La Fragata: Classic dining in Bogotá’s rotating seafood restaurant

The World Trade Center in Bogotá is home to a fine dining establishment that was inspired by the white gloved restaurants of Bogotá’s classic restaurants. So, when La Fragata first opened its doors in Bogotá there was novelty in a cazuela de mariscos and seared red snapper. But then, another revolutionary idea took hold in the 1980s – dine in revolving restaurants. Rotating with food was fashionable from Seattle to Toronto, and with Bogotá’s new trade center looming over the Calle 100, clients found the experience of dining within a forks reach of Usaquén and first high rise apartments of Chicó, the best part of a Sunday brunch.

The highest point in the capital where you can enjoy an elegant dinner is Casa San Isidro on top of Monserrate, but if taking a cable car up a steep mountain is not a la carte, then the top of the Word Trade Center offers panoramic views of the city, best enjoyed at early evening and over a bottle of wine.

As one of the oldest family-owned restaurants in the city that specializes in seafood, La Fragata has stood it ground at the epicenter for elegant get-togethers. From hosting family reunions, anniversaries, wedding receptions and high-power business lunches, a third generation is now at the helm of a venue that preserves the décor reminiscent of being inside a frigate, and is reaching new gastronomic horizons by offering four festivals throughout the year: starting with the crab fest in January, fish in Holy Week, shrimp in June, and Chilean seafood in October. Recently included on the menu are ramens, and aligned with the restaurant’s mission to offer the best in global food trends.

A recent lunch was a step back in time to when La Fragata set the standard for the freshest fish once could find in this cold Andean city. Among the plates we ordered was a stuffed calamari with crabmeat accompanied with coconut rice. At $46,000 pesos, the prices are on par with many of the finest restaurants in the neighborhood, and the service remains true to its well-heeled reputation. Another dish, Gulf shrimp wrapped with shredded coconut and served in a maracuya sauce was equally delicious, but somewhat more pricey at $64,000 pesos.

The restaurant offers a three-course tasting menu for two for $160,000 pesos, which considering the view and high quality ingredients, is a real deal. The tasting menu, however, doesn’t include wine, but there are very affordable vintages from Argentina, Spain and Chile that par well with oysters, stone-crab claws, or seafood salad. For those who aren’t big on fish, there are beef and poultry options as well.

If in town this holiday season and want to treat yourself to fine meal that recalls a graceful Bogotá, or invite a special someone to a romantic dinner, La Fragata is a very good restaurant. As you gently move around the skyline in 60 minutes, you won’t feel at a loss for words. But remember that this restaurant has been serving clients for more than a half-century and gets busy on weekends. So, best make a reservation to enjoy your next cazuela in the clouds.

La Fragata – Calle 100 No.8A-55