El Boliche is a restaurant located in the Zona G, calle 69A with cra. 10, also with a branch in La Macarena, and is hands down my favourite restaurant in Bogota! It calls itself an Argentinian restaurant, but there isn’t a barbecue and no Argentinian steaks are served, as you might expect; El Boliche specialises in milanesas (slices of meat in breadcrumbs) and pasta dishes with a large variety of different sauces to choose from.
You’d almost miss El Boliche if you’re walking in the area, as it is shaded by nearby trees and there’s a small driveway you need to walk up to get to the door. When you walk in, it’s like walking into someone’s (large) living room, and has a really homely feel to it. The atmosphere is cosy and the waiters are really friendly (and not at all snobby, as can be the case in many restaurants in this area!).
I can’t speak for the milanesas as they’re generally not really my cup of tea, but the pasta is the best I’ve had in Bogotá. You can choose between spaghetti, fettuccini and fusilli for every pasta dish, and they also have different lasagnas, ravioli and cannelloni (and I think gnocchi?) on offer. My personal favourites are:
Fettucini with Di Melanzane sauce – a tomato based sauce with aubergine; I always forget just how delicious this vegetarian option is till the next time I order it, and I regret not having ordered it sooner!
Spaghetti Meditteráneo – this isn’t really a sauce as such, but pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and cheese. It’s so simple but the flavours are sensational, and at one point I was addicted to this dish, ordering it about 3 times a week for two weeks! Another excellent vegetarian option.
Any pasta with Tocinapolitana sauce – this is a tomato based sauce with bacon; highly recommended!
Vegetable Ravioli with Alfredo sauce – this is my current favourite; full of flavour and yet another great option for vegetarians (or vegetarian-wannabes like myself!). The pasta was green, filled with vegetables and served soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, with melted/crispy cheese on top and a delicious alfredo (creamy) sauce. I ordered these ravioli and asked the waiter which sauce went best with it, and he was spot on with the alfredo sauce. It was a delicious combination.
What I particularly like is that with most dishes you can order a full portion or a half-portion, catering for all appetites! Complimentary bread and butter are provided, along with the expected pepper and parmesan cheese.
The prices are very reasonable; the pasta dishes range between $11,000 and $24,000 depending on the sauce and size of the portion. The service is usually quite fast, and the waiters let you know if there’s likely to be a delay.
Please try this restaurant 🙂 It’s like having a home-cooked pasta dish in your own living room!