Food & Drink

Aracataca

Great books can inspire all sorts of stuff: Common Sense incited colonists to rethink their relationship with the English, resulting in the American Revolution, and Ken Kesey's work prompted people to rebel from the status quo, resulting in...you. For a resto prompted by literature to make serious food, hit Aracataca.

Named after the Colombian city in which Gabriel Garcia Marquez did much of his writing, and plating eats allegedly inspired by the author's signature magical realism, Aracataca delivers "a new way of combining ingredients" by drawing on Colombia's varied heritages (native, African, European, Arab, Chinese) to compile a dynamic array of flavors so delicious you'll risk consuming way too much, and end up enjoying 100 years of solitude. Course number uno includes blood sausage brochette topped w/ confit apples & julienne spicy chili; crispy confit'd pork over a spinach salad drizzled w/ lemon/coconut/ginger vinaigrette; and octopus carpaccio w/ purple mash potatoes and vinaigrette made from lulo, a South American fruit that's covered in fuzz, and now has to constantly switch cars and make all his calls from pay phones. Meal-size grubbin' includes braised veal tongue topped w/ mushroom ragout & roasted potatoes parmentier, braised lamb shank cooked five hours in red wine and fine herbs, and sauteed monkfish crusted with coffee-cardamom/cumin seeds topped with sauce made from gooseberries -- thankfully not ganderberries.

To close things out, Aracataca's got Colombian desserts like guanabana flan topped w/ aguardiente caramel; marinated figs w/ blue cheese & candied walnut mousse served on baked phyllo -- but hey, everyone was doing it, Dad...errr...Paul.