Before Centro Comercial Santa Fe, La Strada, and Rio Sur, there was Oviedo.
My favorite mall in 2009, I’d visited multiple times, but never stopped to consider eating at Café Le Gris, which occupies a prominent location near the main entrance.
After reading positive reviews on TripAdvisor last year, I made it a point to stop in for lunch last August.
The open-air design offers excellent people watching opportunities, as shoppers come and go from the mall. This may be a distraction to some, but I didn’t mind.
Cracking open the menu, I found more than a few tempting dishes.
Under pastas, there were two types of lasagna, ricotta and spinach ravioli, and fettuccine marinara in a coconut cream sauce. Oh, and my favorite, pasta al vodka with Italian prosciutto. Prices ranged from 28,500 to 33,000 pesos ($16 to $18.50).
Speaking of prosciutto, I can’t seem to find it in Medellin, and always have to substitute serrano ham when making the dish myself.
The fish and seafood list was even longer, featuring robalo (a type of fish), salmon, prawns, and lobster served a variety of ways. As you’d expect, prices were higher too, ranging from 37,000 to 55,000 pesos ($21 to $31).
If I was going to give this restaurant a proper review, I needed to go big, and thus I ordered my favorite steak, filet mignon with béarnaise sauce (38,000 pesos, $21).
I don’t eat steak often, especially in Colombia, where it can be as tough as rawhide, but the chefs at Café Le Gris delivered a perfectly cooked, medium rare filet. The béarnaise sauce was well executed too.
While my entree left me full (note, I didn’t even order dessert), it could’ve done with slightly bigger portions of mashed potatoes and veggies for the $21 price tag. It did, however, include a starter salad.
The service was also excellent, which one would expect for an upscale restaurant, even one located at the entrance to a mall.
Overall, I’d recommend Café Le Gris for lunch if you plan to visit Oviedo for another reason, such as shopping, errands, or to catch a movie.