THIS MAY BE THE MOST PERFECT RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD (I’M NOT ALONE ON THIS..)
If you’ve been there, you get it. The vibe. The casualness. The amazing food. The DJ spinning cool tunes at 2pm. The beautiful crowd.
Jose Ignacio is an amazing beach town north about ½ hour north of Punta del Este — which is like the Miami Beach of South America and is not my scene. But Jose Ignacio is its down-low cousin, more like Montauk, 30 years ago.
Jose Ignacio is small, with dirt streets and a low key vibe, with some of the wealthiest people on the planet migrating each year. Set right along the beach, La Huella is a place you want to stop in to everyday, and come back at night. Incredible food. Mellow vibe. And some of best people-watching on the planet. Walk through this casual place and you’ll hear maybe a dozen languages being spoken, sometimes at the same table. It’s like being in the Cote d’Azur, Mykonos, Amalfi and Buenos Aires all at once. But with zero pretension. The owners, especially Guzman, seem to know everybody as they welcome everyone back each year. The place is jumping at 2pm and 2am, even with the large families and kids staying up way late.
I’ve only been to Jose Ignacio five times, but after a stressful life and a long flight, there’s nothing I look forward to more than getting to the hotel, kicking off my shoes and getting itchy to walk down the road to La Huella. There is an awesome article on La Huella in the July, 2012 Bon Appetit, which calls it “The Best Beachside Restaurant on the Planet”. Seeeee. I’m not alone on this….