First Date Night: Seafood and the W

Gonzalo and I had a very nice “date night” last night. The past week has been filled with to-do’s (in case you haven’t noticed) and so after his doctor’s appointment last night (which he needed to do) he says to me “What’s next?” What he meant was for me to take out my snazzy new iPhone and under the notes section, find our two separate “To Do” Lists – one is labeled URGENT and one is labeled Dario Urzua, after the street we’ll be living on come August 1st. He wanted to know what else we could accomplish that evening from one of the lists.

I was NOT about to make another trip to Parque Arauco (the mall) as I have been there about four times this week, AND FURTHER, had been there earlier that day to get my engagement ring back. So I says to him, I says: “No hagamos nada.” (Let’s do nothing.) He’s Mr. Efficient and Thorough so I do believe that his brain might have short circuited for a second but he pulled through in time to partake in our first official date night out in Santiago (since I moved here, that is.)

Now, if you’re anything like me, you might have been a mermaid or a walrus in your past life. (Sometimes I think I still am THE WALRUS, but that’s neither here nor there). I know this sounds like a really silly thing to say but what I’m trying to express is that I LOVE SEAFOOD. All of it, any and all kinds of sea creatures, are yummy yummy for my tummy. And in Chile they have this plate at most seafood restaurants called Machas a la Parmesana (razor clams au gratin) and I’m OBSESSED with it. OBSESSED. I do believe that my real motivation for moving here was the seafood, namely – this dish. And so my lovely fiancee took me to dinner at a seafood restaurant that cost an arm and a leg (un ojo de la cara y la mitad del otro, as one might say here in Chilsters). That was a lovely time though the waiters there are such sales people that they are constantly pushing more food on you!

Gonzalo: “We’d like to order the Machas a la Parmesana”
Waiter: “Can I offer you an additional appetizer? Perhaps garlic prawns? Or if you’re so inclined a salad? We could make you a nice tomato and onion salad, or perhaps simple lettuce with hearts of palm? The machas a la parmesana really is a small plate; you should consider a second appetizer.”
So obviously we ordered another appetizer. The one plate really was too small. He was right. Those waiters always know how to sell more food, don’t they?

After dinner we made our way in the 41 degree (F) temperature over to the fancy schmance new W Hotel. We’ve all been to W’s, some of us to W’s around the world, and so in terms of ambiance, the W Santiago is just another hotel in a long list of modern/minimalist/urban hotel chains that are targeting either the nouveau riche or the over 50-mid-life-crisis crowd (and the usual business traveler who wants the hotel to be the same place where he parties and then expenses it, calling it a “Business dinner”).

And on that note, the one thing that I’ve found to be quite consistent at all W’s is the bar. Always techno-musickey-plush-covered-candle-lit-weird-lamps-in-the-corner kind of place and everyone who works there wears black. And have names like Natalia. Which incidentally was the name of the nice young woman who took our orders on the plushy sofa.

We went with her suggestion first: W’s variation on the pisco sour and mojito, followed by the traditional version of the two. They were delish of course but OMG can we discuss the prices?? Gonzalo and I each had 2 drinks and I paid the equivalent of $45 USD for all four drinks. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying “Dre, that’s normal, since when are you about to pass out from ONE $11 drink?” UM HELLO!!! I’m in Chile!!! Why does a drink cost the same here as it does back home?? Pray tell and why was the place packed with people all paying between $11 and $15 a drink??

But, it’s what you get at any W and I’m glad to see that Santiago’s W isn’t about to be the black sheep of the Sheraton family by charging any less than its counterparts. Way to show ’em how posh Santiago can be.

We had a nice time though and as usual, I’m so grateful to be in a relationship where we can sit at the W and make fun of the foofy drinks that costs un ojo de la cara y la mitad del otro, and then sit at home the following night drinking glass of wine from the bottle in the fridge (which no doubt cost less than $7).

Keep a look out for the blog on the budget version of date night which will consist of a hot dog and beer for dinner and sitting in a plaza people watching!! We’ve actually done that before, but substituting the hot dog for ice cream. Good times Chilean Style!

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