Demente Tapas Bar

Carrera 10 # 29-2 a 29-100, Cartagena De Indias (Distrito Turístico Y Cultural), Bolivar, Colombia


Just a few blocks outside the old town walls, the Getsemani neighborhood asserts its own bohemian personality.  Bustling Plaza de la Trinidad is a vibrant central point and home to Demente Tapas Bar. The owners wanted to be as much a part of the plaza as possible so classic wood and leather rocking chairs are arranged around cocktail tables on the sidewalk—a hipster take on the habit of area residents who drag their rocking chairs out in front of their houses to catch the evening breeze and the day’s gossip. This small but stylish place also has the only retractable roof in Cartagena, which lets even more of the outside in.

A chalk board tapas menu includes addictive sweet peppers (flash-fried then salted), brochette of remarkably tender shrimp, fried local cheese with onion marmalade and secreto de cerdo, a little-used but delicious cut of pork. The most popular plate of all is a sweet, rich, satisfying oxtail slider served with homemade potato chips. Everything is served on custom-made plates, which each have a quote from Colombian poet Raúl Gómez Jattin hand-painted onto them.

Demente is as much a bar as an eatery with a comprehensive list of liquors, wines and beers, including hard-to-find Aguila beer on tap. Bar staff make ice cubes the size of navel oranges by hand so they don’t melt too quickly in the Caribbean heat.  No one wants that 20-year-old Colombian rum you just ordered to end up watered down.

Written by Karen Catchpole

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