A Culinary Tour of Montevideo—Part II
We continue our culinary tour of Montevideo this week with more of our favorite eateries in the city. Of course, this is just a snippet of all that the city has to offer in terms of eating out. If you’d like to share your best or worst dining experiences in Montevideo, or anywhere of Uruguay, we’d love to hear from you.
The Montecristo restaurant set in Pittamiglio Castle, hidden between two residential buildings in Pocitos, is a delight. Its atrium spills into a large space over which a mezzanine peeks down upon incoming guests. Hovering over the room is a glass ceiling through which the castle’s outer-edifice can be seen. The menu is varied and the wine list is extensive
OU writer Jon Aerts paid a visit to the Montecristo and enjoyed a Thai chicken dish with a chocolate mousse desert, washed down with a class of tannat. Between a white violin player-for-hire, a bottle of wine, an appetizer, three entrées, and a dessert, the bill came to $60. Total.
The Montecristo: www.montecristo.com.uy; Francisco Vidal 636 esq. 21 de Setiembre, Montevideo; tel. 710.17.44.
Just off Montevideo’s busy Boulevard Artigas, a regal marble staircase beckons you into a vegetarian oasis in a desert of meat eateries. Namaste restaurant greets visitors with sweet smells, relaxing music, soft colors, handcrafted tablecloths, lampshades, and wall hangings. Indeed the place oozes calm and reverence.
It is essentially lacto-ovo vegetarian but it also includes seitan (or wheat gluten), tofu, vegetable protein, and a delightful offering of non-traditional fare.
One specialty of the house is a “doblada,” a tasty invention, which is essentially a garbanzo bean flour crepe stuffed with a combination of vegetables, tofu or cheese, seeds and other treats.
Another novelty is the vegetarian “chivito” or monster sandwich, which is served on a homemade bun and is stuffed with roasted seitan, tofu, cheese, olives, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, red pepper, and homemade mayonnaise. Although it is messy to eat, the sandwich is delicious and approximates the gargantuan greasy meat offering of the same name.
The salads are the highlight of the menu—unusual combinations tempt the taste buds. The Mundaka is a Mediterranean-style salad with black olives, tomatoes, zucchini, and Parmesan cheese. The blend of flavors and textures of the Namaste salad—a mix of sprouts, dried fruit, and vegetables in a base of bulgur wheat—is a delight. For dessert, we ordered the ricotta plum tart and an herb tea mixed in-house with fresh orange peel and mint.
Namaste is located at 1176 Boulevard Artigas between Canelones and Maldonado. The restaurant is open Monday to Saturday from 11.30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday evening, it’s also open from 8.30 p.m. to midnight. There is a delivery service available during lunchtime (call 709-5554.) The executive menu is 190 pesos and a complete meal is calculated to run approximately 250 pesos per person.
OU writer Christina went to Kokoro Japanese restaurant right after it opened. “I have tried other sit-down [sushi] options including Café Misterio, Bar 62, and Francis. By far Kokoro was the best of them all: excellent in all respects. Kokora serves up what they call, and what I felt was, an authentic experience. The decor was minimal and almost somber; the food well plated. From the lofted second-floor seating, we could see the sushi chef preparing our choices. I always like that. The service was excellent, which isn’t always the case when dining out in Montevideo. To supplement your sushi, the menu also offers dishes like arroz con huevo y camarones (rice with egg and shrimp) and la carne wagyu (beef). Their tempuras are also delicious. For dessert they have ice cream made in-house. Every Monday is Ladies Night at Kokoro, so females can dine at a 50% discount. Offers take-out service, but not delivery.”
Kokoro Restaurante: Libertad 2592 esq. Viejo Pancho (Pocitos), Tel. 706-91-40, website: www.kokoro.com.uy.