Serving a simple formula for success that mixes deliciously comforting platters, top tapas, high design and brilliant drinks with a cultured crowd, Demente has taken Cartagena's coolest district, Getsemaní, to a new level.
Address: Plaza de la Trinidad, Cartagena, Colombia
Rating: TIC User Rating
Rating: Trip Advisor
Urbane owner, Nicolas Wiesner called on the A-team of Bogota's bar scene to craft this trendy bar out of an 18th century ruin perched on a special corner of Cartagena's most traditional neighbourhood.
Refurbished with a minimalist touch, a talented team of architects, designers and the chef behind Bogota's stellar resto-bar, El Bandido—Felipe Arizabaleta—Demente has played a large part in turning Getsemaní from no-go to must-go since it opened in 2013.
After establishing its place in the hearts of knowing locals and hip out-of-towners from Bogota as the place to get the evening started, Wiesner and Arizabaleta have added a new menu to give some culinary clout to its A-list drinking credentials.
By tagging some truly comforting dishes to its tantalising selection of Tapas inspired by Wiesner's San Sebastian favourite, La Cuchara de San Telmo Demente there are now even more reasons for a loyal crowd to stay local and hunker down for a long evening of sophisticated bar talk.
Simple and subtle, the menu eschews embellishment leaving the well-sourced ingredients to take centre stage. The Burrata salad offers a delightfully light contrast to the 500 grams Chuletón, a pork chop built for two, or the quail roasted with onions and peppers.
Throw the city's best papas bravas, a subtle tuna tiradito and a coconut pie that will fix your emotional ailments into the mix and you have a winning culinary fix.
For those with more of an appetite, tuck into a thin crust stone oven pizza from their artisanal pizza menu. Tomato bases are so 2001, go for a pesto soaked doughy hunk of heaven or a fondue cheese topped slab.
It's not just the food that will make you want to stay into the early hours. An eclectic groove of music that glides seamlessly between funk, blues, bolero, reggae and Frank Sinatra, makes Wiesner's worldly-wise playlist will make you want to stay to see what's coming next.
Cartagena's second historic walled city has gone from no-go to must-go in less than five years thanks to some of the city's hippest new bars and restaurants.
If Centro is Manhattan, Getsemani is more Brooklyn – an up-and-coming hipster hangout trying desperately to cling to its roots.
A little rougher around the edges than the already gentrified districts of Centro and San Diego and the lofty ambitions of the beach districts, Getsemaní offers a glimpse into the more unruly historic centre of the past.
A fiercely traditional barrio offering a heady mix of bars, dancing, affordable diners, hostels and hotels for backpackers and bohemian colonists looking to mix it up with the carefree locals.
Historically populated by merchants, smugglers and freed slaves thriving from activity in the port and main marketplace, Getsemaní has always been more raucous than the hoity centre with all its regal airs and graces.
Much of the district's newest bars, follow in the city's loudest traditions.
While much of the area's carefree population are direct descendants of the hell-raisers of yesteryear it is no longer the terrifying place that rich Cartageneros used to scare their children into staying at home.
Backpackers, never averse to roughing it for a cheap place to stay have braved the bogeyman with few problems for decades and a growing number of boutique hotels and hostels have followed their lead setting up shop in some of the bigger properties on Calle Guerrero and Calle del Carretero.
Uber-hotel chains, Viceroy and the Four Seasons have plans to kick the barrio into the stratosphere with stellar openings in 2017 / 2018.
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