In Situ Restaurante: Fine Dining in Jardin Botanico

One of the two entrances to In Situ

One of the two entrances to In Situ

Four years ago, I visited Jardin Botanico, Medellin’s botanical gardens, for the first time.

Ever since, I’ve been aware of In Situ, a fine dining restaurant on the garden grounds, yet I refrained from eating there while waiting for the right company to enjoy it with.

During my brief visit last August, I gave up on the right moment, and went solo for lunch. In reality, dining alone is a practice I’ve gotten all to use to the last five years.

At In Situ, I didn’t mind. The restaurant exceeded my expectations in terms of ambience, food quality, and service. I wish I’d taken the leap a lot sooner.

Table for two, by the water

Table for two, by the water

I approach the restaurant via the front entrance, which features a small bridge over a shallow pool of water. I was feeling relaxed already.

The first thing I noticed upon entering the restaurant was the open air atmosphere. There were no windows to speak of, just large folding shutters that allowed an openness to the space I found very appealing.

After all, we were in the midst of the botanical gardens, one of the few truly tranquil spaces in the entire city.

Tartare de salmon sobre blini (salmon with chives, avocado, and cubed tomatoes)

Tartare de salmon sobre blini (salmon with chives, avocado, and cubed tomatoes)

For starters, I ordered the generously sized salmon tartare (18,000 pesos, $10), which was beautifully presented.

More importantly, the salmon both looked and tasted fresh. It was a delicious beginning.

Other cold appetizers, which were tempting, included tuna carpaccio and shrimp and green mango ceviche. Curiosity also had me considering the beef tongue ceviche.

The menu also featured a variety of soups and salads, including cream of prawns and almonds, which I may have to get next time.

Pechuga In Situ

Pechuga In Situ

For my main course, I chose In Situ’s chicken breast, which was stuffed with wild berries, and covered in the Jardin’s pesto sauce (26,500 pesos, $15).

It was served alongside  creamy polenta in “an Imusa Spanish-type stew pot” and mixed vegetables.

This chicken dish was a first for me, and it was absolutely fantastic. Who’d have thought to stuff a chicken breast with a reduction of mixed berries?

And once again, is perfectly presented.

Dessert menu

Dessert menu

At this point, I was feeling full, but I had to go for broke. I was two for two on dishes, and that offered me excellent odds that dessert would be fantastic too.

When I asked for the dessert menu, I was presented with a box of large cards, each of which featured a photo of the dessert on one side, and a description and price on the other.

I liked the playfulness with which they approached desserts, and there were more than a few options that caught my eye.

Torta Chocolate con Crema

Torta Chocolate con Crema

I opted for my favorite, chocolate (12,000 pesos, $7). I always appreciate a restaurant’s attention to detail, and the dessert course delivered.

Arriving with a fresh orange flower blossom atop fresh cream, my chocolate tort was divine.

I’ll go a step further, and say it’s the single best dessert I’ve had in Medellin (excluding those at Me Late Chocolate Cafe).

In Situ

The rear entrance to In Situ

By this point, all I could do was pay my bill, and waddle out of the restaurant through the rear entrance, and try to walk off some of the calories I just consumed.

Excellent food and atmosphere aren’t enough to impress me. The service has to be on par too, and that’s exactly what I found at In Situ.

Along with El Cielo and Carmen, it’s one of my top three restaurants in Medellin.

Details

Place: In Situ Restaurante

Address: Calle 73 N 51D-14, Jardín Botánico

Telephone: 320-8507 or 444-5500 ext. 138

Website: http://www.botanicomedellin.org/servicios/alimentos-y-bebidas/restaurante-in-situ/

Email: restauranteinsitu@botanicomedellin.org

Hours: Lunch: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, Sat 12pm-3:30pm, Sun 12pm-4pm. Dinner: Tues-Sat 7pm-10pm

About David Lee

David is a professional blogger based in Medellín, Colombia. His other blog is Go Backpacking. Connect with him on Facebook and Google+.

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