Occupying a sliver of coastline & the hillside beyond, all bar-lined beaches & rickety funiculars, ultracolorful Valparaiso reminded me a lot of the funkier villages along the Mediterranean coast of Italy—your Positanos, your Camoglis—only a little more urban & a little more rural at the same time, what with a downtown strip on the 1 hand &, on the other, a cacaphony of stray dogs barking & roosters crowing all the livelong day.

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So the fact that one of the city’s best-loved restaurants, Pasta e Vino, happens to be Italian—but for the all-Chilean wine list, that is—seems fully well & good.

Minimalist as the tiny space is, constantly packed from the dining room

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to the kitchen itself,

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the vibrant, luscious food is anything but, starting with an excellent bread basket filled with herbed ciabatta & carta di musica–like flatbread
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& an amuse of sesame-honey chorizo.

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Each dish being beyond critique, the captioned pics thereof should say it all:

gorgeous salmon & reineta carpaccio with capers, cress & lemon juice
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shrimp with merquén (smoked ground chiles) & crostini

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cream-sauced phyllo stuffed with red peppers,

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in turn stuffed with shrimp & goat cheese
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fettuccine with smoked ham & lemon-Sauvignon Blanc cream

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fettuccine with crudo ham, walnuts & honey in a parmesan sauce
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squid-ink pappardelle with frutti di mare in white wine

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& what was probably my favorite, the strikingly innovative squid-ink ravioli over spinach & cream, stuffed with smoked salmon, & topped with queso fresco & curry, of all things,
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cooked until it was almost dry—more a heady spice mash than a sauce.

I was so stuffed I couldn’t see straight, & even so I kept lusting after all my group of 5 had neither table space nor gut room for: gnocchi with king crab, shrimp & caviar; fettuccine with mozzarella, roquefort & mushrooms; ravioli with parmesan, wedge clams & white wine…sigh. There’s my review: just sigh.