting but actually also tasted unique. The “Tiramisu de zapote con tierra de chocolate (flores frescas y perfume de lychee)” was interesting as the chocolate actually had the consistency of soil – and also looked like soil. Something you would usually not eat if you look at it but it was frankly speaking absolutely great. The rum which was served with it, a “Zacapa Solera 23, Guatemala” matched absoutely well.

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If you want to dine here you definitely have to book your table in advance as else you basically do not stand a chance to get a table. If you manage to get the table, you will be intrigued by the interior design of the restaurant. The service does a good job – it is competent and friendly but sometimes like a bit in attentiveness. Especially in the beginning, the waiting time was above 10 minutes before someone was finally there to take the orders. Else, there is nothing to complain about the service. With regards to the prices, they are also absolutely fair which applies for the dishes as well as for the wine pairing or the water (0,35L, 9’000 COP) or the double espresso (7’000 COP).

However, as the Criterión is rated the best restaurant in Colombia I was definitely expecting more and my expectations were not met. The salmon was an experiecne taste-wise, the chocolate pot was an experience consistency-wise. Else, there is not really much to experience (but good above-average food).

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Contact Details:

Restaurant Criterión

Calle 69A #5-75

Bogotá (CO)

Tel.: +571 210 1377

Homepage: http://www.criterion.com.co

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
499'206 COP Filed in: Bogotá (CO), Restaurants
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