Bogotá’s restaurant scene has been praised by the international media during the last several years, and now, hardly a week goes by when some prestigious publication is creating a Top Ten or Best Of list of some of the city’s more familiar venues. The problem with these lists in the fast-paced gastro scene that Bogotá has become is that by the time they are published, new ventures are opening their doors, some of which may end up staying the culinary course, others doomed to oblivion. And writing a review can’t be done on a simple take, for every restaurant has good days and those where everything is thrown into a fray. Chefs, like other professionals, are entitled to have “off days” and bad nights. Preferably, of course, when you’re not the one who’s dining. So, one has to be patient with newcomers, cut some gastronomic rope, even though, in a city as demanding a Bogotá, it’s essential to get it right the first time.
Among the newcomers I have had the pleasure of visiting is Marietta (Cra.5 No.73-29), a contemporary French restaurant that opened its doors last year on the periphery of the city Gastro Zone. High quality ingredients, a varied menu and interesting wine selection to pair with dishes that incorporate Colombian gusto, is the brainchild of two inventive chefs: Álvaro Clavijo of El Chato fame and Mathieu Cocuelle, a Parisian who took a leap of faith with Bogotá after working in demanding kitchens in Barcelona, Paris, New York and Copenhagen. Part of the “new French” movement in cuisine, Marietta is relaxed dining in a renovated 1960s Rosales home, and strives to go beyond the saucy classics found with traditional French fare. From terrines and a fois gras in a sweet onion purée, Marrieta pushes the limits, but without falling into th fusion category.The beef cuts are succulent and include entrecote, tenderloin (lomo) and primal flank (vacío) to name a few, served with delicate herbs and beef reductions.
They are accompanied with hearty staples such as potatoes, aubergines, smoked beets and grilled bell peppers. One of the house specialty dishes, besides a costeño corvine with coconut rice, is gnocchi served with a poached egg. Marietta strikes a culinary balance, keeping with informed old- school traditions while incorporating a fresh Colombian touch. The average cost per person ranges between $60,000 and $ 70,000 pesos including an entrée, main course and dessert.
Marietta – Cra.5 No.73-29.