El Santisimo's chef and owner, Federico Vega, has been known to tempt even the most saintly Cartagenero with his wicked fusion of Caribbean flavours and flamboyant French flair accrued in some of the best Cordon Bleu kitchens across Paris and London.
This restaurant's thematic menu serves up a biblical selection of saintly starters and main courses followed by a sinful range of desserts in an angelic setting that's become one of the city's culinary temples.
Tucked away on an inconspicuous street in San Diego backing onto the Sofitel Hotel Santa Clara, El Santisimo has reached the impressive milestone of 15 years serving the most illustrious of visitors to the city.
Found formerly in the Calle el Santisimo from which the restaurant takes its name and much of its interior inspiration, the restaurant's religious tilt throws works by local artist, Leopoldo Convavisa and combines them with the kitsch creations of Vega's wife and muse Marta Puente. Empty wine bottles provide a colourful upcycled lighting scheme and the desire to sing "ten green bottles" as you're led to your table.
The main restaurant may be more formal than its earlier counterpart but the extra space has allowed Vega to indulge his bacchanalian spirit with the expansion of the wine cellar and the addition of the Cacerola del Santisimo wine-bar and lounge.
Treat yourself to Vega's subtle take on Cartagena's traditional fish platter, La Santisima Trinidad - King Prawn grilled and served in a light coconut-based sauce and served with coconut rice and plantain soaked in the local soft drink and the La Lujuria (lust) dessert, a Mocha crepe filled with vanilla ice cream and served with a mint chocolate sauce.
Like all the good things in life, the devil really is in the detail.