Going back home is always a bittersweet experience for all Venezuelans. While there’s definitely no place like home, Venezuela has changed so much over the past years that sometimes you miss Venezuela the most when you’re actually there. You miss going out with the friends that have little by little left the country in search of better (and safer) opportunities, you miss the family events that don’t happen anymore because everyone left as well, and you miss the nights you would stay out until late that are now just impossible due to safety reasons.
Yet, once in a while, you find that feeling of home, the feeling that nothing has changed, and that the country has still plenty to offer. As silly as it may sound, I usually find that feeling while eating out. Gastronomy in Caracas is something that goes beyond political parties, inflation, and even lack of basic resources, and there’s definitely flavors that you can only find at home.
La Esquina was the highlight to my stay in Caracas. Everything from the restaurant’s decor, the drinks, the tartare bar, and the staff, made it an exceptional experience which I couldn’t leave out of Il Piattone.
For our appetizers we had the 4 cheese arancini, which were perfectly complemented by a tomato sauce with a touch of truffle oil, the miniature Mexican tostadas that were made with perfectly cooked lamb beef, and a touch of sour cream; and the truffled steak tartare, which is hands down the best I’ve ever had.
As an entrée I decided to go for an octopus that was served in a way I’ve never seen before. It was called “octopus ‘chicharron‘”, chicharron is basically a dish that consists of fried pork or fried pork rinds. It was called this way because of the way it was cooked, fried and accompanied by tiny cut potatoes and topped with an onion soffritto, this dish went above and beyond my expectations.
Finally for dessert we had the Strawberry Mille-feuille which was nothing but perfect. The pâte feuilletée was buttery and flaky, and it was filled with a sweet creamy filling, topped with freshly cut strawberries.
If you’re ever in Caracas I encourage you to try this place. This and many more, since eating out in Caracas is always a great experience, but if I were to write out all my favorite places, from the arepa stand that I love to other more lavish dine-out experiences I would probably have to write a book.
P.S.: I actually finished my half marathon alive!!! I’ll keep you posted with my future activities as runner/carbo-loader.