Wildly popular with a young artistic crowd, Opera and Catedral were the forerunners in bringing sophistication and delicacy to the downtown dining experience. Opera is a polished, fine-dining establishment, with exposed-brick walls, contemporary paintings, and white linen tablecloths, and it is small enough to require reservations far in advance. It pays homage to French cuisine, serving fabulous dishes such as a delicate foie gras, chicken breast poached in broth and served with truffles, and a "tasting" of five kinds of crème brûlée. Like the name says, this is an ideal place for a post-opera dinner. Upstairs at inexpensive Catedral, the look is minimalist, with gun-battle-gray walls, wicker chairs, and a couple of leather couches that are difficult to nab unless you arrive before 6pm. Really, you'll want to get here before the 9pm mob arrives -- this place is smoking hot and crazy-busy most nights. There is also an outdoor terrace for summer evenings. Cathedral serves modern takes on Chilean classics, with a few Asian-influenced dishes, gourmet sandwiches, and a very tasty crudo, or steak tartare.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010