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July 19, 2012updated Feb 08, 2013

Experience Signature Coastal Colombian Cuisine at Casa San Agustín’s New Alma Restaurant

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Casa San Agustín unveils a new luxury in Colombia’s most alluring port city, Cartagena de Indias. If a nation’s soul resides in its arts and culture, it certainly is bred in a country’s cuisine. Discover a spirited social scene that radiates in Alma, and experience an inspired passion for coastal Colombian cuisine led by chef Hector Aguilar Valle. His illustrious career began at the Institute Paul Bocuse in his home city and country, Lima, Peru and as a true global nomad, he has created a special dining destination in the city.

Rich in character against a backdrop of the hotel’s ancient aqueduct and historic walls, Alma’s open-air courtyard and poolside lounge are lush with local flora and abuzz with the chatter of happy locals and guests. The intimate bar combined with a seductive glow of candlelight is the perfect place to kick off the evening with a handcrafted aperitif. When hunger calls, choose from a delectable selection of tapas from the regionally inspired menu: Zesty mini ceviche of trout, shrimp, and octopus, or local conch croquettes with remoulade.

Indoors and adjacent to the courtyard, you’ll find a more refined dining experience. Adding to its allure, a graceful pair of gilded wings span the dining room. A more complete menu draws attention to fresh ingredients and local favorites: From freshly caught seafood in a Colombian-style bouillabaisse to roasted sea bass, and from dry-aged beef cured on the premises to slow-cooked pork infused with traditional Latin flavors. The chef’s signature creation of pastries and desserts weave in the region’s abundant exotic tropical fruits, giving a refreshing finish to the meal.

Chef Aguilar Valle will combine his immersion in cuisines from Australasia, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, to bring a fresh perspective to Colombian favorites. He further defined his career in one of San Francisco’s most popular restaurants with his melting pot style of diverse cultural infusions. David Tornek and partner Sean Brasel are a dynamic force in Miami Beach with the highly regarded Meat Market in Lincoln Road and together they are the visionaries behind the concept at Alma.

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