Matiz: A masterpiece

With its creative gastronomy of Andean ingredients Matiz ranks among the ver best.
With its creative gastronomy of Andean ingredients Matiz ranks among the ver best.

When it opened its doors in 2004, Matiz was a table turning sensation earning a reputation for putting celebrities and tycoons in a zen-like, gastro trance.  It has settled down since those early days thanks to the confident direction of its chefs, which have included Peruvians Paco Malca and Diego Vela. At the culinary helm today is Chilean, Nicolás Quintero.

The variety of Andean ingredients and a precise execution thanks to Le Cordon Bleu training, puts Matiz on par with the finest restaurants in the world. Its service is impeccable. Its waiters are some of the most respected sommeliers in the country.

We are escorted by the maitre‘d through a gently lit dining room to a quiet corner table. Even for a “quiet” Monday evening, Matiz is moving, with business dinners taking place in the patio, romantic ones to the side. The private rooms filled with Fortune 50 types.

We opt for the wine and food pairing, a true gastronomic indulgence. We choose our dishes and allow the sommelier to select the complementing wines. Thinking of the seven courses that await us, we settle into our chairs and take in the soothing ambient music.

The waiters ceremoniously serve us the first course: the sweet Peruvian inspired tiradito de pargo: red snapper presented sashimi style with crunchy corn, saffron aioli and grapefruit. The Montes Sauvignon Blanc Valle de Leyda (2007) echoes the citrus on the dish producing a truly crisp effect on the palate. Not one for fruity whites, this is a standout Chilean sauvignon.

The chef enthralls with caramelized scallops served on a chickpea puree. The Mamacocha is paired with the Rio Azul Chardonnay Valle Casablanca (2004) whose pale golden color and creamy banana flavors counteract nicely with the peppery spice in the purée. It’s a confident dish. The octopus Enredo Rojo is bolder still with Thai spices at its core.

The portions of the tasting menu are smaller and a great way to experience the vibrant flavors of Matiz. The grilled lamb chops gracefully stood next to creamed spinach and a simple potato croquette. If taking chances is part of the creative process of this kitchen, the simple potato croquette playfully encased with chopped shrimp delights. The balanced, Old World Marqués de Riscal Reserva works well with the earthiness of the lamb and bacon in the spinach.

Matiz celebrates the classical training of its chefs and a beef tenderloin with orellana mushrooms becomes an unabashedly modern dish. A glass of Marqués de Casa Concha Cabernet 2004 with its smooth chocolate flavour and long finish make this the best accompaniment.

There is a decadent end to an indulgent evening. Chocolate ribbons adorn the mille feuille that sits gracefully on a hazelnut cream. Too beautiful to even attempt, the dessert does not disappoint. Left with room for only one spoonful of anything, we opt for the coffee mousse and praline pots de crème or crocachino. No doubt falling under the influence of Bacchus, we rest.

Matiz celebrates food, drink and company. While considered at the high end of the Bogotá restaurant circuit, it is superb value. Take the cost for its seven-course tasting menu without wine pairing: COP$120,000 (USD$66). From the preparation of the dishes, to their presentation at the table, guests are treated as an integral part of this gourmet canvas. It’s a masterpiece.

Calle 95 No. 11A-17

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