While now labeled ‘exotic’ by the sheer fact that they cannot be purchased in your average supermarket, meats like frog, wild boar, and rhea (similar to an ostrich), have been used in Chilean cuisine for centuries.
A select bunch of restaurants in Chile’s capital hope to reclaim this gastronomic history by making these atypical meats available to their customers. La Tercera recently published a comprehensive guide to three such restaurants in Santiago, where adventurous eaters will find their happy place.
Los Vikingos, or The Vikings, is adventurous not just in its untraditional menu, but in its extremely kitsch decor. A throwback to the Middle Ages, or a high school musical imitation of them, Los Vikingos’ dungeon-like stone walls are covered with swords, coats of arms, Viking helmets and fake skeletons. Servers garbed in Viking gear invite visitors deep into the caverns of the restaurant to spin tales of their experiences as Viking warriors.
While the ambiance itself makes for an interesting experience, menu items like ostrich in almond sauce and wild boar with dried mushrooms add another layer of intrigue.
Deer in cream of merlot is one of Los Vikingos’ best selling dishes.
“We cook the deer for four hours which gives it a special flavor,” chef at Los Vikingos Nazario Donoso told La Tercera. “It should be accompanied by a big bodied red wine, seeing as the meat has a strong flavor.”
Los Vikingos, (2) 2770 0339 Av. Ricardo Cumming 174
Ana María dishes up classic Chilean meals, but specializes in something much less traditional: frogs’ legs.
“The restaurant began out of a necessity to save typical Chilean food,” Agustín Romero, the son of owner Ana María, told La Tercera.
An elegant and spacious dining room is warmed by the southern Chilean kindness of its wait staff. For travelers in Pucón, Ana María has a second restaurant run by her two daughters.
Ana María, (2) 698 4064 Av Club Hipico 476
One of central Chile’s most elegant restaurants, El Bristol serves up Chilean specialties as well as wild boar and ostrich. The restaurant prides itself on salvaging Chilean cuisine from all different locations in Chile.
“Each region has a specialty, because of which each location provides naturally; from there, regional cuisine emerges,” chef at El Bristol Axel Manríquez told La Tercera.
El Bristol, (2) 639 3832 Alameda 816