While the food was phenomenal at every restaurant in Chile, our favorite dining experience was undoubtedly at Espiritu Santo in Valaparaiso. The proprietor Laura and her son Daniel spent 30 years in the USA before moving home to Chile. They brought with them a high appreciation for modern gourmet dining and mixology. The meal at Espiritu Santo was better than any I've had in Tampa, and our dining scene isn't shabby.
Charred sweetbreads, slow-roasted lamb with mint-yogurt couscous, and conger eel in a lemon butter reduction were the highlights of the menu. But the real jewel was getting to know Laura, who took time to explain the menu, tell us her history, and entertain us like friends, not just patrons.
The drink menu was also exceptional at Espirtu Santo, and the standout was their eponymous cocktail. The recipe is simple, but the mixologist's truth holds that fresh squeezed ingredients make all the difference. We must've ordered 5 of these refreshing concoctions. At the end of the night, Laura gladly obliged my request for the recipe. Here's my new favorite summertime cocktail.