Lastarria . Buenos Aires
- Ambience 80%
- Service 80%
- Food (Execution) 80%
- Creativity 100%
- Value 80%
Telephone: +56 2 2664-0584
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining, Gastro-Pub
Cuisine: Peruvian Price: $$$ Hours: Mon-Wed 12:30 to 1 am[/types] Thu-Sat 12:30 pm to 1:30 am[/types] Sun Closed[/types]
Summary of Review
Restaurant Review for Chipe Libre
Rating: 4.5 stars
We’ve repeatedly said that unique and high-quality dining experiences are hard to come by in Santiago. But the owners of Chipe Libre and sister restaurant, Bocanariz, next door, understand what today’s dining consumers are seeking and have done a fabulous job of satisfying that demand. The official unabridged name for this place is Chipe Libre – Republica Independente de Pisco. The concept is to take two sister nations, Chile and Peru, joined by a common border, and a common love of the national distilled liquor of both countries, pisco, and create a culinary and “mixological” adventure around this theme.
They combined the two nations’ names “Chile” and “Peru” to form the word “Chipe” and then melded the food of both regions into an interesting menu that the well-trained staff of cooks execute flawlessly. The décor is creative, fun and tasteful. There’s a long, long bar along one wall to encourage imbibing of alcohol beverages and a large dining room and outdoor terrace for dining guests.
They have an extensive list of cocktails they have created around the Chipe Libre theme. The most popular are the variations on the famed drink from both regions, the pisco sour. They have collected more than 80 varieties of pisco from both nations and offer sampler-sized combos so that patrons can sample the various brands of pisco. The sommelier is well-versed in the history, manufacture and use of pisco and the unique characteristics of the various makes of pisco the bar offers. Just sitting at the bar and sampling a few portions of the pisco is an educational experience (and one that might get you just a little tipsy).
Although even most Chileans would unofficially admit that the highest quality brands of pisco originate in Peru and the topic is the subject of a rather intense rivalry, I’m going to state my personal preference for the record. For smooth drinking pisco straight from the shot glass (or from the bottle if you are a bit unrefined, as I am) my personal favorite happens to be made in Chile. The name is WAQAR. But pisco, like tequila, or any other distilled spirit for that matter, is very much a matter of personal taste. So I’d urge you to let the bartender or sommelier taking you through the sampler with a variety of different brands from the two countries and you pick your favorite. Just make sure you’re not driving!
Although Chipe Libre is a fun and interesting place to drink, don’t forget to sample a few items off the food menu while you’re there. I’ve had food in more than handful of Latin American countries. I’ve stated my love for Mexican cuisine more than a few times on this website. But the cuisine of Peru is right there at the top of the list when comes to great food. And even a Chilean would admit that Peruvian cuisine is the most unique and delicious of all the indigenous cuisines in South America.
Chipe Libre has created a menu full of unique creations based on traditional Peruvian and Chilean cuisine. They offer a whole page of hot and cold appetizers, including ceviche, and a variety of meat and fish dishes that are among the best you can find in Santiago.
I urge you sample a variety and make it a bit of a culinary adventure.
For our review we had a variety of ceviches (also called cebiches), all fabulous.
For the main dish I had the Escabeche de Trucha (Marinated Trout) accompanied by succulent little pieces of yuca. (I note that the menu now indicates they make a puree of the yuca rather than serving pieces as I received on the day we were there.)
My buddy had the Costillar Macerado en Pisco (Braised Short Ribs marinated in Pisco) sitting on a bed of lentils.
Both dishes were well executed and beautifully seasoned. Great flavors. And I would be confident that almost anything ordered of this menu would be a delight.
The service was spot on throughout the meal. Young and conversational waiters and waitresses add to the delightful experience.
If I had to choose one place in all of Santiago that is a “must go” for both the experience and the food it would surely be Chipe Libre – Republica Independente de Pisco. Don’t miss it.
Chipe Libre… …