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Hot List 2008

Mercat, Santiago

Address: 4092 Av. Nueva Costanera

Tel: 56-2-784-2840

A trinity of attractions vie for attention at Mercat: a strikingly remodeled 1960s building, the gregarious chef-owner Gianfranco Vanella, and a complex yet coherent cuisine. Nestled between a cluster of upscale Santiago eateries in the Vitacura neighborhood, the airy, glass-walled restaurant has a bamboo-lined patio with rock pools and avocado trees. Vanella, who cut his teeth in Barcelona and Natal, Brazil, charms the city's bright and beautiful with creative dishes highlighting local catches such as oilfish and swordfish. Sure, there's a touch too much foam and molecular rejiggering, but it's difficult to fault the delicate tuna tartare bathed in caramelized soy and carrot oil, or the duck salad smoked to perfection (entrées, $15–$28).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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