Duncan Hall visits Bistro el Bandido and Sant Just
|Bistro el Bandido
Calle 79b #7-12
Reservations: 212 5709This above average French bistro restaurant, located far from the madding crowd on the edge of Septima, is not cheap, but delivers well-prepared classics to a classy but relaxed crowd.
The restaurant itself feels laid back, with an outdoor covered area for smokers, and cosy booths inside if you have booked early enough in advance. There is a range of cocktails and reasonably priced wines and it`s a great place for a romantic dinner or special night out with a group of friends. The service was attentive with waiters who were happy to make recommendations- importantly, not always for the most expensive items.
The food ranges from steak tartare to start, right through to moules-frites and coq au vin. The coq au vin was a little dry but the filet mignons we had at our table were cooked to order, and the octopus starter was just right, not too soft nor too chewy. Starters are around $20,000 COP and main courses $30-40,000 COP. It is advisable to book if going on a Thursday or Friday when live jazz is played.
Calle 16a #2 -73
Reservations: 477 7555On the other side of the city in the Candelaria, another French bistro has sparked a lunchtime rush. Staggeringly cheap dishes ranging from $13,000 COP to $20,000 COP, with glasses of wine going for $3,000 COP! Sant Just is just what the Candelaria ordered.
The place is packed with students and staff from the nearby universities. You need to arrive at 12pm if you hope to get a table for lunch. Dishes range from the stand-out smoked Toulouse sausage to a rich smooth black pudding. The menu is limited, an often overlooked advantage (take note Bogota restaurants), but everything sounds mouth-watering.
The restaurant itself is small but comfortable, and the staff are very friendly, translating the menu into English if need be. The food is delicious. If you are staying in the Candelaria or happen to be visiting the centre, this is the perfect budget restaurant to drop in on.