A long weekend and a last minute trip:  Santiago de Chile, a destination that is increasingly attractive for its gourmet food, very good shopping and those who like ski can  add a bonus to the trip.  Santiago impressed me as a neat, clean, cosmopolitan city, where people are charming and helpful.

We travel in Premium Economy class by LATAM, had a delicious meal and enjoyed the crossing of the Andes, which is not usually that enjoyable in bad weather. 

Dinner in NAOKI was our first experience.  A top sushi restaurant, nice atmosphere and excellent food. We had no reservations and while we waited for our table the waitress invited us with a glass of champagne, which meant a very kind and necessary gesture. Finally there was no place available at the dining room so we sat at the bar around the open kitchen while the sushi chef made one after another delicious plates for us.  NAOKI is in the Vitacura neighborhood, Vitacura Avenue 3875

The next day we visited the Cousino Macul Winery.  You must book the wine tour the day before through the winery’s website, it costs 10.000 Chilean pesos each and includes an hour visit and four tastings. There is a Premium option that costs 20.000 Chilean pesos, this visit lasts half an hour more and includes six tastings, sommelier talk and different types of cheese. I don’t think is worth the difference. The winery is located 30-40 minutes by taxi from Vitacura, depending on the traffic. It was an interesting visit, some say Concha y Toro Winery is better but is further away from Vitacura and probably the visit will take all day. 

Once we left the winery we were ready for lunch and headed to Borde Rio, a gastronomic center that sits alongside of the Mapocho River in one of the best neigbourhoods of Santiago.  It features many upscale restaurants and is very popular at dinner, though is open all day long.  We had lunch at La Pescaderia de Walker, very good seafood restaurant.  The whole menu is excellent and is difficult to make a choice.  We had splendid parmesan machas, a very tasty and tender grilled octopus, a chestnut ice cream for dessert and the mandatory pisco sour which was excellent.
That night, believe it or not, we had dinner at Tiramisu, a hip restaurant on Avenida Isadora Goyenechea, an avenue which is full of very good restaurants and top atmosphere.  The restaurant was full and people waiting outside for they take no reservations so we waited with a bunch of people talking and having a drink on the street until we went inside an sat at the bar.  Soon a table was left free and we ordered grilled shrimp, pizza (not so good) and asparagus and grilled tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, beer, pisco and a dessert.  USD100 all four.  We had a good time, the place is huge and people are nice, a place to go back.

Next day we went for some shopping to Casa Costanera(which is NOT Costanera Center), an upscale shopping center in Vitacura and had lunch at Pomeriggio, a mediterranean style and mozzarella bar at the Casa Costanera street level.

And this was our weekend, relaxing, fun and delicious.


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