Date of Last Visit: October 21, 2010. And then again on October 22, 2010
The Victim(s): Me the first time. My colleague Clark the second time.
The Damage: About $28 the first time. $40 the second time.
The Background: Have you ever been a place once with the expectation that you would never return? So it was when I visited Chile over New Year’s 2002/2003 when my friend Amy and I were fortunate enough to find some very cheap flights on American Airlines. That would be my one trip to Chile. Maybe I’d return in my 60s to see the penguins, but otherwise…Chile was checked off my list.
But here I was, eight years later. Back in Chile. And just a few days after the 33 miners were saved. It was a fun time to be in the country.
After a hectic first few work days in Viña del Mar (more about Viña in a later post), I headed back to Santiago for some more work and my flight back to Chicago. I had a night to myself and did a quick Google of places that I could easily walk to from my hotel. Cafe Liguria was one of my options.
Liguria…Liguria…why did I know this Cafe Liguria? Why was it so familiar? Ah…It was because my fiends Jonathan and Tatiana, who both grew up in Santiago, had enthusiastically recommended we check it out back in 2002. And we did. And I loved it so much, the restaurant gave me two paper tablecloths to commemorate my visit. I later used these to decorate my old Chicago apartment.
I read too many Richard Scarry books as a child. I like having things to look at in restaurants. Cafe Liguria is chock-a-block with wine bottles and retro signs and mismatched chandeliers.
My very generous starter of razor clams, smothered in cheese. Yes, the Chileans are very fond of cheese and seafood. The razor clams were fresh. The cheese was fine. It was not the disaster I expected it to be. (I didn’t realize I was ordering clams with cheese when I said yes to the server’s suggestion. And yes, these are shorter razor clams that I am used to, but my server swore that’s what they were.)
The Verdict: Is the food at Liguria super-gourmet? No. Is it a really friendly place with charming service, good for groups where you’re sure to have a nice time in a relaxed atmosphere? Yes. Should I return to Chile a 3rd time, I’ll be sure to make another visit. It will probably be time for a new tablecloth…
P.S. Don’t forget! I’m giving away a $75 voucher to Cookware.com! Read more and it could be yours!