El Punto Restaurant, Antigua Guatemala

El Punto Italian Restaurant, Antigua Guatemala

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Yolkobsens have a favorite Italian restaurant in Antigua Guatemala.  El Punto is a charming little establishment behind the Compania de Jesus Church ruins.  It holds pride of place as the first restaurant in the 7th Avenida North Barrio, a neighborhood characterized by less pricey and smaller restaurants, Spanish schools and hotels.

This charming little establishment will remind you of family owned restaurants in your hometown.  You know the ones. The menu stays the same year after year and you can always count on it for heart felt Italian food, the kitchen making a concert out of a few simple quality ingredients.

For example, their olive oil is excellent.  As we all know, a good olive oil is more often than not the maestro to the rest of the ingredients in Italian cuisine.  At El Punto, there is no skimping on the elixir that can turn tomato, basil, grilled bread, garlic, salt and pepper into a fine broschetta. We were happy to make an appetizer out of El Punto’s version of this Italian standard.

The two times the Ys ate there, we shared my favorite, a plain spaghetti in an olive oil based sauce, which had been expertly infused with garlic and a stab of chile.  Mr. Y’s orders were in sequence, the lasagne and then the next time, the veal scallopini.  Sharing both of these pasta and meat encounters inspired a thumbs up evaluation from both of us.

The decor is a cross between 1990s trompe l’oeil motifs, a 1960s style wall mural of Venice and the ever present Antigua Guatemala pesado colonial personality. It’s a funny mix that works.

The staff are kindly and tolerant of my attempts at managing in Spanish and only jump into save me when I hit a Sargasso Sea of verb conjugation.  Really, I am often out of my depth.  The server spoke excellent English and the menu is in both languages.  And, both visits told us that the place is kid friendly.  Each time families with small children were welcomed and helped by the graceful staff.

The price of our meal was a bargain considering the warm ambience, considerate and efficient service and the belleza of a meal.  Belleza, meaning beauty in both Spanish and Italian, give or take one zeta.  Bravo!

El Punto is located at 7a Avenida Norte #8A

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