99 Restaurante, Santiago, 6/22/17

building
building

99 Restaurante, named for its number on the block, is a small place with a fairly large plastic enclosed patio for extra seating.  Inside the tables are made of thick pieces of wood, nicely spaced and set with small cloth napkins, modern music plays in the background and a large open kitchen dominates the space.  They offer a surprise tasting menu of 6 or 9 courses only with wine pairings available (a little over $33 per person for the 9 course tasting). A wine list is available and they will present you with a list of the foods and wines after the meal, if requested.  Portion sizes are well scaled.  They have been open almost 3 years and the staff spoke excellent English and couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly. Sitting across from the kitchen provided a fun show between courses, although pacing never lagged.  

entrance
entrance
patio
patio
outdoor table
outdoor table
interior
interior
table set up
table set up
IMG_9414
kitchen action

 

Each table is set with housemade breads and mushroom butter.   The bread is served warm, thinly sliced with a crisp crust and a light doughy interior.

breads
breads
butter
butter
another
Waitress Claudia

 

A series of snacks are served before the menu begins.  Lamb ham was dehydrated and topped with crispy dehydrated seaweed.  The ham was chewy and dominated the seaweed.  A fermented grape was topped with paté and sunflower seeds, which were the stronger taste.  A mushroom broth was served with a crunchy stick made from local ingredients.  It was mild and really crunchy whereas the mushroom broth was a wonderfully strong essence of mushroom.  It was outstanding.

lamb ham/ fermented grape with pate
lamb ham/ fermented grape with pate
from the side
from the side
mushroom broth with dehydrated seaweed
mushroom broth with dehydrated seaweed
Did Frankie lick up that butter?
Did Frankie lick up that butter?

 

The menu started with a smoked fish and watercress dish.  The fish had been smoked for 22 hours and was presented in a green soup made from some kind of leaves.  The wine pairing here matched particularly nicely.  Looking into the dish was a dark round that was a vegetable and the fish, which was smoky and salty was the pink chunk.  The smaller round disks were sweet fruit like apple.  Leaves topped the dish that added a crisp texture.  The flavors were distinct and strong but blended nicely.  My only problem with the course was the spoon provided was too big for the bowl.

wine with smoked fish
wine with smoked fish
Smoked fish and watercress
Smoked fish and watercress
underneath
underneath

 

Pickled onion was served in an onion broth and topped with a super thin crispy coated onion ring.  The exterior of the onion was pickled and then filled  with sweet onion mixture accented with a tad of cilantro.  Again the various flavors blended well and worked with the wine pairing.  It was an excellent offering.

wine with pickled onion
wine to go with pickled onion
Frankie's not sure about unfiltered wines
Frankie’s not sure about unfiltered wines
presentation
presentation
add broth
add broth
Pickled onion
Pickled onion
closer
closer

 

Chochas with seaweed and cauliflower included fresh clams cut into spiral shapes.  They were sweet and tender with a more delicate chew than many clams. The cauliflower was a mild purée at the bottom of the dish.  It was quite tasty.

wine with chochas
wine with chochas
Chochas, seaweed and cauliflower
Chochas, seaweed and cauliflower

 

Sea bass was served with grilled and confit vegetables.  It was very good.  The fish was a fine flake with a mildly strong taste that cut well with the onions and other vegetables.  The fish are from small fishing trips and delivered every couple days weighing in at about 2 kilos.

wine with sea bass
wine with sea bass
Frankie liked the color of this wine
Frankie liked the color of this wine
Sea bass and vegetables
Sea bass and vegetables
closer
closer
from the top
from the top
Frankie waited for the water to expand the towel
Frankie waited for the water to expand the towel

 

The sea sandwich was made of calamari and the bun was a brioche bread colored with squid ink.  Sweet potato strings, red pepper and fruit topped with seafood along with a tasty sauce.  It was incredible, very savory and full of flavor.  It also worked well with the wine pairing.

wine with sea sandwich
wine with sea sandwich
Sea sandwich
Sea sandwich
opened
opened
closer
closer
cross-section
cross section
Frankie played with the flags
Frankie played with the flags

 

Corn pie with beef tongue included corn in many forms – pastel de choclo (a sweet corn paste mixed with corn, milk and lard), paper of corn, grilled corn, popcorn and a corn in sauce.  The beef tongue had been cooked in a water bath for 50 hours and was very tender.  All the corn products were full of corn flavor but I particularly liked the thin crisp chip.  It was almost chewy.

wine with corn pie
wine with corn pie
corn pie with beef tongue
corn pie with beef tongue
closer
closer
kitchen action
kitchen action
with Frankie
Wonderful waitress Andrea Zegarra with Frankie

 

The pan con palta is a traditional Chilean tradition – spreading avocado on bread and topping with sugar.  This course was a take on that tradition with a faux avocado of sugar filled with chocolate ice cream and avocado mousse served on great little rounds of toast.  There was a clear gel on the plate that added a bit of tartness.  It was a crisp, creamy and good dessert.

wine with pan con palta
wine with pan con palta
pan con palta
pan con palta
closer
closer
inside
inside
Frankie found a bowl to play in
Frankie found a bowl to play in

 

Violet, pomegranate and yogurt was a semifreddo.  It was smooth, fruity and a nice amount of sweetness.

wine with violet, pomegranate adn yogurt
wine with violet, pomegranate and yogurt
violet, pomegranate and yogurt
violet, pomegranate and yogurt
from the side
from the side
another angle
another angle
Frankie admired the lock on the door
Frankie admired the lock on the door

 

Raspberry and meringue was lots of layers and textures with a satisfying sweetness. The meringue added a fun crunchy chewiness to the rosemary accented raspberry interior.  Another good one.

wine with raspberry
wine with raspberry
Raspberry and meringue
Raspberry and meringue
closer
closer
inside
inside

 

Final treats were a cilantro flavored macaroon and beet toffee.  The macaroons really tasted of cilantro and had a nice chewiness.  The toffee was sweet,  chewy and outstanding.

Frankie wondered what was in the box
Frankie wondered what was in the box
extra treats
extra treats
closer
closer

 

We ended with a glass of housemade pisco made with herbs specified by the chef.  It was a perfect ending to a wonderful evening.

Frankie and after dinner drinks
Frankie and after dinner drinks
chef with Frankie
Chef Christian Orostica with Frankie

 

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