Pasta e Vino: Never Disappointing

From the first view of the wide stone staircase framed by the 1920's Spanish Mission house, Pasta e Vino promises something special.

Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo
Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo

Run by chef Verónica Alfageme, the restaurant first opened its doors in Valparaiso in 2003, at the beginning of a restaurant revival in the city. Pasta y Vino, now widely considered a standard-bearer for the coastal city’s vibrant gastronomic scene, recently opened its second location

Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo
Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo

in the heart of Santiago's funky party district, Bellavista.

A wonderful juxtaposition of 1920’s architecture and contemporary décor helps make the restaurant elegant, but never prim. High dark beamed ceilings, large archways, crisp white walls and ornately framed portraits of the original owners mix perfectly with light wooden tables, simple table settings and modern wood and leather chairs.

Located inside a gorgeously restored boutique hotel at the foot of San Cristobal hill, seating is available inside the restaurant as well as on the incredibly lit patio lined with illuminated stone arches.

Begin your dinner with a glass of crisp Prosecco accompanied by paper-thin slices of eggplant wrapped around velvety rich ricotta cheese seasoned with fresh pepper and a hint of rosemary. A selection of fresh crusty bread and pencil-thin bread sticks served with a fine extra virgin olive oil drizzled with balsamic vinegar can also prove difficult to resist.

Appetizers range from CP$4.900 (US$) to CP$5.900 and are served in generous portions that can be shared or, in some cases, can even comprise an entire meal by themselves.

A recommended dish is the Carpaccio de camarones ecuatorianos con alcaparras y romero (CP$5.200)--luminous, perfectly flattened shrimp peppered with capers, tiny cuts of rosemary and drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil. Served elegantly on a

Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo
Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo

clear, pearly purple-rimmed plate, the prawns are seasoned perfectly with just enough tart from the capers and lemon juice, while the mild rosemary provides a pleasant change from the typical basil.

The Pimentón relleno de queso de cabra y camarones envuelto en masa filo (CP$5.900) is also delicious, albeit a bit much for a single diner. Goat cheese adds subtle acidity to the velvety sweet shrimp-stuffed red pepper, while the crisp filo dough provides a distinct texture to this dish which is better shared with a friend.

For the main course choose from a variety of house-made pastas including an ample selection of gnocchi and raviolis (CP$8.500 to CP$9.900) prepared with seasonal ingredients.

A charming main dish is the Fettuccine al Cartoccio (CP$9.200). Perfectly cooked pasta, mushrooms, Roquefort and Mozzarella are spooned into parchment paper, tied in a bundle, baked in the oven and opened by the diner upon serving.

Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo
Photo by Rodrigo Carrizo

The result is a mouthwatering aroma of fresh mushrooms and pungent Roquefort pouring out as the Cartoccio is opened.

Equally scrumptious are the Gnocchi de centolla en salsa de camarones y caviar negro (CP$9,800). Succulent chunks of fresh, buttery crabmeat are stuffed into airy, crab-filled potato gnocchi and topped with a healthy mound of shiny black caviar. The texture of the gnocchi is dead-on and the slightly-briny caviar gives an excellent bite to the rich, almost sweet, creaminess of shrimp bisque.

If you find yourself struggling to leave enough room for the decadent brownie for dessert, round off your meal with the Crujiente de manzanas con caramelo tibio y helado artisanal (CP$4.600). This crispy vanilla and cinnamon-flavored dough cylinder filled with softened pieces of apple in a caramel sauce is served with artisanal ice cream and makes for a perfect ending to a thoroughly satisfying and delightful meal.

Pasta e Vino
Barrio Bellavista
Constitucion 317
Santiago, Chile
Reservations: (02) 940 - 2830
Monday - Saturday, 20:00 - 24:00 (*open for lunch Saturdays from 13:00 - 16:00)
Closed Sundays

http://www.pastaevinoristorante.cl/

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