Liguria Bar is a huge place where drinks are the main part of the huge menu. Upon entering there is a long bar with stools and a selection of cozy tables surrounded by walls covered with pictures and divided by some partitions. As you venture back, you pass the kitchen and then it opens up to a lovely airy back room with a high ceiling but again the walls are covered with art. There are stairs leading up to another level from there. They offer not only full cocktail service but a wonderful selection of wines, by the glass, bottle, 175cc or 430 cc. Their delicious food choices are fairly heavy, designed to soak up a fair amount of alcohol. They have some snacks and sandwiches that are offered all the time but also have a list of daily plates.
Our first visit we stopped in for a snack and to try some Chilean drinks. The place was packed with groups of people eating, drinking and actively watching a soccer game. It quieted down when the game was over. This trip the tables were covered with a paper whereas on our next visit there were bright checked tablecloths and napkins. The second time we went for lunch and the manager, who spoke great English, was kind enough to come over and go over each of the daily plates and make recommendations on what to eat and drink. He was spot on – everything he suggested was a real winner and I would go back there for sure if ever in Santiago again. Overall, all the service people were friendly, helpful and welcoming even if they didn’t speak our language.
Our first visit we had melted goat cheese, which was nicely stringy and chewy, with arugula. It was a great snack and the arugula and tomatoes gave it a healthy touch. The french fries were crisp and tasty.
On our second visit we ordered food off the daily specials menu. Tables were given a bread basket of mixed breads, some very good. There was a “biscuit” they called a pumpkin sopapilla and I could have eaten a basket of them.
We started with scallops broiled with parmesan cheese. They were exquisitely fresh and cooked perfectly. Bits of their juice lined the shell and you wanted to get every bit of it – it was that good.
The beef was a grilled skirt steak served with pesto pasta. They were able to keep the 2 generous pieces nicely rare and it had good beefiness to the taste. The pasta was ordinary, the savory meat was the star on this plate.
The pork shoulder rib was served with little potatoes and onions. The pork had a wonderful crisp exterior with tender bits of fatty meat for the interior – totally excellent! The potatoes were different varieties and all quite savory. When mixed with the sweet onions, that must have been cooked in the pork drippings, it was absolutely delicious. This was a real winner.
For dessert the pears in wine sauce were perfectly tender and sweet. It was a cool plate with the wine sauce being fairly light. It was totally satisfying.
The sopapillas were the same as the pumpkin ones in the bread basket, but these were in a sweet sauce. They were fun but I might have preferred the sauce sweeter and thicker, but then maybe I was just too full to appreciate it.