La Morante Bar in La Paz

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Brainchild of Alejandra Morante. Artist. Expat from Argentina.

Inspired at a young age by an aunt who was an architect…always dreamed of art and the sea. Alejandra came to Mexico in 2001 from Concordia, Argentina to join her sister who had emigrated a bit earlier.

She had a stressful banking job in Argentina and reached a point where she decided it was not for her anymore. She went from banker to artist. Voilà! She freed herself! She shed the corporate life and reinvented herself in La Paz. Baja can have that magic on people.

From Alejandra’s Bohemian life in La Paz came out the Pirate Woman concept. Just like her, a resilient, driven woman who survived ex-husbands, abandonment, broken promises, the death of close ones, friends letting her down. As a mom, Alejandra’s house was “the house” where kids went to be themselves and felt safe there. With the Art Bar, she created a space that makes you feel the same as an adult.

On her way to get there, she worked as an interior designer for a number of years and decided that it was time for her to run her own place to share her passion about art, music and small dishes from her land. This is not a full on dining restaurant but a place where you can sample some delicious appetizers accompanied with a good glass of wine in a delightful ambiance. Very much like a Tapas bar. She has done an incredible job decorating the space, the old barrels, the lighting, antiques, treatment on the walls, there is a private room with club chairs for VIPs or special occasions, one room also has recliners to chill in, there is a second story for private events. A lovely garden with a fountain and mature trees, it is all very welcoming. The staff is well trained and attentive.

There is a full bar and the house cocktail is called LAVITA $70 pesos. It is a Rhum cocktail of course, with cucumber and secret spices. Curious, nosy me pushed Alejandra for information. She smiled and told me that if I ever find out what the ingredients are, she would have to kill me. For beer on tap, she has Negra Modelo at $35 pesos.

The bar features a new art collection about every 15 days and some items that are permanently displayed, just because they deserve to. Unless they sell. She features local and foreign artists and a place to meet where one can come alone and always feel welcomed. Especially women.

Think of it as a modern day pirate woman’s den in a historic house where she offers class and culture, groove, jazz, blues, art and good food while enjoying the lovely old building and garden. There is frequent and sometimes impromptu entertainment. The likes of Terry Townson (exquisite trumpet player) are common here or the occasional Spanish guitar soloist. No Boum-Boum techno or worse, banda music here. It is for discriminating adults. The average age of the crowd hovers between 30 and 50.

As for the food, you will find traditional empanadas, meat or spinach with cheese. Chimichurri sauce on the side. Argentinian empanadas from her Mom. Serious business.

Hand made raviolis. Italian culture is strong in Argentina, many things like ravioli have made their way into the everyday foods there. They come stuffed with spinach and cheese or meat. They are fried on a stick or boiled depending on what is available daily. I had the fried and a boiled octopus in ink ravioli. Amazing pirate dish!

Chorizo Argentino, homemade like it should be.

Choripan which is like an Argentinian “Hot Dog”composed of chorizo and bread with Chimichurri. Great bar snack, goes well with beer.

Ensalada “Pirata” of organic greens with a lemon concentrate vinaigrette with bitter orange olive oil and herbs.

Fine wine by the glass. A nice improvement on the swill that sadly, many places serve. If I am served one more glass or “reservado”, I will volunteer to walk the plank! No kidding. The white is a Torrontes “El Fundo” from Argentina. $75 pesos or a “Stone Valley” Chardonnay from California. $75 pesos. For reds there is “El Fundo” Malbec. $75 pesos and a Cabernet Sauvignon “Stone Valley” from California. $75 pesos.

French Champagne Veuve Clicquot $1500 pesos per bottle.

Moët & Chandon $1400 Pesos per bottle.

5 whites are offered on the list from Chile, Mexico, USA, Argentina

Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay & Torrontes.

One Rose, Rose Casa Madero “V” from the Parras Valley.

6 reds: Merlot, Malbec, Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Piccolo, Shiraz. All the wines are very well priced from $280 to $465 pesos.

Shots of Sotol. $40 pesos (from silver spoon instead of Agave, a “must try”)

I liked the ambiance; no one glued to their phone texting or perusing Facebook! People appear to be enjoying the place the old fashioned way…talking to each other. The music is just loud enough to enjoy but not so loud as hindering conversation.

La Morante is a cool neighborhood bar reminiscent of what the local pub would be in Europe. Where one feels welcomed and there is always someone you know and where you will find nice surprises like the art, the music and the food and you never know who you will run into…

*FYI. I had a nice evening at La Morante with 4 Buck Chuck. We are close friends and really enjoy a good jousting of words. He even paid the bill! Keep that in mind when reading our inevitable dueling in future articles. It is all in good humor!

La Morante

Revolución de 1910 #635 entre Guadalupe Victoria y Morelos, Centro

La Paz, Baja California Sur

612 129 6635

Open Tuesday to Sunday 5PM to 12AM

*Breakfast coming soon

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