Restaurant Ambrosia has been a recommendation on the tip of everyone´s tongues lately. ¨Go to Ambrosia!¨ is what I´ve been commanded from pretty much all the foodie buffs and so, being someone who thinks only of her stomach, we booked ourselves in for a romantic child-free Friday night*.
Ambrosia is headed by chef Carolina Bazan, and sommelier/manager, Rosario Onetto. Bazan gained her culinary skills at restaurants in Brazil, Asia, Asia and Europe, the latter of which saw her placed at Gregory Marchand´s Frenchie restaurant in Paris. Meanwhile Onetto studied at none other than Le Cordon Bleu, therefore resulting in a pairing that would be a culinary force to be reckoned with.
Ambrosia opened in its current spot in 2011, in a setting that looks pretty nondescript from the outside. There are no signs to signal the fact that this quiet residential street contains one of Latin America´s Top 50 restaurants (it sits at number 20 in the famous listing by San Pellegrino) or that Bazan herself is rated Chile´s number one chef. The horde of cars parked on the street are the only giveaway of the classy restaurant housed behind the hedge, along with the twinkling lights that light up the corner of the visible terrace.
Ambrosia is classed as a French restaurant, but the changing menu reflects more of Bazan´s travels, particularly to Italy as pasta dishes are a regular component. There is no static menu as the primary concept of Ambrosia is seasonality, with only the freshest in-season produce served. Meat and fish dishes are the main fare, though there is always a vegetarian option, and the wagyu beef is the particular plate that earnt Ambrosia its accolades from San Pellegrino.
There is an outside terrace, bar and two eating areas, one a little more modern than the other but all lend a hand to create the warm ¨at home¨ ambience Ambrosia strives for.
Service is exceptional, with plates cleared and menus produced almost instantly. The waiters seem to take great pride in their role, presenting themselves more as food guides than servers. Each dish was explained to us in detail, down to each lavish sauce and delicately placed herb.
The food is light with a big focus on presentation. Mains are priced at the higher end, while drinks, starters and desserts are consistent with other Santiago restaurants. Each plate we tried contained a multitude of different sauces and colors that, when combined, worked really well. The loco shellfish we ordered as a starter was our favorite, followed by the lamb main (cooked for 6 hours) and the white chocolate ganache.
Verdict: A perfect spot for a romantic night out, that has all the class and fine food you´d expect from a top restaurant while retaining the feel of a place a little more casual. Food was quality, though portions were on the smaller side, and vegetarians are not going to be spoilt for choice.
*We originally tried to book the Bistro, as I was attracted to the casual concept of the small wine-bar that is Ambrosia´s sister restaurant. This place fills up fast so make your booking in advance. Address: Nueva de Lyon 99, Providencia.
The Nitty Gritty
Address: La Pamplona 78, Vitacura