THE WORLD’S BEST BEACH TOWN

[JOSE IGNACIO, URUGUAY]  — That’s right, this might be it. This is my favorite place to be in this world. About a half hour north of the Miami-like Punta del Este is a small peninsula that juts just right out into the ocean. Surrounded on three sides by beaches, Jose Ignacio is the definition of “rustic elegance”. A sleepy town most of the year, it may have the shortest high season on earth, lasting last just weeks and starting, exactly on the day after Christmas. Like locusts that all come out of the ground on a single day, on December 26th,

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THIS MAY BE THE BEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD (I’M NOT ALONE ON THIS..)

[JOSE IGNACIO, URUGUAY] — It’s 3pm, the day after Christmas. It’s 82 degrees and sunny, with a light breeze gently flapping the white canvas awnings, fanning the cool shade underneath. The place is packed, everyone’s knee-to-knee. Cool pitchers of Clerico — the local Uruguayan version of a white sangria — are flowing past above the heads of the crowd, headed toward an antsy, thirsty table. There’s a DJ tucked in the back, but affecting moods in the front; like the breeze, causing everyone to gently sway along with him in a cool, mellow vibe. The smell of woodsmoke wafts out onto

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A RESTAURANT LIT ONLY BY THE STARS, FIRE AND CANDLES

[JOSE IGNACIO, URUGUAY]  — I was reading in the New York Times about this sweet little under the radar beach town, in Uruguay of all places, and the picture at the top of the article had a photo of one of the most magical restaurants I’ve ever seen.  A restaurant out in the beach bush, sand floors, no roof, open to the stars. Lit only with with candles and fire. All the food, cooked with fire. It was called Marismo. The more I read about this town and about this restaurant, I knew I had to go. So I booked

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THE PERFECT LITTLE HOTEL, IN THE PERFECT LITTLE BEACH TOWN

[JOSE IGNACIO, URUGUAY] — The first time I tried to book a room, I got an email back from Jose, the owner, saying “There is no luxury in Jose Ignacio, the roads are unpaved, there is no ATM.  We are just a small place and also not a luxury hotel. There is no restaurant, no room service and no gym.”  That’s when I knew I had to go there. And I’ve been coming back ever since. Posada del Faro is one of my go-to places. I’ve been five times now and each time it is like coming back home. It’s a small place

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COOKING WITH FIRE IN JOSE IGNACIO

Each time I go back to either Argentina or Uruguay I’m amazed at the variety of methods they use with cooking with fire. We’re not talking about just wood fired grills or pizza ovens, but truly unique engineering feats to draw the best of wood, fire and iron.  The more I eat, the more I like. I’m going to start this file and keep updating with the different fire types I run across and from learning by seeing (and eating). JOSE IGNACIO — PARADOR LA HUELLA           JOSE IGNACIO — MARISMO   JOSE IGNACIO — LA SUSANA

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MY FAVORITE PLACE TO BE IN THIS WORLD

[JOSE IGNACIO, URUGUAY] — This is my FIFTH trip to this perfect little beach town, in the perfect little hotel — Posada del Faro. This last time in late February of 2014 where I finally dragged two couples that are my best friends and world travelers…and after years of hearing me yammering on and on about Jose Ignacio, they finally got to experience it firsthand. I think it’s a good sign that my friends Jim and Paula sent me this VRBO rental the week after we got back to start thinking about when we can go back again…and stay longer. I pretty much

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