On our first night in Santiago, we were so happy to have a restaurant at Hotel Gen. We attempted to go to La Gra Restaurant at 6:30 that night but we were given our first reminder that we were in Chile when they advised that they didn't open until 7. We went for a small walk to look around the neighborhood and then hung out in the lobby like sad, hungry foreigners until they finally let us in.
When they let us in they were very welcoming and allowed us to take our choice of seats. We were brought delicious bread almost immediately. It was my first inkling that restaurants are not serving my beloved Pebre (a delicious form of salsa that Chileans use as a condiment and in the past had always been served with bread) any longer (though my family in Pucon took care of me and I got plenty at their house).
We received our menu and took a few minutes to peruse our options.
We placed our order and they were very quick to bring out our drinks.
While enjoying our first Pisco Sours of the trip (the Chilean National Drink). It was icy and cold and a great first Pisco of the trip. If we weren't headed to a party afterwards, I totally could have had several more (we were already at our hotel...how perfect would that have been...I could have stumbled back to our room with no worries). We enjoyed looking at the decor of the restaurant while waiting for our food.
They kept a pretty good pace considering they had just opened up for us. It didn't seem like much time had passed before our food came out.
My Mom and I each ordered the Barros Jarpa Sandwich (a beef and cheese sandwich). We requested an extra plate for Gabrian and it was the perfect amount for us. The sandwich was delicious. The meat was juicy and flavorful with the perfect amount of seasoning. It had a great melting cheese on it. I probably would have liked it dressed a little more. I think if it had lettuce, avocado, mayo, and red onion it (I am sure the Barros Jarpa traditionalist just died a little bit when they read my suggestion).
We gushed about the fries the ENTIRE trip. Just looking at them now, makes me hungry and considering booking a flight back to eat some more. They were cooked crispy with the correct ratio of plump potato filling inside. Sorry...I just spaced for a minute thinking about those fries (trust me, eat those fries).
We placed an order for dessert and while we were waiting a funny story happened (though it didn't seem that funny at the time). Before we went to the restaurant, we had stopped at a convenience store to pick up some wine for the party and instead of bringing it back to the room, we just brought it with us to dinner. Once seated at our table I placed the bag with the two bottles of wine on the cement floor (that's right, you just read about the hard cement floor I put glass bottles of wine on). Everything was fine until after we placed our dessert order.
Around that time I heard a thunk but wasn't sure where it had come from and didn't think too much of it. Until Gabrian asked me what the red stuff was under the table. That's right, in this very nice restaurant, I broke a bottle (not glass but whole bottle) onto the floor. So there was a mixture of broken glass and red wine spreading underneath our table. The waiter's assistant sprung into action and very kindly cleaned up the mess that I had made for him.
In and effort to thank both the waiter and the assistant (besides the extra large tip I left them), we gave them the other bottle of wine we had purchased. I couldn't believe how excited they were when they received the bottle of wine (I had been afraid they would think it was weird but I think they had a fun night after the restaurant closed that night).
With the commotion of cleaning up the mess I made, it seemed like seconds before our dessert arrived. We decided to share one and it was the right decision because we picked such a rich one.
We went with the Mousse Chocolate de Frances. Guys, can we take a moment while I fondly remember this dessert. It was so delicious and I enjoyed every single bite I got. It worked out sharing it between the three of us and we were very satisfied when we got to the bottom of that glass.
Overall we had a great first meal at La Gra. We enjoyed everything they served us and wouldn't hesitate to go there again.
If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at Av. Portugal 415 Santiago, Chile.