The French Empire used to stretch far and wide across the world and although they may no longer lay claim quite so many lands their presence is still felt in many ways. This is certainly true in South America where French influences can be seen across the continent. One area in particular where the French have continued to thrive is through their cuisine and so in homage to the fact that yesterday was Bastille Day Dehouche have carefully digested our favourite South American French restaurants down to just 5.
La Brasserie, Bogota
Bogota is currently undergoing somewhat of a culinary comeback with hot new restaurants popping up by the day and although not new, La Brasserie, is more than capable of holding its own against the newcomers. Bogota’s rich and famous flock to this brilliant French bistro with the welcoming patio tables being most in demand. The menu features all the best French classics such as Escargots à la Bourguignonne and Moules Marinières and the Bouillabaisse soup in particular is one not to miss. For main course we recommend ordering one of the impressively sized steaks which are sure to suppress any lingering hunger. The high standard of food and fact that it is the ‘place to be seen’ means that reservations are a must.
Gite d’Indaiatiba, Paraty
The view on its own at Gite d’Indaiatiba would have us coming back time and time again and when this is combined with the fantastic French cuisine on offer we find it hard to leave at all. Located 16 km outside of Paraty in the heart of the Serra da Boacaina forest this off the beaten track restaurant is only visited by those in the know. The superb Franco-Brazilian cuisine is made with the freshest ingredients many of which are sourced from the surrounding forest and it is probably the only French restaurant in the world where you can take a dip in a waterfall whilst waiting for your meal.
Le Soleil, Cuzco
A gourmet French restaurant is a surprise find in traditional Cuzco and Le Soleil is infact the first of its kind in this old city but what a welcome surprise it is. Le Soleil does classic French cooking at its finest with menu staples such as rillettes, confit de canard and crème brulee. The simple but elegantly designed restaurant fits perfectly with the food and if you’re struggling to choose just one thing then the 7 course tasting menu is the perfect option. First class service completes this delectable dining experience.
Brasserie Petanque, Buenos Aires
Located in the heart of Buenos Aires in San Telmo, Brasserie Petanque is an authentic French brasserie that offers a welcome break from traditional Argentine fare. Owner Pascal has succeeded in recreating the bustling feel of a Parisian restaurant and combined with the classic French dishes you could be forgiven for thinking you were in France. Our favourite day to visit is a Sunday when San Telmo comes alive with the local market where you can spend many an hour perusing the stalls and building up your hunger before visiting Brasserie Petanque, if you can manage dessert at the end of your meal, the trio of creme brulee’s are especially delicious.
Claude Troisgros, Rio de Janeiro
We feel that chef Claude Troisgros deserves an honorary mention as this world class French chef who has made his home in Rio De Janeiro, has not one but four restaurants in the city. He is Brazil’s favourite Frenchman and the son of the famous Pierre Troisgros which goes to show that culinary flair certainly runs in the family. His flagship restaurant in Rio is the recently revamped, Olympe which offers up exquisite French cuisine using Brazilian ingredients. Great attention to detail is paid to every aspect of the meal from the locally sourced ingredients to the presentation of the food on the plate. The 5 course tasting menu allows you to sample a little bit of everything and the extensive accompanying wine list has something to complement every course. Another one of his restaurants is CT Boucherie located on the restaurant Mecca, Rua Dias Ferreira. This Dehouche favourite offers a more laid back dining experience but still with great food, with the meat in particular being some of the finest you’ll find in the city.