Astrid and Gastón is a known entity, with a devoted following from around the world, after having started their first restaurant in Lima, Peru, to wild critical acclaim. The Santiago version of this restaurant does not disappoint.
It's set in a large mansion on a leafy side street in Providencia, and the main dining room is a study in elegance, with fine china, perfectly draped tablecloths, the perfect amount of space between tables (neither too much, nor too little), and an attentive staff, including warm bread and an onside sommelier.
The food is excellent, with quinoa-breaded giant, sweet prawns on a recent menu, and a nice combination of foods brought from afar together with local specialties. The food is well-prepared, without being fussy, the occasional vertical presentation being a Peruvian tradition, and touches of sauces and herbs in all the right places. A cooling spoonful of sorbet between courses cleanses the palate.
Desserts are also top-notch, and a fried cube of rice pudding beside cinnamon ice cream on a recent visit was a big hit. The prices are high for Santiago, but not insurmountably so for most world travelers who would find themselves here, and it's definitely worth it for a special occasion.