Sunday, December 11, 2011

Colonia, Uruguay: Patrimonio

Colonia is inundated with dozens of beyond cute eateries. From traditional parilla, to Italian and seafood. It's definitely hard to pick just one, (Is it really so ridiculous to eat 3 or 4 lunch in one afternoon?) but I did it and ended up at Patrimonio. It's a riverside restaurant/lounge/bar with an amazing ambiance. Specials listed on brightly colored chalkboards outside draw diners in.
Inside the restaurant has three different spaces with three different ambiances. The room that you enter into first is a tiki-themed lounge area. Here a bar is along one wall, a white leather loveseat is along the opposite and a variety of plush and high top seating fill out the rest of the space. No good lounge is complete without entertainment, so of course there is flat screen TVs for the passive as well as pinball and Foosball for the active players.
The next room is a more nautically themed dining room. Floor to ceiling windows at the far end of the room provide a grand view of the river, while a kitchen with an open door provides another type of viewing experience. A variety of artwork and some innovative ladder shelving are other interesting tidbits.
Out back is the best seat in the house. A huge patio and a deck built around trees offer a panoramic view of the river and neighboring marina. There are quite a few tables to accommodate both sun and shade lovers, all with  a refreshing breeze off the river. There's also a pair of lounge chairs at the top of the boat ramp, for those who want to kickback and soak in the sun and soothing sound of water lapping land. There's also an outdoor stage for nighttime live music performances. During the day a mixed but relaxed soundtrack completes the mood.
Like any good waterfront spot they have great cocktails. I unfortunately don't know what this one was called, but flash them this picture and try to get the same thing. It was something icy, with a fusion of orange and other flavors -- delish! Plus they had really delicious bread to snack on while you sip.
For eats, I had a mixed parilla which had been advertised on the boards out front. The chicken was really delicious, but the meat wasn't great. (I didn't eat anything with pork so no comment on those elements.) I don't know if in searching for a cheap parilla I got what I paid for, but it definitely wasn't top grade. The cut was rather fatty, and the meat was more chewy than tender. The fact that they don't grill with salt and pepper (nearly anywhere) doesn't help cover up a sub par meat. Next time I'll opt for seafood, or the multicolor chicken which was recommended in a tourist magazine. Though I didn't love the meat, someone else sure did.
All in all, the place was super cool. I think the bad food was due to a bad choice and I'd definitely give it a second chance. Even if your not willing to take the risk, you should at least stop by for a waterside cocktail. Though I didn't experience it myself, I suspect a nighttime visit would be even better.

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