Andres Carne De Res, pictured, is guaranteed to be one of the wackiest group dinner outings. Picture: Instagram.
My job is to cover the stock market. I do this with the mindset of a trader, something I honed while working at Bear Stearns and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The physical act of trading is only half the job; the other half is taking care of clients and picking up the tab at dinner. Last summer, work took me to South America and Mexico, where I kept a journal of all the hot spots recommended by clients, colleagues and locals.

Here’s a guide to eating your way through the financial hubs of Latin America. 

Steak spot No 1: LA CABRERA

One name that always pops up among people's favourite steakhouses is La Cabrera in the neighbourhood of Palermo Soho. While you wait outside for a table, you might get lucky as servers usher out platters of sausage on toothpicks and pitchers of boozy punch. Once inside this heavily decorated house of meat, expect to be enamoured with not just the pièce de résistance (the bife de chorizo) but also the mélange of hot and cold side dishes such as the veggie cheese dip, a standout on any appetiser menu.

The new spot: LOCAL BY RAUSCH

A force in Colombia’s food scene thanks to the popularity of their flagship Criterió* , the Rausch brothers opened the latest addition to their upmarket restaurant empire a year ago. Jorge Rausch, a star judge on MasterChef Colombia, sees the menu at Local as a modern take on the traditional food. Begin with starters, such as the arepas with braised lamb and tucupi sauce or the yucca-and-cheese-stuffed fritters known as carimañolas. As for the mains, the best-seller is a Posta Cartagenera, a tender short rib with sweet tamarind sauce, coconut sticky rice with raisins, red plantains and avocado mousse.

The must-try spot: ANDRES CARNE DE RES 

This is guaranteed to be one of the wackiest group dinner outings. Tourists and locals head for this mazelike, multifloored destination for food and entertainment in the heart of Bogotá’s upmarket Zona T area. They come for the 60-plus-page menu of Colombian bites, the plethora of booze options, the live music, the dancing that inevitably breaks out as the night progresses, and the waitstaff that changes into Halloween-style costumes for street performance acts that vary from the amusing to the creepy. Get the night started with a round of Bogotá Brewing Co beers and shared plates of chorizo, chicharrones, and tostones.

The hotel spot: J&G GRILL

It would have been a mistake to miss out on what I heard was a can’t-miss spot for business lunches and dinners from Michelin-starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten. At the luxurious St Regis hotel in the heart of Mexico City, the place has an immaculate interior, along with a massive wall of wine and an enclosed patio with a view. While the glazed short ribs with apples and jalapeño purée, as well as the oversize black pepper octopus tentacle in tarragon sauce, were fantastic.

The drinks spot: SKYE AT HOTEL UNIQUE

Skye is a sprawling rooftop bar and restaurant at the aptly named five-star Hotel Unique, recently rated one of the best hotels in South America by Condé Nast Traveller readers. The thumping beats of a DJ play to crowds of young finance hotshots. Attractive couples perch at two-tops, knocking back caipirinhas and making their way through sushi. Tourists survey the panoramic views of the skyline while tiptoeing around the colourfully lit pool surrounded by daybeds. Be prepared: The line for non-hotel guests can snake around the block on busy nights. - The Washington Post.