Exploding onto the restaurant scene on Ashford Avenue, in the
Condado area of San Juan, Puerto Rico is the new Ummo - Argentinian Grill. This gorgeous
new restaurant is a feast for the palate and the other four senses as well.
If taste buds could dance, theyd be doing the tango at Ummo.
Choosing from the many cuts of meat was not an easy task, but
finally settling on the Churrasco with Chimichurri sauce was a wise decision for a first
This cut, the skirt steak, is an often overlooked meat in the US,
where we go for the T-Bone, Porterhouse or Filet Mignon - and the skirt steak is treated
like a second class citizen.
But the Latin culture knows how to work magic with the skirt steak
cut. Properly marinated and grilled, it is a juicy and tender extravaganza. Paired with
the Chimichurri sauce, a combination of olive oil, garlic, parsley and a hint of vinegar
to give it a bite, the flavours of the meat really come alive.
Chef Martin Louzou adds a sprig of rosemary to the side of sauce; an
unexpected and delightful take on the classic Chimichurri, heightening the olfactory and
taste sensations of this dish.
Even though the serving size of the Churrasco with Chimichurri is
enough to stand alone, one of twelve side dishes is available to accompany it. Standard
baked potato and fries are available, but give something local and different a try.
The creamed spinach, a simple classic, is exquisite. Local favourites
- mashed yucca or tostones - are also on the list; and if you have a need for something
crisp and green, order the Russian salad or Mesclun con tomate.
Another amazing entr�e choice is the Patagonian Sea Bass with
Atlantic Clams and Tomato comfit on mashed potatoes. This visual and taste sensation is a
perfectly paired combination.
The heartiness of the coarsely mashed potatoes lay the foundation for
the pristine white sea bass perched atop it and adorned with delicate greens.
The tomato comfit encircles the entr�e at the base, so that each bite
captures all of the flavours of the mildly seasoned sauce. The delicate texture of the
fish and heartiness of the potatoes elevate this dish beyond just a taste and visual
encounter to a blissful tactile experience as well.
Dinner pairs nicely with the house wines from Finca Flichman,
Mendoza, Argentina. The Malbec grape sets the Churrasco gusto off nicely; strong enough to
carry the grilled and spice flavours, without overshadowing them.
As an aperitif, the house drink 'The Ummo', is a refreshing treat. It
is a chilled combination of sake, plum wine, rum soaked fruit and a splash of strawberry.
The grand finale for this feast must be a postre, or dessert.
Puerto Rico is famous for Tres Leches, a cake soaked in a three milk
sauce, but you wont find that here. Instead, indulge yourself with the Rogel de
Dulce de Leche; a long name for something that could be simply named 'Heaven'.
Dulce de Leche, another favourite in Puerto Rico and Argentina, is a
caramel-like sauce made from sweetened condensed milk. It marries the four delicate
wafer-like layers of pastry together.
It is topped with an Italian meringue, and is as beautiful to look at
as it is delicious to eat. Pair with caf� con leche and this magnificent feast is
Prices at Ummo are reasonable, with entr�es ranging from $14 to $28.
Although meat takes centre stage at this Argentinian Parrilla, other
options abound; from the amazing sea bass and other seafood to pasta and chicken. Even
lighter fare of soups and salads are available.
Grill Masters at Work
Enjoy the warm contemporary setting indoors, to watch the masters work
the grill, or dine al fresco on one of many beautiful San Juan nights.
Eating Out in Puerto Rico
The Ummo Argentinian Grill is located at 1351 Ashford Avenue,
Tel: (787) 722-1700.
By Elizabeth Sommer.
- Travel Notes Directory.
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