Uruguay, more than “parrillas”

25 Sep

If you’ve been following this blog you must have noticed my appreciation for a neighbouring country, Uruguay (I live in southern Brazil and only around 200 km from the Uruguayan border).  I’ve written about “parrilladas“, the national Uruguayan dish, as well as about my fishing experience in the Salto Grande dam.  Let’s return to this lovely town.

Salto (official site here – sorry, only in Spanish), was stablished in 1756 by the governor José Joaquim de Viana, who was on a mission related to the settlement of frontiers between Spanish and Portuguese colonies.  Salto faced a great population increase after 1860, with the arrival of  European settlers, specially  from Italy, Spain and Portugal.  Around Salto, one of the largest touristic destination in Uruguay, you can find several hot spring areas, particularly “Termas de Dayman” (around 15 km south of Salto) and “Termas de Arapey” (around 90 km north of Salto).

"Termas de Dayman" (hot springs around 15 km south of Salto/Uruguay)

"Termas de Dayman" (hot springs around 15 km south of Salto/Uruguay)

Today, with around 100,000 inhabitants, Salto maintains a charming and relaxing atmosphere.

Downtown Salto/Uruguay

Downtown Salto/Uruguay

Walking around downtown with my wife and some friends (Renan and Leila), on a beautiful  summer day, my attention was called by a small restaurant called “La Trattoria” (Calle Uruguay, 754 – GPS:  S31 23.245 W57 57.969), a clear reminder of the Italians who arrived after 1860.

La Trattoria - downtown Salto/Uruguay

La Trattoria - downtown Salto/Uruguay

We walked in and let me tell you, no regrets.  The food was very well prepared and the house wine just up to the Uruguayan tradition.  One distinctive feature of Uruguayan wine production is the Tannat, a red grape generally ignored in the rest of the New World but very important in this small and wonderful country.  It matched just fine the meat lasagna (a la Bolognesa), plenty of muzzarela and a rich tomato sauce.  Final price? Around US$12,00/person, wine included.

Lasagna form "La Trattoria" - Salto/Uruguay

Lasagna form "La Trattoria" - Salto/Uruguay

The whole experience in Salto was a definitive proof that Uruguay has much more to offer than just “parrilladas” (although they continue to be my favorite Uruguayan creation).

Tannat Grapes on Foodista
Lasagna on Foodista

2 Responses to “Uruguay, more than “parrillas””

  1. Biondi Gianni November 10, 2009 at 19:25 #

    Ciao sono interessato a contattare via e-mail il ristorante La trattoria, in salto. in attesa di un vostra risposta vi saluto.

  2. Euclydes Santos November 11, 2009 at 07:28 #

    Hi friends. First of all let me thank you for passing by. It’s always a pleasure to see my blog entries are being read and are in someways useful.
    Sorry, but as far as I know they don’t have an e-mail at “La Trattoria”. I believe the only way to contact them directly is through phone: (073) 36660.
    You can try to reach them through the following page: http://www.viatermal.com/br/gastronomia.htm – look down the list and you’ll find “La Trattoria” and an option to contact them (I’ve never tried that, so I don’t really know if it works).
    After your trip (I’m suposing you are planning a trip to Salto) please, share your gastronomic experiences with us.
    Best regards.

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