Like a number of restaurants in Bogotá, Restaurante Nueve is long and narrow, with the kitchen at the back. But Nueve takes a different direction. The lounge area to the right has comfortable couches and low tables. To the left there’s a small room with a table for six, providing the only semi-private area in this restaurant designed to throw people together. Towards the back, adjacent to the small, open kitchen and parallel to the wine cellar, a communal table stretches the length of the main dining area, with seating for 12 people who, if they weren’t friends when they entered, will be fast friends as they share their impressions about wine and food.
The walls and ceiling are covered with guadua – but don’t be alarmed, it’s just a kind of bamboo. The tree growing in the middle of the kitchen contributes to the outdoorsy feel.
Back four years ago chef and sommelier Pedro Escobar noticed the lack of restaurants in Bogotá providing wine by the glass or bottle at affordable prices, so he decided to open that restaurant. The focus would be on food that would pair well with vintages. In other words, a restaurant with a creative menu of “Nine” plates, that’s also an excuse to drink, well, wine.
The full list of 150 different wines takes you on a tour not only of the rainbow of colors available – white, rosé, reds – but also on a world tour; Argentina, Chile, U.S., Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, France, Portugal. Also on the list is Champagne, Port, Muscat and sherry. Local importers supply wines not available at supermarkets.
The concept is to focus on light, tapas-style dishes made with the freshest ingredients. The small portions make it possible to create a chain of flavors with wine pairings throughout the meal.
The tiny kitchen is a testimony to the staff’s ability to work together in harmony. The menu, which changes every four months, includes some of the usual dishes expected of a Mediterranean-inspired kitchen, but there are numerous surprises here.
Like Asian pear and gorgonzola cheese empanaditas. Or Muelitas de jaiba en cappuccino de coco y limón. Alright, what in the world is that? They’re little crab claws, served with coconut milk frothed up in the cappuccino maker.
When you need a good excuse to drink wine, remember the wine cellar at Nueve and the tapas designed to go with it.
Calle 70 A No.10A – 18