Bravo Bogotá ~ Colombia’s Culinary comeback

Move over, Buenos Aires: South America’s newest culinary darling is Colombia’s comeback capital.

Crime is down, business is booming, and the restaurant scene is so hot that the food world’s biggest names are flying in for a taste.
Frank Bruni follows the buzz.

One of the culinary pioneers of the now-trendy Usaquén neighborhood, Abasto is part charming restaurant, part grocery store that stocks mostly local produce, grains, and meat.

Dinnertime is upon us, stars are all around us, and what’s before us on this blissfully balmy night in Colombia is no mere restaurant. It’s a whirling, twinkling dream, a wonderland of colored lights—on the steadily rotating blades of the decorative windmills that line the street in front of the place; on the gently swaying branches of the trees skirting it; alongside the paths that lattice the parking lot, which is as vast as any amusement park’s. As we shimmy into a spot, I catch my reflection in one of the car’s windows. When do I ever smile this widely?

I was prepped. I was stoked. At least half a dozen globe-trotting friends, savvy diners all, told me that Andrés Carne de Res, this steak house cum fun house about forty minutes (without traffic) from the center of Bogotá, was unlike anywhere they’d ever eaten, and that they couldn’t fathom why it wasn’t known and chattered about the world over. Already I can’t fathom that either.
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