Going out has become a form of theater and the secret speakeasy of Bogota delivers (just like the one in Buenos Aires). It’s called NN (because it’s a secret) and the name is a coded part of the front, a shop called Miss ElaNNia. One has to make a reservation with one of the waiters. I don’t have the number. You’ll have to find a friend who can make the reservation.
On the appointed night, one shows up at Calle 71, No. 5-65. The location is on a quiet street off of Septima, a main road. It is possible to see glimpses of something grand through the windows, but ignore that to get more out of the experience. The front is a shop selling kitsch. You need to go into the shop which actually has cute items for sale.
At the appointed moment, a brilliantined waiter will appear and lead you to the back. Once you enter, you walk through past the kitchen, up winding back stairs, only to pop out on the other side of the looking glass. This entry makes the experience feel clandestine.
The staff play their roles well even if the service is a bit slow (take your time and drink in the ambiance). The inside of the restaurant is luxurious. They have large round tables with booth seating allowing for parties of ten. There are also smaller tables for intimate conversations. While the cathedral style painted ceiling adds a palatial feel, the restaurant still manages to feel cozy. The music spans Frank Sinatra, Erasure, and more modern beats, interrupted with live jazz from the balcony.
The food was French or European and some of the dishes were good. The food was of mixed quality. But, the desserts and ambiance made up for it. The cheese fondue was more of a cheese soup than a fondue. The creamed spinach with bacon was delicious. The steamed mussels with fries was not special. They also have salmon and Beef Wellington. I’ll be back to try more of the menu and get my own portion of spinach. Including several bottles of wine and desserts to share, we each paid around 120,000 pesos (50 U.S. dollars) for dinner, tax and tip.
The gilded brownie is actually a combination of soft mousse and utter decadence. Appropriate for a Bogota entering its golden age.