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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

 EL VIEJO Y EL MAR
MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY

I think the restaurant's name translates into "The Old Man and the Sea" or something like that but don't hold me to it!  I never took the time to master Spanish although I really should.

Our hotel concierge at the Sheraton Montevideo on our first night highly recommended a place called Francis for fresh seafood.  He was passionate about the recommendation and it was absolutely outstanding.

This particular night another concierge was on duty.  When I asked this dude for a reco, he kind of scratched his head and muttered the name of this place.  I suspected that it might not amount to much and I was right.  But we headed down there anyway since it was an easy walk from the hotel.

The setting was very nice.  Right on the shore of the Rio de la Plata with a really neat nautical theme.

My wife opted not to order a starter.  Since I had gotten wonderful mussels earlier in the trip at restaurant Francis I decided to try them here.  They came on the half shell and were obviously frozen and thawed out.  Not bad but disappointing after our experience at Francis.

For my main meal I selected a fried seafood platter, something I hadn't had for years.  It was okay but everything on the platter was obviously previously frozen.  The three of four shrimp were tasty enough, the squid rings were kind of rubbery, the few chunks of frozen fish nuggets just okay and the fried artificial "krab" chunks sucked.

My wife ordered a filet steak and fries and her dinner was pretty good but not on a par with other meals in South America.

She finished the meal with a sweet dessert and I sipped a cup of hot java.

I will say the place was packed with locals by the time we left so it must be doing something right.. However on our one and only visit, it just didn't measure up.

The best part about this experience was the location and nautical theme.  But true seafood lovers will want to skip this place and head to restaurant Francis nearby where the seafood is a perfect 10!

El Viejo Y El Mar is located at Rambla Gandhi 400.

Additional Montevideo Restaurant Reviews:

Restaurant Francis