Under the Stars & Over the Moon: Dining on a Dune
In my previous post, I told you about José Ignacio and its magical atmosphere, the almost dreamlike experience of contemplating the sun’s rise and fall. Over the past decade, José Ignacio has become a very trendy summer destination, as well as a culinary hot spot, meeting the high gastronomic expectations of its visitors. This week, I would like you to join me for a visit to one of my favorite restaurants there, Marismo.Federico Desseno
I met Federico and Natalia ten years ago, on the beach. We had some friends in common, and that afternoon, in José Ignacio, they were promoting and taking reservations for Marismo, their recently opened restaurant. This place was, in the beginning, a small refuge of incredible beauty, chosen by a few, and only known by word of mouth. This familiarity that characterized Marismo from the beginning remains, and is one of the reasons I go back every time I’m in Uruguay.
Marismo is, so to speak, in the middle of nowhere, and it has a very particular setting. It is a wild spot, tucked on a dune inside a pine, eucalyptus, and acacia forest. Large rustic wooden tables and pergolas decorate the place.
Everything is outdoors, no roof, lit beautifully, enhancing the natural surroundings with a very large bonfire and candles.
I love sitting at the tables, taking off my shoes, and feeling the cold sand under my feet while I enjoy my favorite dishes, such as la provoleta inflada (inflated melted cheese) and the classic slow-roasted lamb that is cooked in a wood-fire oven for four hours, making the meat so tender that it dissolves in one’s mouth. For dessert, I love the burned fruits that are cooked in clay ovens.
Marismo is the perfect place for eating with a large group. For me and my friends, going to Marismo has become a must-visit of the summer, seizing the opportunity to gather together all the people in Uruguay whom we didn’t get to see during the year and enjoying this amazing experience in the South American forest wilds.
Photos: Alejandro Berger