A plate full of seafood arrives between us, technically only an appetizer, but given its girth, I think it will suffice as our meal. Named after the restaurant, the La Gatita is a local favorite, ripe with fruits de mer from the morning catch, beautiful bounty of shrimp, mollusk, crab, and parmesan oysters.
The flavors are eye rollers of pleasure, their freshness and succulence needing little accompaniments, and we regal ourselves on the ocean feast, crab and cheese-cooked oysters the most popular, unknown mollusk a curious mix of firm and flavorful, more delicate than conch, slightly toothy.
Here we are in Concon, a posh hood north of Viña del Mar, itself a citadel on a point, quiet in the shoulder season as fall announces the end of summer vacation. Our initial attempt at finding our treasure–the number one Google recommendation when conducting the normal reconn mission on our upcoming destination, a must in our travel research, especially when paired with WikiTravel, TripAdvisor, and Lonely Planet, is a New York Time’s article gushing about the merits of this bonito y borato restaurante by the sea, La Gatita–fails, and we think to update the NYT of its unfortunate expiration, only to see the lights on high up on the cliff.
La Gatita upgrades, we see, but the prices stay sane and the food more than adequate, vistas of the ocean discernible in the night.
We roll the dice again on a mystery desert option, eager to taste the unknown, and again, the waitress’ suggestion pleases: A crepe arrives wrapped around a generous portion of dulce de leche and topped with vanilla ice cream, and we learn that the celestina is indeed divinely inspired.
Heavenly, especially when the colectivo slams to a stop at our feet, and for the combo price of CP$600, whisks us home away from home.