San Carlos de Bariloche and Cerro Catedral, Argentina Restaurant Reviews and Other Food and Wine Tips by ALEDM
Cassis (de Ernesto Wolf), Ruta 82, Peñon de Arelauquen, Lago Gutiérrez, (54 2944) 476-167, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: www.cassis.com.ar Our bill for 4 of us was AP$520 the first time we went. They serve wonderful amuse bouche. (We ordered: water AP$20, 1 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec AP$67, 1 Escorihuela Gascon Sangio AP$58, 1 menu sabores alemans AP$135, 1 sopa de hinojo AP$28, 1 sopa de maiz y langostino AP$28, 1 trucha y puerros AP$55, 1 lomito de liebre y semola AP$55, 1 kassler estilo aleman AP$55, 3 cafe AP$14=AP$488+ tip). The place is lovely, the service was very good and the food was quite refined and delicious. The second time we went, it was just as good as the first time even though it was much more crowded. We had 1 ensalada de hojas verdes AP$32, 1 sopa de maiz y langostinos AP$32, and we shared 1 strudel de cordero AP$65. We drank Andeluna Malbec 2004 AP$51. The third time we went it was just as good and sophisticated. The menu changes so we can try new dishes. The two different amuse bouche and intermezzo of palate-cleansing granita are always welcome and fun. For our third meal we shared a creative chicken liver paté that was smooth, tastey and flambéed (AP$32). For our main we shared a delicious lomo de tenero (AP$65). We asked Ernesto whether we were getting two portions instead of just sharing one. He admitted that in order to split the plates in the kitchen, they choose 2 small pieces of meat instead of just cutting one piece. We thanked him and said that it wasn't necessary for us. His standard portions are quite large and are enough for us. We each had a dessert: one chocolate (AP$25) and one fruitos de campo (AP$30). The wine that Ernesto recommended was Maestre de Campo Malbec 2002 AP$66 and very good. Rating: 9.5/10.
Los Césares, Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Av. Bustillo km 25.5, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54 2944) 448-530, e-mail: email@example.com, web: www.llaollao.com Our bill for the two of us was AP$239 + tip. The room is lovely, with sparkling silver and nice art work. The service was excellent. The tables were pretty, with nice china and silverware. The food was very good too! There was an amuse bouche of a shrimp on a bed of creamed salmon, with some greens, maracuya (passion fruit) sauce and trout eggs. It was original and tasty. We shared a starter of remoulade de centolla on a bed of slaw (AP$46). The crab was not great but the dish was good. For our main we shared a duck breast with orange foam, mashed potato and baby vegetables (AP$62); very good. We were offered a complementary plate of chocolates and we had a croustillant, a kind of cheesecake in a cone shape, encrusted with nuts and with a core of chocolate (AP$27). We drank a Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 2005 (AP$88) that was recommended by the sommelier. It really was a fine dining experience. The second time we went the food was not as good as the first time and the experience was not as pleasant. Rating: 7.5/10
El Casco Art Hotel Restaurant, Av. Bustillo km 11.5, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54 2944) 462 929, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: www.hotelelcasco.com We’ve had four very good meals at the restaurant and think it’s very good. The service was excellent even when we came with a group of 10 people and were not the only big group in the restaurant. The room is beautiful too, with terrific art. For one meal by ourselves we spent AP$209 + tip. (We had a bottle of Mendoza Malbec Altos Las Hornigas AP$65, Langostinos AP$32, Confit de Pato AP$48, Bizcocho humedo AP$25, Fondue Chocolate AP$25, 2 Cafe AP$14 = AP$209) The fourth time we went the bill was the same, the food was excellent and we had langostinso dorados (AP$32), lomo de ternera (AP$48), 1 dessert of isla flotante de frutos which was original and good (AP$28). The sommelier recommended a Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserva D. O. C. (AP$85) and we liked it very much. The one big problem is that the restaurant allows smoking on one end of the long room. The exhaust is bad and when one couple and the owner smoked at one end (and we were at the other end) we smelled it. It was warm enough for the waiter to open a window and that was sufficient to remedy the smell. When a person near us in the non-smoking end of the room began to smoke, the waiter reminded the table that they had booked a non-smoking table and they stopped smoking. We have eaten five times at this restaurant and have had almost everything on the menu. Once Martín, the chef made us a special meal of a salmon ravioli and a duck breast that was excellent, at the suggestion of the waiter named Luís. The waiter, Gustavo, is also first rate.Rating: 8.5/10.
El Talisman, Arelauquen Lodge Golf & Polo, Ruta 82, Lago Gutiérrez, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2994)467-626 www.arelauquenlodge.com, AP$148+tip (We shared a Confit de Hongos del Sur AP$20, Costillas de Cordero AP$35, Escorihuela Gascon Syrah AP$65, Apple Crumble AP$16, 2 cafes AP$6=AP$148 + tip). We have been back two more times and the food has been consistently good and well presented. The service (especially the waiter named Pablo) has gotten better and we have enjoyed it more each time. We have been there four times now and had one over-cooked chicken as a main course out of the four (even though we asked for it to be hugoso/juicey. Rating: 8/10
Kandahar, 20 de Febrero 698, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 42 4702, e-mail: email@example.com, web: www.kandahar.com.ar The room is unique and comfortable. The service was good (until the place got packed). The food was creative and good. We spent AP$164 and shared a Beet root ravioli with ricotta, a Rabbit, wine and dessert. The second time the food was also excellent and so was the service (until the place got packed again). We shared a ravioli with wild mushrooms (hungos) and lamb chops and both dishes were very good. Rating: 7.5/10.
Luna de Oriente, Avda. de los Pioneros km 3.9 y Boock, S. C. de Bariloche, Tel (54-2944) 442 574, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: www.lunadeoriente.com A new restaurant that opened in 2007. For something different, we enjoyed the Middle Eastern food at this restaurant owned by an Armenian, Marcello, and his charming Italian, Argentine wife, Melina, who also speaks Greek. We have been back numerous times and each time we've had a fine meal. The first time we went we spent AP$114 + tip and shared a Terrazas Malbec AP$38, 1 hummos AP$10, 1 laban AP$10, 1 basterma AP$10, 1 yabrak AP$14, 1 lehneyun AP$5, 1 cafe Arabe AP$9 (plus an assortment of dulce to take home AP$16 and pita to take home AP$2). The room is nice and the service was very good. On return visits we’ve tried the lamb done Greek style (very good), the moussaka (also good) and other dishes. Rating: 8/10
naan (de Erica and Gustavo Harsanyi), Campichuelo 568, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54 2944) 421-785, email@example.com The first time we went our bill for 4 people was AP$352 + tip 40 = AP$392. It is a lovely and very small restaurant. Erica is totally charming and recommended the Tomero which we liked very much. The food was good the first time, not great. They serve amuse bouche which was good. We shared a starter of champignones (AP$20) which was okay, one of us had the Lebanese platter (AP$40) that had authentic tastes, one trout (AP$35) which was dry, 1 lomo (AP$42) which was very good, and one riñóncitos (kidneys) which was also very good (AP$35), Tomero Malbec 2004 AP$55 x 2 = AP$110 (www.carlospulentawines.com from Vistalba), 3 cafés AP21, 3 dessert wines AP$15). The second time we went the food was excellent and the service even better. We shared a starter of crépes (AP$30) that was delicious and a main of merluza fish cooked in the oven with vegetables that we loved (AP$35). We also shared a fruit dessert (AP$20) and had another bottle of Tomero Malbec 2004 (AP$55). Rating: 8/10
Yuco, España 268, S. C. de Bariloche, cell fono: (54 2944) cell: 1568 3676 and fixed line: 425-942, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The restaurant is small and cozy and the service was excellent. It's a new restaurant that opened in 2007. There was a lovely amuse bouche of a pumpkin soup with a jalapeño pepper hint. The bread and grisini bread sticks were imaginative. The menu is small and has a Mediterranean influence. We shared 2 starters: a tomato flan and a trout terrine. Both were good. Of our 5 main dishes, 4 were excellent. The 5th was a pasta dish and it was probably a mistake to have ordered it. The chef-owner came to our table and was gracious. He worked at Trois Gros in France, a 3-star Michelin restaurant that we loved. The total was AP$400 for 5 of us. The second time we went there was just the two of us and it was even better. We shared a crotin de cabra which was goat cheese done three different ways (AP$27). We probably wouldn't have ordered it had we understood that crotin meant cheese, it was very good. We had the lamb done in two different ways for our main and it was excellent and served with a very good couscous (AP$46). We had a trilogia of chocolate (AP$25) and a gratin de uvas (AP$22) for dessert. Our was a Sophenia Malbec (AP$67). Our bill was AP$179 + tip (with a 15% discount on food for residents) and the evening was very enjoyable. The waitress, María is exellent. Rating: 9/10
Lovely Places to Experience
Peuma Hue (Carre Lauquen), Gutiérrez Lake southern shore, 258 Hwy, km 2014, PO Box 394, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 501 030, e-mail email@example.com, web: www.peuma-hue.com This is an estancia that welcomes outside guests. We had a light lunch, sitting in front of an expanse of windows and Lago Gutiérrez. The service was excellent and effusive. Since it is very small and the food service is only for guests, it is important to call first to make sure, before the long ride, that they can accommodate outside guests. The 3km of dirt road is rough and would be difficult at night.
Bahia Serena, Av Bustillo 12.250, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: : (54-2944) 524-614, AP$80 + tip (We shared a Ravioli Verdura AP$15, a Lasagna AP$20, a La Conseulta Malbec AP$31, and a tarte manzana AP$14). Limited menu mostly pizza & pasta, but good. The owner is charming but the server wasn't . Rating: 6.5/10.
Batistín, Villa Huinid, Av. Bustillo km 2.6, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 523-523, web: www.villahuinid.com (We ate lunch in the bar and had 2 soups for AP$42. They were okay.) Another time we went for dinner and spent AP$155 + tip. They served an amuse bouche of mushrooms bruschetta which was okay. We ordered a Finca La Linda Malbec (AP$55), we shared one starter of salad with sesames and quinoa with deer paté (AP$34). It was good. For the main, we shared a cordero roll in Malbec sauce AP$54. It was also good. We had a side order pumpkin purée too (AP$12). Rating: 6.5/10
Casita Suiza, Av. Quaglia 342, S. C. de Bariloche, fono (54-2944) 426-111 We spent AP$124 + tip. The room is nicely decorated and the tables are close together but not too badly. The service is very good. They give a complementary glass of okay white wine. We had a Trapiche Malbec AP$53 which was good. We shared a paté casero (AP$13) which was tasteless. Then for the main we shared a gulasch con spaetzle (AP$26) and a side order of chucrut (AP$12). Nothing special. The strudel AP13 + crema AP$3.50 for dessert was mushy and not the way we like it at all. The decaf coffee was Nescafe and not good (AP$3.50). Rating: 6/10
Cerveceria Blest, Av. E. Bustillo km 11.6, fono: (54-2944) 461-026 We enjoyed the brewery atmosphere for a change. We had 3 Bock beers for AP$21, a Pretzel (AP$4), a Strudel de la huerta (AP$15), a spatzel con goulash (AP$22 ),a Pan Casero (AP$3.50), and mini fondue chocolate (AP$18). It was all good and we enjoyed it. We also had a fine meal on our second and third visits. And the service has been first-rate. Rating: 6.5/10.
El Chúcaro, Asador Criollo, Av. Bustillo 11.5, S.C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 525-809 We enjoyed it. It was a very reasonably priced AP$76 for a good lomo AP$28, a pasta sorrentino AP$14, and a bottle of Trapiche Malbec AP$24. The space is pleasant (although the non-smoking area is a bit small and too close to the smoking-bar area). The service was good. Rating: 6/10.
El Patacon, Av. E. Bustillo km 7, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 442-898, www.elpatacon.com.ar The space is nice but the people are rather pretentious. The lamb was so-so and the other dishes were okay. Rating: 6/10.
Familia Weiss, Vce. Alte. O'Connor 401, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 2944-435-789, www.ahumaderoweiss.com AP$129 + tip (2 cubiertos x AP$2=AP$4, 1 Newen Malbec AP$45 (Bodega Del Fin del Mundo, Patagonia www.bodegadelfindelmundo.com), 1 trucha ahumada AP$12, 1 spetzel AP$16, 1 goulash, 1 dessert and 1 chucrut.) It was good (actually better than we expected) and the service was good too. Rating: 6.5/10
Il Gabbiano (de Guillermo Kempin), Av. Bustillo km 24.3, S. C. de Bariloche, Llao Llao, fono: (54-2944) 448 346, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web www.gabbiano.com.ar For 4 people it cost AP$392+40 tip = AP$432. The service was very good and the rooms are nicely decorated. Our friends love it and Guillermo. For us, it wasn’t special enough or good enough. The chef, Mimi Barchetto is charming. We shared a Antipasto Toscano (AP$27) and an Ensalada Caprese (AP$27), We had 3 pastas for AP$154, 1 Tagliote Roseito (AP$52), 2 coffees (AP$12), and 1 bottle of Alue Negro for AP$120. Rating: 6/10.
Jauja, Quaglia 366, CP8400, S. C. de Bariloche The menu is extensive and we probably didn’t order well. The space is pleasant and the service was good. We spent AP$109.5 + tip. (cubierto x 2 = AP$5, empanada de ciervo + cordero AP$10, one filet de merluza which we shared AP$18.50 (it was fried in a batter), vegetables grillado (AP$15) which were good, a Terrazas Malbec AP$50, a Budin de pan (AP$7), and a tea (AP$4).) Rating: 6/10.
La Costa Restaurant at Sol del Nahuel, Av. Bustillo km 5.4, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2994) 520 700, e-mail: email@example.com, web: www.soldenahuel.com.ar It is very small and probably only available for guests of the hotel. We had two meals there, including a very good trout with roasted vegetables. Rating: 7/10
La Fonda del Tio, Mitre 1130, S. C. de Bariloche, fono (54-2944) 435-011. "El preferido de los Barilochenses" It is a very simple restaurant that doesn't take reservations. Even so, in high season our wait was only about 10 minutes (but my pants were burned by the heater in the waiting area). Since it’s in all of the guidebooks, we thought it would be packed with foreigners. It didn’t look like that; it looks like lots of locals were there. The service was very good and fast. We spent AP$59+ tip. We had a starter called Matambre Casero, which was rolled beef with vegetables and an egg (very good) for AP $8, a sopa de verduras for AP$6, the plate of the day for Monday: a chicken portugueses-polla a la portugueses for AP$14, french fries done crispy like we like them for AP$6, a Trapiche Malbec for AP$20, and a bread pudding for AP$5. All very good for what it is. Rating 7/10.
La Trattoria Famiglia Bianchi, Moreno 238, S. C. de Bariloche fono: (54-2944)421-596, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org AP$160.50 (2 cubiertos = AP$2, 1 trota grigliata AP$26, 1 lasagne AP$24, 1 Bianchi Famiglia AP$65, agua AP$3.5, 2 zabliogne AP$12.5x2= AP$25 + AP$15 tip = AP$160.50). The food was very good as was the service. The space is small and the tables are close together but not too bad and there is no smoking allowed. The owner is charming and the zabliogne was made specially for us even though the restaurant was busy. Rating: 7/10.
Marmite, Mitre 329, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 423-685. AP$122+tip. The food was okay and the service was okay too. The tables are close together but they have a separate no smoking area. (2 cubierto AP$4, 1 Gulash Budapest AP$24, 1 chucrut AP$12, 1 trucha ahumada AP$38, 1 Latidud 33 Malbec AP$34, 1 appelstrudel AP$1)) Rating: 6.5/10
Orillas Del Lago Comidas Chinas, Av. Bustillo 8.040, S. C. de Bariloche, fono (54-2944) 462-841. The food is good and authentic enough. The server is pleasant and the space is warm. When it’s busy the kitchen gets overwhelmed. Once for lunch, we waited 1 hour for 2 soups. It has gotten worse each time we have returned and, after the 4th time, we probably will not return. Rating: 5/10.
Rincón Patagónico, Ruta a Llao Llao km 14, paraje Laguna Fantasma, Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 463- 063, e-mail: email@example.com, web: www.rinconpatagonico.com (AP$174: we shared one of the famous lamb asado plates and wine. It was very good and the space is pleasant.) We have been back and each time the restaurant has been very good and the service quite pleasant (with Maria as our waitress). Rating: 7/10
23 Sillas, 20 de Febrero 40, S. C. de Bariloche. Open 8 am - 8 pm: café, bruncheteria. We had two very good soups for lunch. It is tiny but the service was great and it has lots of magazines and papers to read. Rating: 6/10
Our Least Favorite Restaurants
Dias de Zapata, Morales 362, fono: (54-2944) 423-128, S. C. de Bariloche. We went on a Friday night when we couldn’t get into any other restaurant. We had passable nachos with guacamole (AP$19), Tacos mariana (AP$25) which weren’t tacos, had no sauce and were dry, Burritos dante (AP$26) that was one thing and not a burrito, and 4 beers (AP$29.50) with a cubierto of AP$4. Rating: 4.5/10.
El Boliche de Alberto, Av. Bustillo km 8.8, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: 462-285, web: www.elbolichedealberto.com We shared a lomo de chorizo (which was tough, as usual), french fries and a bottle of wine. We didn’t like the servers’ attitudes or the food or the place. Rating: 3/10
Huang Ji Zhong Can Guan, Rolando 268, Local 10, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944) 428-168,.AP$77+tip. We had one hot and sour soup that wasn't hot or sour, just peppery, we had one calamar picante which was tough, we had one chicken in black beans that didn't have enough black beans, and one tofu dish that was not distinguished. Also included in the low price was a small bottle of wine for AP$14. The service wasn't too good. The tables of ethnic Chinese (and there were 3 tables of them--usually a sign of good food) got their food first and they were allowed to smoke. Rating: 5/10
La Playa, Av. Bustillo km 8, Playa Bonita, fono: 54-2944)461-142, www.laplayadebariloche.com.ar We had 2 salads for AP$24 they were okay but we didn't like the menu for dinner (too limited) and didn't like the waiter. The view of the lake at luinch is lovely. Rating: 5/10
Vegetariano, 20 de Febrero 730, (8400) S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2994)15 502- 21. We’ve had lunch there twice and twice the food was uninspired and bland. The space is nice and the servers are pleasant. We spent AP$20. Rating: 4/10
Achavil de los Andes (de Ivan Gustavo Gaberret) Juan Manuel de Rosas 515, S. C. de Bariloche (8400) tel (54-2994) 400 322, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (2 cubiertos AP$5, Estepa Tionnes Malbec AP$38, 1 pulpo AP$35, 1 cazuela AP$30, 1 arroz AP$5= AP$113+7= AP$120). The room is large, cold, uninteresting and, although it’s on the lake, at night you can’t see it anyway. The food is awful. The service was okay. Rating: 1/10
Aura, Hotel Blue Tree, San Martín 441, fono: (54-2944)456-900. We didn’t stay for dinner. It seemed like the room was more like a hallway than a dining room and the menu wasn’t interesting.
Design Hotel Restaurant. We didn’t stay. The room was cold and the menu had nothing on it we wanted.
La Jirafa, Palacios 288, fono: 423-669, e-mail: email@example.com This was recommended to us by the health food store employee when we asked for a nice place for a light lunch, like soup. This is an uninspired place with the normal, uncreative items on the menu. We had 2 soups that weren't good. Rating: 2
La Roca Parador de Montaña (de Juan and Nelita). The owners are lovely and charming. This is architecturally very interesting and beautiful space. The fire is terrific and the views are awesome. We've had good salads there. The first time we went we had 2 Gioso de Lenteja AP$56 + 2 cubiertos VIP AP$4 = AP$60 + tip. They were huge and it was too much food. Rating: 7/10.
Las Nubes Cerro Catedral, 2 soups APA$14, 1 water AP$6, 2 cafe AP$10 1 tarta Manzana AP$10 = AP$40 + tip. It was very crowded and the service was incredibly slow. This is run by the same people as Refugio Lynch where the service and soup are excellent even when it is packed. Rating: 5/10.
Rodeo, Base Cerro Catedral, S. C. de Bariloche. It was open for dinner and quiet, with a great sunset view and the service was good. We went there at that time instead of sitting in the car waiting in the line to be able to exit Cerro Catedral. However, smoking is permitted. We had 1 morcilla (AP$4), lomo del bosque (AP$32) that was very good, 1 ravioles hongos (AP$23.50) that was good, 1 papas fritas (AP$7), cubierto noche was AP$6, and 1 Famiglia Bianchi Malbec AP$70 for a total of AP$142.50 + tip. Rating:5.5/10
Refugio Barrilete, Cerro Catedral. (AP$30 + tip.) We had two sopas de verdura. They are filled with chunks of vegetables, just the way we like it and served with garlic bread and cheese. The place is small but has a non-smoking section. The views aren't great and neither is the service. Rating: 6.5/10
Refugio Lynch, Cerro Catedral. The best service and soups on the mountain. 2 soups: AP$28 plus tip. Rating: 7/10
Shops to Buy Food
Fruit and Vegetables:
El Comahue, Gallardo 190, esquina Vellegas, S. Carlos de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944)426-397. This place has a very good selection of fruit and vegetables, including fresh strawberries in mid-winter. I also found a jar of horseraddish there. They have coffee in bags without sugar when other places are out of it. We buy a baguette that is frozen there which we cook ourselves. It is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside: in other words, how we like it. You can also buy them freshly baked there.
La Casita de Maní, Av. de los Pioneros 8000, S. Carlos de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944)529-543. There are other locations as well (Bustillo 4750 and 20 de Febrero 408). Their bread sticks are the best. Some desserts are good too.
Karavay, Av. de los Pioneros 7158, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944)523-491. The Russian black bread loaf is our favorite.
Spices, Dried Herbs, Dried Fruits and Other exotic products
Alsina Prod. Natuales y Dietéticos, John O'Connor 172, S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944)422-404, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This shop has everything that I was looking for including maple syrup, Japanese rice wine and rice vinegar, tahini, horseradish in a jar and jarred hummos.
El Cardumen, Otto Goedecke 535 (across from La Anonima), S. C. de Bariloche, fono: (54-2944)31617. The fish is all fileted but does come in fresh. There is frozen shellfish as well.
Each supermarket chain has certain things that others don't. Todo, for instance, has the natural yogurt (without any sugar) that we like (made by Yoghurtunghé), as well as the fire starters that we think are good. La Anonima has good parking and generally has coffee for brewing without sugar already added. No supermarket has decaffeinated coffee so we bought decaffeinated coffee beans at the restaurant at the Hotel Llao Llao in a 1 kg bag and ground it ourselves at home. We bought an excellent Black and Decker food processor at Carrefour for AP$179.
No supermarket stocks fresh chicken on a consistent basis. Presumably you are meant to go to specialty shops for that.
Malbecs That We Recommend
We love Malbecs and have drunk some wonderful ones while in Argentina. Here is a sampling with our comments:
Ternera Malbec AP$35, Carlos Pulenta, Vistalba, Mendoza, www.carlospulentawines.com
We loved it.
Andeluna Malbec 2005 AP$30 Excellent
Salentein Malbec 2005 AP$39.89 Very good
Terazzas Malbec 2005 Very good
Tomero Malbec 2004 AP$55 (in a restaurant), Carlos Pulenta, Vistalba, Mendoza www.carlospulentawines.com Very, very good,
Luigi Bosca, D.O.C. Malbec Single Vineyard (Luján de Cuyo) 2004 AP$85 in a restaurant and excellent
Trumpeter Malbec 2005 AP$26.39 in the market: very good
Trapiche Malbec AP$53 fine
Finca La Linda Malbec AP$55 looked like cherry juice; too light
Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 2005 AP$88 in a restaurant, AP$39.99 in the store (recommended by the sommelier at Césares) Really, really good
Enzo Bianchi Gran Cru (blend), San Rafael -- about AP$110 Very good
Maestre de Campo Malbec 2002 AP$66 in a restaurant. Very good
Sophenia Malbec 2006 (AP$67) in a restaurant. Very good and ready to drink. It didn't need to open either.
Dolium Malbec AP$55 at a restaurant. Very good.
Xumek Malbec 2003 Valle de Zonda San Juan AP$56 in a restaurant. Not so good.
Thank you for the excellent review. An update as of April 2010: Yuco is closed for good, although they haven't shut down their website. Our best meal was at Cassis, followed by Naan and a very pleasant all-inclusive lunch at Llao Llao's "Jardin de Invierno". We also had a good dinner at Charming Luxury Lodge. Il Gabbiano offers good trattoria food in a lovely house with a burning fireplace. Don Molino Asador was too plain. We looked at the menu in Los Cesares (Llao Llao) and were unimpressed with the choices and impressed with the prices. Ice cream at Jauja didn't meet our expectations, just as the chocolates sold all over Bariloche, definitely not worth the calories. The only worthwhile spot missing from the comprehensive review above is Butterfly, but it was closed for vacations in the low season.
Had dinner last night at Don Monlino Asador and was quite pleased. I arrived late at my hotel and the restaurant was right around the corner, so my expectations weren't especially high to begin with. Also, I'd been told by the hotel concierge that it was sort of a family-style restaurant, so I wasn't put off by what you call "too plain." In fact, the plain wooden table and less than luxurious napery gave it an authenticity I found somewhat charming. Took the waiter's recommendation and ordered what they call a rib-eye steak. You can order most meats in half or full portions and the half portion was more than enough for one person. I asked for it medium-rare and it arrived a bit more well done than I would have liked, but not much. I thought it was a very good piece of meat. I prefer the flavor of dry-aged steak with a char, but this was a very tasty, well-prepared steak. For a side I ordered sauteed mushrooms, and they too were nicely prepared and served---and not overly salty. The place has a huge wine list, but they only recently began offering a half bottle; no choice, but it was a lovely Mendoza Malbec. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that someone go out of their way to be sure not to miss this place, but I had a very satisfying experience.