Every Wednesday night, Envy Rooftop Bar at the Charlee Hotel features live music.
I’d been wanting to see Chelo perform there since I first heard her sing at Colombiamoda last year.
After attending a tax preparation presentation at Espacio, I recruited my friend Ryan to join me. We walked across Parque Lleras and took the elevator to the top of the hotel.
There’s a 300,000 pesos ($150) minimum for the prime, pool-level seating, as well as some of the tables on the second floor.
We had the option of either standing at the main bar, which meant looking up at the stage, or taking a seat on the second floor which meant looking down. The more comfortable, and less awkward of the two is to sit upstairs.
It was still early, so we had no problem grabbing a few stools with a nice view. I’d only been to Envy once or twice before, and this was the first time I planned to eat there too. I was excited to try their sushi.
But first, we took a look at the backlit drink menu.
It’s the first time I’ve seen a backlit menu at a bar in Medellin, which saves you the trouble of burning up your phone battery trying to read what’s written.
I already knew Envy stocked top shelf liquor, but the extensive gin and tonic selection surprised me. Not only did they have a range of gins on offer, including Bombay Sapphire, my favorite, but they had a variety of tonics too.
Of course, paying for premium gin and tonic also jacks up the pricing. On this menu, it went as high as 29,000 pesos ($14.50).
I cursed the fact that I was taking a 60 day break from booze, and tried not to think about the tasty gin and tonics I could be enjoying.
I ordered fresh mango juice instead.
Next, it was time to check out the sushi options, which I found to be reasonably priced given the atmosphere and location.
The first roll that caught my attention was the Baja, which includes salmon, avocado and cheese, and is topped with pico de gallo. At 18,000 pesos ($9) for 10 pieces, it was a bargain.
I’m not normally adventurous when it comes to sushi. I tend to stick to what I know I’ll enjoy, but I decided to go out on a limb and order the Causa roll as well.
It’s a creative take on the Peruvian dish called causa, which is one of my favorites, but in the form of a sushi roll.
The exterior is pureed potatoes, and inside there’s salmon, crab and avocado. Here, it’s topped off with some mayonnaise and jalapeno which gave it a spicy kick.
The Baja roll was delicious, but I wasn’t a fan of the Causa roll.
There’s something about the soft texture of the potato that didn’t jive with the salmon for me. Maybe I was just in the mood for sushi, not causa. I do give the chefs credit for trying something different.
Next time, I’d like to try a few other things from the menu, like the Yellow Tail sashimi (18,000 pesos, $9) or the tuna and salmon tartare (22,000 pesos, $11).
A little after 10pm, Chelo took the stage and began performing her first set. She played quite a few songs I knew, and while the night was billed as “crossover” most of what I heard was salsa (including Lloraras, one of my favorites).
She sang for about 50 minutes, as Envy continued to receive more and more guests. The tables on the lower level all filled up.
The atmosphere was relaxed, and I began to wonder why I hadn’t been hanging out on Wednesday evenings here more often.
Beautiful bar, fresh air, sophisticated drinks, well-priced sushi, live music and no cover charge.
Whether you go with friends, or take a date, Wednesday nights at Envy are worth experiencing.