If you have never been to a Chilean restaurant, or even know what comprises Chilean cuisine, a meal at Legado restaurant is a great introduction.
The Hollywood eatery offers visitors local ingredients and a mix of traditional Chilean recipes as imagined by chef Luis Montenegro and his son, Gonzalo. During his childhood, Luis imbibed the tastes, sights, and smells of the kitchen as his Italian grandmother prepared meals. Later in life, he gave up a career as an accountant to pursue his culinary dreams, and in 2006 he opened his first restaurant.
The original Legado is located in his hometown, Copiapó, near the San Jose copper mine in the barren Atacama desert where 33 miners were trapped back in 2010. During the two months of the rescue operation, the restaurant became a regular destination for the workers and international media that camped near the site.
Now, father and son are serving up what they like best at their Hollywood location with "an international food menu that gives a platform for our native cuisine to shine," said Luis. "This is a restaurant [where] everyone can find a delicious dish to enjoy."
Red and yellow colors dominate the charming 80-seat eatery's dining room and wine bottles are on display throughout the space. Gonzalo manages the restaurant full-time and Luis splits his time between South Florida and Chile, bringing in an abundance of regional ingredients with every visit, including seafood from the port city of Caldera, olive oil from the heart of the Atacama, olives from the Azapa Valley, and goat cheese from the country's central zone.
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Chile boasts more than 2,000 miles of Pacific coastline, and since the best of its food focuses on sea bounty, you'll want to start your meal with dishes such as the sea urchins with green sauce ($21), the
For a fish entree, try the Chilean conger ($29), the buttery rich Chilean sea bass ($28), or the Papillon; fish and vegetables sautéed with scallops and shrimp and finished in white wine ($29.90). The list of meat-based dishes features a 16 oz. grilled rib eye ($34), a filet mignon grilled with shrimp and scallop sauce and gruyere cheese ($22), and the Legado lamb marinated in honey, black beer, and rosemary ($24.90). There's also a selection of side dishes, like shrimp rice ($4.90) and Vichy potatoes au gratin served with a Mapuche merkén, a traditional Chilean condiment made with smoked chili pepper ($3.90).
End your meal with the poppy seed mousse, served with candied figs and blue curacao sauce ($5.90) or the papayas served in nectar juice ($6). And there's ample Chilean wine to choose from, including the Caballo Loco 16, the Toro de Piedra, the Casillero del Diablo, and the Casa Mateo.
Legado Restaurant. Open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from Noon to 11 p.m. at 1824 Harrison St., Hollywood; 954-248-6915; legadorestaurant.com.