The relatively new Pimenton restaurant is a blend of Argentina, Spain, Indochina, and good food.
The owners are young, energetic, eager to please, and an amazing combination of nationalities, tastes, and nuances.
The restaurant was recommended to me by a colleague (German nutritionist), another restaurant owner in Vientiane (Italian chef), and a trusted friend and colleague (British anthropologist). All are old Asia hands and long-time residents of Vientiane. I trusted their recommendations and was nicely rewarded with good food, good service, good ambiance, and a new restaurant to eat at in the already crowded Vientiane food scene.
The tapas were just the right size as an appetizer. One could eat the tasty tapas and skip the main course (as the table of six foreign ladies did next to us). Very tasty.
The beef is cooked Argentinian style (I was informed) and sourced from a farmers' cooperative in Northeast Thailand; that produces Thai-French beef. Excellent taste; tender; and safe from weird cancer-causing chemicals. When ordering steak (or lamb or pork) you get the meat, a slice of a baguette, and a sauce. Nothing else. You can order a salad or potatoes separately. All very good.
The ambiance is Indochinese; pastel colors; high ceiling; a touch of ornateness; and modern prints on the walls. We sat downstairs where the acoustics were bad (the crying baby two tables away did not help). Upstairs might be more cozy cum romantic.
The service was excellent; quick; good English; and attentive without being intrusive. Almost perfect.
It is a good restaurant, albeit a bit pricey for Vientiane: dinner for two was US$66. But it was worth it. The taste of the food was excellent. Other European restaurants in a gourmet's town have some new competition.
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