Every time I went about my business in Providencia, a rather chintzy part of downtown Santiago, Chile, I spotted this restaurant, Liguria. It had all of the appearance of a traditional French bistro from the outside, but had an Italian name. I had been unwell after my last meal out (click here to read that blog), and so what I wanted, no – what I needed, was comfort food.
Location: Av. Providencia 1353, Providencia
Website: Click here
Patrick visited in 2017
The front part of Liguria is a long bar. For lunch, I was ushered through to the ‘back room’, and what a space it was! More than double-height and decorated with dramatic floor tiles and antique advertising plaques.
The room has a mezzanine level with rooms leading off that I could just about spy from my ground floor table.
The perfect comfort food was on the lunch specials menu – a lasagne! It was not heavy with meat, the ragu sauce being on just one layer. The other layers were tomato, béchamel and creamed spinach. I couldn’t finish it but it was very good and extremely rich.
The artwork is everywhere you look. It’s lively and bright and makes what could be a formal space feel less stuffy.
Much of the menu is not Italian at all, but Chilean. There was one dish which was a big bowl of seafood in a thick soup. It looked interesting and the waitress highly recommended it. My bias against shellfish continues!
I liked Liguria so much, I returned. A friend from our choral days with Irish group, Anúna, was in town (Kevin Sheedy). It was great to have a catch-up after all these years!
Kevin had a daube of beef for this evening try-out at Liguria, which I failed to photograph, but which I did taste. It had been cooked low and slow and was falling apart, dressed with a rich tomato broth.
I couldn’t resist the lamb cutlets. They were cooked to well done and had not been French trimmed, but the bowl was bristling with them and they remained soft and salty-delicious.
If you’re in the neighbourhood, Liguria is a great choice! One word of caution, they “take credit cards”. This worked at lunchtime but not at dinner and they got frustrated that ‘my card’ was the problem (same card, but their machine wasn’t working for anyone). We did resolve it in the end, I’m happy to say. Technical issues aside, try it out!