Buenos Aires recommendations
I'll be going to BA at the end of September with about 6 colleagues who have never been there. I'm looking for a recommendation for dinner at a typical yet upscale and comfortable restaurant (beef, I suppose) in either Puerto Madero or La Recoleta neighborhood. Not too expensive but not cheap either.
I was in BA a few years ago and meals were incredibly reasonable. Are prices still cheap?
Not near as cheap as they were a few years ago, we're going through inflation that runs somewhere between 35 and 50% per year, and with the vast amount of recent tourism (went from 750,000 people a year visiting the country before the "crash" to getting close to 5 million), not surprisingly, restaurants and hotels have quickly learned to take advantage.
Puerto Madero, in particular, is designed around separating tourists from their money, hmmm... come to think of it, it's pretty much why it was built. Still, some of them are decent quality, though for beef I'd generally head elsewhere... In Recoleta... for beef, I suppose for an upscale I'd think about something like Clark's or Munich in Village Recoleta. But, you'll find far better parrillas in other zones, I'm not sure if there's a reason you want to limit to those particular two. In particular, I'd think about La Cabrera, Miranda, and/or Don Julio in Palermo. There are several spots in Las Canitas that would be worth going to as well, and it's a small, restaurant row sort of setup that's fun to wander around.
I think in general you'd find that a better approach. Recoleta certainly will feel like an upper middle class/upper class urban neighborhood, and the dining, for the most part, is of that nature too. Puerto Madero, for me, would be like taking someone to the South Street Seaport in New York, or Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco - fun, but it just isn't where I'd first think of for food, even for non-experienced tourists. Palermo will be a mix, depending on where you are, San Telmo is kind of a semi-bohemian neighborhood, but these days gets so many tourists that it doesn't have that edgy feel anymore. And, as I mentioned, Las Canitas is sort of our new "restaurant row".
We ate at La Cabrera twice and Don Julio once in July and can recommend them both. La Cabrera had larger portions if that is imprtant o you and tons of sides-- sharing is necessary if you are a normal eater. The sommelier at Don Julio is friendly and enjoys sharing his love of wine.