1. I Latina
Credit: I Latina
Voted #1 of 2,336 restaurants in Buenos Aires on TripAdvisor, I’d say this is a sure bet on a good night. A night that you’ll spend eating and drinking your face off, only to roll yourself home and sleep like a happy, drunk baby. There will be no talk of going out after the 7th course of pure Colombian goodness hits your lips and makes its home in your belly. Even the final course of Colombian coffee infused with cinnamon couldn’t get you out of the food coma. The upscale Latin America cuisine brought to you by Colombian brothers Santiago and Camilo Macías will rock your taste buds right off.
The Food (July 2014 Menu):
- Appetizer: White corn arepas with anise and Colombian hogao.
- Bread Basket: Banana bread, Chipá, coconut bread, focaccia with olives and mixed seeds bread. Lime and pepper flavored butter.
- First course: Duck confit with tamarind and quinoa salad.
- Second course: Caramelized prawns with spicy pineapple and fennel.
- Third course: Barú style ceviche with seasonal fish, mango biche, coconut and lychee.
- Fourth course: Peruvian Chupe with grilled octopus.
- Fifth course: Braised pork in coffee and sugar cane reduction.
- Sixth course: Ecuadorian cacao truffle with sea salt and olive oil.
- Seventh course: Avocado and Aguardiente ice cream.
- Final course: Typical Colombian coffee infused with cinnamon. Petit Fours
- -Seven course tasting menu: ARG 600 pesos per person (beverages not included).
- -Wine tasting: ARG 300 pesos per person.
- Wine pairings were superb and well thought-out.
- Ambiance was energetic, fun, romantic. Intimate, open kitchen plan with stain glass backdrop.
- Service was prompt, helpful and happy throughout the 3 hour meal.
2. Casa Coupage
This is the place where wine snobs and foodies unite. Casa Coupage is every bit of a wine lovers dream and a foodie’s paradise as these people are laser-eye focused on delivering each well thought-out course with an equally as impressive well thought-out wine pairing. Santiago the Sommelier offered two different wines to compare with each dish to come and unobtrusively suggested wines that go better with certain elements on the plate, or merely wines that go better by themselves. It was a very educational experience, albeit a bit hard to remember those knowledgeable facts the next morning due to the extremely generous pours. My glass(es) were never empty. Ever. Set in an old private home, this dining experience isn’t your typical closed-door as it’s set up similar to restaurant style.
Sophistication and creative presentation were in abundance as the 7-course tasting menu accompanied by 7 wine pairings made their way to our table. Stand outs included lamb empanadas, fig and cheese plate, octopus, flank steak and a light fruity sorbet. As I alluded above, the wine really takes home the crown for this particular closed-door. The dinner was a bit pricey but well worth the pesos due to the plentiful wine and food set before you throughout the evening.
- The most memorable wine tasting experiences, with food, that I’ve had in Buenos Aires.
- Romantic, intimate setting with knowledgeable Sommeliers and wait staff.
3. Cocina Sunae
Asian-American owner Sunae believes that the epitome of Asian culture, and the way to a woman’s heart, is seen through the food. Girl, I hear you. There’s a reason she and her Argie husband Franco have received local and international praise after opening their Colegiales home in 2009 to bring in flavor-packed, well executed Southeast Asian cuisine. It’s delicious and packs a punch with her homemade hot sauce but beware: this isn’t like an old dumbed-down Argie “hot sauce.” It’ll have you putting out the fire until your head hits the pillow that night. Even though my eyes start watering upon chewing a Hot Tamale candy, I can appreciate Sunae’s home grown chiles that had me hydrating myself throughout the evening. As for the seating, we were placed at a table for 2, opting us out of meeting strangers, which was fine. Sometimes the luck of the puerta cerrada just isn’t on your side and you could get stuck next to a total creeper. Let it be known that wine is not included in the $250 peso dinner.
During this particular night, the 4-course menu took us to the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. For starters, the Sio Pao graced our plates with its doughy outer layer and perfectly cooked pork insides. The second course featured the Lumpia, a Filipino appetizer similar to a spring roll filled with vegetables and shrimp. The sweet chili sauce coupled with Sunae’s homemade sriracha hot sauce topped it off perfectly. The spicy green curry main dish was so good I wanted to pick up the bowl and drink its coconut milk and basil concoction, but remembered my manners at the last second. The real winner here was the cute miniature key lime pie with ginger crust and green tea ice cream for dessert. I devoured it in about 1 minute flat and was ready to do the whole experience again.
- Homemade sriracha sauce, even though I’m not typically a hot sauce kinda girl. It was just that tasty.
- Prompt, kind wait staff throughout the entire meal, who even ordered us a taxi upon receiving the check.
Something tells me the owners of Jueves a la Mesa have seen “Forks Over Knives,” a documentary on the science behind plant-based eating. It takes a lot of guts to open a vegetarian closed-door restaurant in the land of red wine and redder meats. Just when the overwhelming abundance of steak makes you start craving some lettuce, Jueves a la Mesa is just what you need. Bubbly and gracious hosts Meghan Lewis and Sofia Madriz open up their San Telmo apartment every Thursday (hence, Jueves…) at 8:30 for a night of stuffing yourself with things your body will adore. The ambience is cozy and friendly with a large communal table decorated with candles, flowers and a mouth-watering smell coming from the kitchen.
Damn right it’s good to eat plants. Check out this menu and let your taste buds take you to San Telmo for family style servings of the good stuff for $250 pesos. Meghan and Sofia go one step further and give out the recipes of their delectable craft. The organic wines served throughout dinner pair extremely well with all the health you’ll witness.
- Millet cornbread with lentil pate and caramelized onions
- Sweet potato and peanut curry with yamani rice
- Beet, carrot, and banana salad with homemade yogurt
- Homemade chocolate (heart shaped and dark), fresh fruit, rose scented almonds
- Ginger tea to cleanse the palette and helps the body absorb protein
- Healthy with no meat dishes, allowing my body to detox
- Cozy ambiance that’s out of the Palermo bubble
- Recipes to try (and most likely fail) at home
Credit: NOLA Buenos Aires
Y’all. Southern food and home-brewed beer? Do you KNOW me? Color me sold. Yep, the Southerners stand corrected in that NOLA stands for New Orleans, Louisiana. Of course this one-of-a-kind restaurant couldn’t whip up anything but delectable Cajun-inspired cuisine. Once held in the beautiful Palermo house of the NOLA chef herself, New Orleans native Liza Puglia has re-opened her doors as of July 2014 with Argentina’s first gastro-pub.
I suppose no longer technically a closed-door restaurant (we’ll give it an honorable mention), this new Argentine concept of gastro-pubs is rolling out the same menu, offering every bit of the awesomeness that Liza once served including fried chicken, gumbo, and Argentine craft beer. Brothers Marcelo and Francisco Terren make the beer at NOLA extra special with their pints of Broeders beer made with love from their micro-brewery. It’s like I never left the south of the good ole’ USofA! DISCLAIMER: The red chopped veggies that look like bell peppers as a side are in fact chiles. They will make you panic while tears steam down your face as your whole body becomes a fireball.
- So much Southern Hospitality that at times, I thought I was back home in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
- Fried Chicken out of this world.
- Relaxed environment with communal tables and lots of people eating with their hands – the definition of a down n’ dirty Southern meal.