Recently we tried a new restaurant – not new to Bogotá but new to us. We usually end up at the same old favorites but this time we decided to be a little more adventurous.
This time we headed over to Usaquen. This part of Bogotá used to be considered outside the city limits a long time ago, but the city has grown so much that now it’s right in the middle of it all. Despite the fact that sprawl has managed to swallow it whole, the area retains a really quaint feeling. A lot of the architecture remains in tact, there is a weekend flea market that is generally a bit more “up scale” than the one downtown, and you can stroll through the streets, some of which are still cobblestone. Usaquen, in other words, is really nice. I love it and even moreso now that there are so many restaurants popping up.
One of them is called Abasto (the name refers to pantry provisions) – this place has a changing menu and the idea is that they use only the freshest available ingredients found at the markets every morning. They don’t try to be pretentious or anything – it’s just good, simple food.
The decor is warm and cozy, the kitchen is open, there’s a fireplace in the middle section, and all the way in the back is a little shop/pantry. They stock everything from fresh produce to sea salt from La Guajira, locally made cheese and a whole bunch of goodies (including agave nectar which I had never seen anywhere in Bogotá before).
We started with some empanadas, made in-house. The filling was cheese, mole, and chicken. They were quite good – nothing out of this world – but yummy, served with an avocado puree instead of the traditional ají.
As a main I had Penne with Calamari, Chorizo and Fresh Tomatoes. Very homey dish but the flavor of the chorizo was awesome. Really nice combination of flavors and something you could easily whip up at home.
I apologize for the pictures – I know they look less than appetizing, first due to the Blackberry camera and second because the presentation isn’t really their forte – I guess it’s part of their “charm”.