Two weeks in Argentina
My wife and I will be spending the first half of Decemeber 2007 in Argentina, visiting BA, Iguazu and Mendoza. We have been to Chile twice and this is our first trip to Argentina. In BA we will be staying in the Palermo area. In Mendoza we will be renting a car. All suggestions as to foods, wines, music, vineyards, etc. greatly appreciated. The list speaks well to restaurants serving steaks - can anyone recommend good Italian restaurants too. Not interested in touristic places and willing to go that extra bit to tease out something special.
We just returned from 2 great weeks in Argentina. There are lots of comments about BA, so I won't bore you except to say that we had a great and very local lunch at El Obrero in the La Boca section (don't go at night) and a very good steak dinner at La Brigada. In Iguazu, we had a disappointing dinner (not bad, but nothing special) at the Iguazu Grand Hotel, but an excellent dinner at La Rueda in town. It has a very large menu (meats, seafood (even local river fish), etc. Very reasonably priced and a very good wine list. In the Mendoza area we stayed both at the Park Hyatt and Cavas Wine Lodge. In the city, we were very disappointed in Azafran-overcooked meat and very slow service. However, we had a great dinner at Bistro M at the Hyatt-much less expensive than we guessed for a deluxe hotel restaurant. In Mendoza, we had a great experience at the "Vines of Mendoza", really a wine bar where you can try flights of Mendoza wines as well as glasses, especially from small producers whose wineries are not open to the public. They are located right around the corner from the Hyatt. We also had 2 excellent dinners at Cavas, but it's not very convenient unless you are staying there. Our favorite wineries were Carinae-small production, very personal tour in the Maipu district; Archeval Ferrer-another small producer, excellent, but VERY expensive wines, but the best "tour" of our trip, in Lujan de Cuyo; and Andeluna, a larger producer, but located in the Uco Valley in one of the most beautiful locations imaginable-also an excellent tour guide. We had 2 wine lunches; one at Familia Zuccardi-huge amounts of very high quality meats(beef, ribs and pork all included) as well as just about as much wine as you could drink (of their medium lines) and at Ruca Malen-really a gourmet meal of set courses-one of our best meals of the trip. One suggestion, in general, that we found about beef in Argentina. If you like your meat less than medium (or medium-well, for that matter), order it RARE! It won't come bloody red, but you'll get it the way medium-rare is prepared at a good restaurant in the US. Make reservations at all wineries that you want to visit-you'll get an English speaker and many of the wineries will NOT let you in without an appointment. Have a great trip and I hope some of these suggestions help you.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, do your best to visit Restaurant Dora when in BA. If you go early in your stay, you just might go back... it's that good. You could do worse for your first Argentine steak.
And if you are cocktailing, check out the lounge at the Hotel Carlton. We lucked into staying there and loved it. They have a dark, comfy piano bar and bartenders that know what they are doing.
Just got back from two weeks in the Mendoza area. One of the best meals of my life - Francis Melman 1889. Its very elegant and not impossible to get reservations - especially midweek and for lunch. Its expensive by AR standards, but extremely reasonable compared to the US and the EU. Its located right next to Escorihuela Gascon winery, which is also worth a tour. Tango lessons on Wed night!