I began following OSEA on Instagram last year.
The novelty of a menu that rotates monthly, and a clear focus on using fresh, organic, seasonal ingredients inspired me to pay a visit one Friday afternoon in late January.
Located a half block west of Parque Poblado, OSEA’s green facade makes it easy to spot.
Inside, a mere six tables, seating up to 18 people at a time, fill the narrow restaurant. A mirror running three-quarters of the length helps give it a more spacious feel.
I was the first to arrive for lunch that day, yet all the tables were reserved aside from the one closest to the door. Feeling luck was on my side, I took a seat facing the street and began to peruse the cocktail menu.
In the mood for gin, I had my eye on the Bee’s Knees (16,000 pesos, $6.50), made of gin, lemon and honey.
When I asked the waiter for recommendations, he said the chef suggested an Old Fashioned with Tanqueray gin instead of bourbon, sugar and artisanal bitters (22,000 pesos, $9). I threw caution to the wind and ordered it.
The cocktail arrived with a single, large ice-cube topped with red pepper and a lemon peel garnish. Large ice cubes are a good sign in cocktails, as they melt more slowly and are thus less likely to water down your drink before you finish it.
The presentation was pretty, but as I suspected, the cocktail was too strong for me. When I mentioned this to the waiter, he took my unfinished drink away and brought me my original choice, the Bee’s Knees, which was softer and sweeter.
In a sign of the way chef/proprietor Salomón Borenstein runs his business, I wasn’t charged for the first cocktail.
My January lunch began with the comfort food combo of a super gooey grilled cheese and tomato soup (18,000 pesos, $7). As an appetizer, it was huge, but oh so good. The imported cheese is key, of course.
For the main course, I had ribs with spaetzle and mushrooms (27,000 pesos, $11). Dessert was a sumptuous upside down pineapple cake with sour cream ice cream (12,000 pesos, $5).
I preferred the appetizer and dessert over the entrée, but that’s partly my fault as I had Humo’s BBQ ribs in my mind.
In March, while my friend Jason was visiting from Bogotá with a friend, I suggested we grab lunch at OSEA. The menu was already in its third incarnation of the year, assuring I’d be eating something new, along with my friends.
This time I skipped the appetizer though I did note there was a foi gras option.
Instead, I focused on a main course of fish with dates, orange, pistachios and a rice arepa (36,000 pesos, $11). It was beautifully presented and tasted great.
Jason ordered the chicken with watermelon, mint and curry and was equally satisfied (27,000 pesos, $11).
Remembering how amazing the upside pineapple cake was from my first visit, I ordered the chocolate porter cake with chocolate cream and a maracuya sauce (13,000 pesos, $6).
It too was wonderfully presented, and tasted even better.
OSEA was two for two in my visits the first three months of this year.
I highly recommend stopping by for lunch or dinner. If dining later in the week, be sure to call ahead and make reservations.
If you need help with reservations or other top restaurant options, visit Latin Hosts.