Pan-Latin Cuisine meets Park Slope
I’ve been ignoring the small neon sign of Bogota Bistro for quite some time now, because from the outside it looks like a bar full of bar food, like gourmet potato skins and chicken wings. Plus 5th Avenue in Park Slope is overstuffed with restaurants --- numerous Asian fusion and Mexican joints that I’ve enjoyed for a year or more. What a fool I’ve been! Bogota, named for the capital of Colombia, features authentic Pan-Latin cuisine, live bands and an extensive cocktail and wine list.
The décor consists of mucho crazy stuff on the walls, but not in a nasty T.G.I. Friday’s way. My favorite was a Warhol knock-off of a pouty Latina. The murals and plastic ice cube encased lights also add to the festive interior. The atmosphere is LOUD, which could be bad for intimate conversation, or great for a first date with someone you aren’t sure you have anything in common with. Or dinner with your boyfriend’s mom or a former friend from high school you definitely have nothing in common with
I started out with a drink because, 1) I just came from work and 2) Happy Hour lasts all night long from Monday to Wednesday. The strawberry margarita is a little more fruity than boozy --- it has frozen strawberry chunks at the bottom. They also feature the Brazilian national drink, the caipirinha. I skipped the appetizers and had the breaded and fried porkchops, sweet plantains and seasoned rice which were all tender, perfect and flavorful respectively. My only complaint is that all the sauces were spicy and a chilli pepper-a-phobe like myself would like a mild option. My dinner mates had roasted chicken with cilantro mashed potatoes and a skirt steak sandwich with a side salad. The chicken was good, not special but the cilantro mashed potatoes were green and extremely tasty, I definitely recommend those.
All in all it was a satisfying meal, and worth the $20 tab. Also notable, you can skip the meal and just get drinks at the (slightly raucous) bar, though missing out on the food would be somewhat of a travesty.
Appetizers: $4 - $8
Entrees: $12 - $24
Drinks: $5 (Happy Hour) - $9 for cocktails