Very little I knew about the amazing dinner I was about to have that night when after arriving to Bariloche I walked down the street of my B&B and saw this restaurant called Mogambo, a place enclaved in a corner hill in a middle of town. To start I would I have never thought there was a
restaurant there except for the sign with its name and the opening time: 7pm. It had to be beautiful. The entrance was so Patagonian: huge trees and at the end of the driveway a nice outdoor area next to an unassuming interesting house. I had to see it.
7 pm looked kind of early considering what I've gotten used to in the last few days in Buenos Aires, where dinner prime time is 11pm. However, being this such a international vacation town I could understand they had to cater to everyone's dinner time. I was tired, had just flown into
town, so I thought we could come at 9 pm, have an "early" supper with my partner and go to rest to get ready for my next day Patagonian adventure. Back in our hotel I decided to do little research and I found the restaurant was inspired in Basque Spanish food and that it was originally based in San Sebastian, Spain and later in Merida, Venezuela, before relocating to Bariloche. Oh yes I wanted to go.
I would call it gourmet and homey at the same time. To start the service was impeccable and although at times I thought that the patron/server ratio was over-stretched, every time our server came to see us she had such an amazing, relaxed and knowledgeable look in her face that was very reassuring and prepared us for what we were about to enjoy.
One of the servers, Miguel recommended us a delicious Patagonian Malbec, which I should have written down since after looking for it in liquor stores in town I never found and now I can't recall the name. All wines were reasonably priced. For the food, we started with the chef selection of pintxos (tapas in Basque). Another server that shared the room but that was assigned to our table, Esperanza, gave us a choice of pintxos to select but we only choose the quantity we wanted and asked her to let the chef decide which to send. Chef Eneko sent us a selection for three different pintxos served on homemade bread; just exquisite. Our favorite was one with blue cheese, caramelized onion and pears. The other were with Setas (or Spanish mushrooms) and Pancetta. For main entree I ordered the Pulled Lamb over some sort of
wheat "risotto." The simplicity and creaminess of the latter just balanced perfectly with the braised lamb. The lamb was just beautifully braised and reduced in red wine and it was boneless; it was food for Gods. My partner ordered a risotto with prawns, in this case with arborio rice as it is customary and it did not disappoint. The star was definitely the lamb but the risotto was al dente and absolutely delicious with the prawns. To finish we shared a "Leche Frita," translated Fried Milk but as our server explained it was a traditional dessert from a chef's family recipe and it was just delicious. It was some sort of flan-like seared custard. Obviously
something that good is never too healthy I supposed, so we were glad we ordered only one dessert and it was enough.
To finish my partner had some coffee and I finished my wonderful Patagonian Malbec we had with dinner. This was memorable. Oh jeez, I definitely would go back next time I'm in Bariloche. Beautiful, romantic, scrumptious and unpretentious I would describe our experience in Mogambo Bariloche. I expect this to be a town's big hit.
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