Restaurante Club de Pesca
Perched proudly on Fort San Sebastian del Pastelillo, in front of Bocagrande's evolving skyline, Club de Pesca Restaurant Bar and Grill has been serving up the majestic views of Cartagena and seafood specials for nearly sixty years.
Colombians have made this the setting for Cartagena's most glittering events since it was founded in 1956. There's a celebrity wedding here every weekend and the New Year's Eve Party sells out months in advance.
It takes just one bite of their food to see what all the fuss is about.
If you thought the view and the fortified setting was trying to compensate for any lacking in the food department, rest assured, this is not a plaza type tourist trap serving up second-class seafood.
With its French Rivera décor and a stubborn menu that refuses to stray far from most people's seafood favourites, Club de Pesca Restuarant Bar and Grill is unapologetically classic from top to bottom.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the place for people who still like to don a smoking jacket and listen to Frank Sinatra's greatest hits on a daily basis.
Even the waiters are true Pesca veterans, happily doling out warm bread rolls and garlic butter with tales of how they came to work here more than 10 years ago.
The chorus of 'oohs' and 'aaahs' when the starters arrive are a testimony to how the restaurant's flawless standards haven't slipped since this culinary institution cornered the market in seafront dining long before Cartagena landed on the international gourmet map.
These guys might be traditional, but they like to show us that they have still got it, and boy are they right.
It doesn't take long to notice that the secret is in the sauce. Whether it's the arty, somewhat 80's style splash across your plate, or the spicy wasabi kick to your tuna tartare starter, the salsa is never a background wallflower.
You might find yourself throwing etiquette out the window and licking your bowl in tongue frenzy desperate to get the last bit of broth, especially if you go for the prawn risotto, soaked in a garlic and white wine herb sauce, that wouldn't be out of place in a top bistro in France.
The menu and dishes explode with confidence. Anyone who thinks Octopus Carpacio has been 'done', needs to try it here. Where the flat slithers of fish break into watery chunks of amazingness, and the gloopy olive blobs soften the tangy zestiness of the red onion, swirling in your mouth like a wave. Delicious!
Next up, a seafood stew. The classic Cazuela de Mariscos includes lobster tail, prawns, octopus and mussels;that's alot of fish in a dish. Light yet supremely satisfying, it's served with coconut rice and patacones, the two staple ingredients of a Costeño diet.
The Peruvian style ceviche, so fresh and limey it vibrates on your tongue until your main course, and succulent prawns wrapped in yucca are worthy of a postcard home alone.
And the end of our meal, we ask about the chef's background with the over-enthusiastic anticipation of a child. It comes as little surprise that the head-chef, Felipe González, has sharpened his knives - and skillset - in the States and Europe. Not only working in michelin restaurants such as Santé, California, but reinventing Colombia's culinary image with high-brow institutions such as La Universidad de Sabana,Bogotá.
Now it's Cartagena's turn to enjoy his culinary charms. Lucky fish. Lucky us.
THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE
* Soaking up the panoramic views of Bocagrande from their bar, dry martini or Limonada de Coco in hand
* Leaving an impression by pulling up alongside in your own private yacht
* Dining at the romantic throne table and being able to kiss your date under the stars while hidden from view
* This spectacular setting makes you want to get married again!
* Amazing service from staff that clearly love their jobs
*A heavy stocked cellar that will please any wine lover out there
* Fresh produce served with a flavoursome kick that will keep you coming back for more
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* The restaurant's full name in Spanish is Restaurante Fuerte San Sebastian del Pastelillo Club de Pesca. Don't confuse it with the Club de Pesca exclusive yacht club next door.
* It's not cheap but you won't mind paying for great food in a unique setting
* Club de Pesca Restauraunt Bar and Grill offers a complimentary shuttle service to the centre so you don't need to order a cab home
* It can be very difficult to reserve a table during high season (December 20 - January 6) so book in advance if you want to dine with Colombia's finest during the Christmas period
* If you want this extra special setting for your wedding reception you will need to book well in advance. Send us an email for help with group bookings