TLDR? Don Diablo is one of the best steakhouses in Medellin.
Medellin has recently begun to up its game in regards to its dining scene. It’s notable enough that I’ve dedicated several articles to covering some of the more notable locales in the area.
If you’re visiting Medellin to eat, one place to star on your Google Maps would be the fine-dining steakhouse known as Don Diablo. Don Diablo is a classic feeling business-class steakhouse located in the heart of Poblado. Poblado is Medellin’s international business district.
The food is fab, the décor is chic, and the clientele includes some of Medelln’s see-and-be-seen crowd. If that sounds like something that appeals to you, below is a summary of need-to-know information about the restaurant. I also describe my experience going to the restaurant.
How To Get To Don Diablo
Don Diablo is located very centrally in the Poblado district and shares space with a handful of other sister restaurants.
Don Diablo prefers to take reservations for dinner and is a little looser for lunchtime. That being said, I would recommend calling ahead and making a reservation for both shifts.
Depending on where you’re staying in the city, I would recommend different ways to get to Don Diablo. If you’re in Poblado, you could always walk, of course.
Otherwise, the closest metro stop is Poblado. If you’re headed to the steakhouse for dinner, it might serve you to take a car, especially if you plan on staying out late.
Exceptional Service and Atmosphere
Once I arrived at the restaurant, I was greeted by a sharply dressed host who promptly led me up the stairs. The interior began to shift from Moshi’s more contemporary exposed industrial aesthetic, with its anime stickers and imitation calligraphy. It morphed into the more demure, almost art-deco stylings of Don Diablo.
Coming from New York, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of the interiors of the classic steakhouses in that city, such as the Gotham Grill.
There were plenty of tables, but the dining room wasn’t crowded. It was just enough people to give the atmosphere a bit of a lift without things getting a bit too loud or cantankerous.
The interior was very relaxing, with the soft lighting reflecting off of the wine glasses on the table. I was thinking that the environment could be quite romantic if you’re looking for a good place to bring a date.
The service staff was dressed very sharply. It lent the environment a formal but not stuffy air that encouraged me to loosen up a couple of buttons on my collared shirt.
My waiter took exceptional care of me. This was no mean feat considering that he was juggling several tables at once, including some larger parties. I never felt anxious or like I was waiting too long for anything to arrive.
Classic Steakhouse Fair With a Personal Touch
Don Diablo has quite the menu on its hands, with a nice spread of appetizers, entrees, and drinks. And of course, there’s the star of the show: It’s in-house smoked premium cuts of steak.
The menu features a touching note by one of the chefs. It speaks to the restaurant’s commitment to sourcing its meat solely from ethically produced local farmers.
You can call ahead to the restaurant, and they will set aside your favorite steak specifically for your visit. This is noted if your preferred cut of beef isn’t available on the night that you come in. Now that’s hospitality!
The venue has a very extensive wine list, with many different vintages sourced from across South America and the world. The accent on the wines did well to compliment the attention spared towards the steak and red meat. There was great variety offered in both categories.
Local and International Flavors
The restaurant goes the extra mile in regards to its cuts of steak. It notes the weight of the specific cut, its origin in Antioquia, and the type of cow that the meat came from. The appetizers run eclectically through a variety of different styles of cuisine.
They range from French-inspired fine dining stand-bys (such as steak tartare and foie gras) to high-class spins on some of the beloved dishes of Latin America, such as ceviche.
I took on the pulpo a las brasas, a delicious octopus dish. It featured the grilled fish peppered in spicy salsa and a lemon-derived sauce that lent the dish a cosmopolitan flavor palette.
After my appetizer, I was treated to the main event: my 350-gram New York strip. I got it in honor of my patron city, which I felt, in turn, was honored by the spirit and atmosphere of Don Diablo.
A Cut Above
The meat was delicious and tender, never tough, and was garnished with a very generous side salad of locally sourced greens. There was also a heaping serving of buttered potatoes, locally sourced from Antioquia’s surrounding hills.
The portions were enormous, big enough that I ended up gladly saving some to take home later as a second full meal. I felt that the ensemble of flavors all served to compliment each other perfectly. The fact that most of the meal on my plate was locally and ethically sourced made the meal even more enjoyable.
I got the sides that appealed to me, but there were several others available. When combined with the variety in the cuts of meat, I felt like there was a bit of potential for mixing and matching. Return visits were warranted.
If red meat’s not your thing, several of the entrees step in to fit different tastes. The roasted chicken, glazed golden with a tangy and savory sauce, looked particularly appetizing.
Given that it’s a steakhouse, picking was slightly slim on the entrée side for the vegetarians. That being said, there were several hearty side dishes of deliciously spiced vegetables. These included mushrooms, asparagus, and broccoli that I felt could be combined to satisfy the appetite of someone on a veggie diet.
Great Food, Great Atmosphere, and Great Service on Poblado Hill
The price point at Don Diablo is a bit higher than if you’re just headed to the corner for empanadas. But for the quality of the food, the energy in the atmosphere, and the quality of the service, you walk away feeling like it’s a bargain.
I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Don Diablo and will return for another round shortly. I feel comfortable recommending it to anyone interested in a refined dining experience on their trip to Medellin.
Given that you get fantastic food at a reasonable price sourced from the rich hills of Antioquia, there’s no reason not to indulge.
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