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Sep 1, 2008 01:07 PM

Eight Nights in Buenos Aires

Leaving in a week for 8 nights in Buenos Aires, staying first at Caesar Park and then Claridge Hotel with 5 nights in Mendoza in between. Have narrowed down our restaurant choices, based on Chowhound posts etc. Please help with a few opinions. Must do's seem to be La Vineria, 647 Dinner Club, Camarico, La Brigada and La Farmacia. Possibly Juana M. Not very interested in trekking up to Palermo. What is best in Puerto Madera - preferably fish? Katrine? Does any chowhound know anything about Club Espanol or Casa Catalunya?

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  1. La Vineria - definitely. 647 - good choice, keeping in mind that it's not particularly local style cuisine, but might be a nice change of pace. Camarico and La Farmacia both closed back around the beginning of the year. La Brigada - good, but there are better choices for steaks in town - Don Julio, El Trapiche, even a touristy spot like La Cabrera. Puerto Madero is a tourist trap - it's like going to the South Street Seaport in NYC or Fisherman's Wharf in SF - the restaurants aren't bad, but they're generally far more expensive than food of equal quality or better in other parts of town. Casa Catalunya - expensive but exquisite - again, not local food, it's Catalan food, but for a change of pace, excellent.

    By the way - in terms of getting around, this isn't a big city geographically. If you're at the Caesar Park you're only a 5-10 minute cab ride from Palermo, it's no further than Puerto Madero or San Telmo - and there are certainly better restaurants there or in San Telmo, or even staying within Recoleta.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Casa SaltShaker

      Thanks for your input. Maybe I should provide more info. I used to travel on business annually to BA 6-9 years ago. Alone female. Walked everywhere and, at night, taxis back. Dinners at mercy of colleagues and I remember chewy overcooked meat and leaden lasagna. Now returning with husband, combining business with pleasure. Understand Palermo is now trendy but am allergic to trendy. However mind is open so can reconsider. My thoughts? Wed, first night, tired, business next day, walk to Juana M, dinner and then crash. Next day trade show and cocktail party in hotel then crash. Fri meetings then start vacation - lunch at El Sanjuanino? That night Puerto Madero for a drink and wander around. Dinner where? Saturday La Brigada - which one? Or steak in Palermo? Sunday La Vineria. Next 5 nights in Mendoza. Then, back in BA, Saturday wedding anniversary at 647. Sunday will definitely want something local, so how about Cafe San Juan? Monday Casal de Catalunya or is this too low key for our last night?

      1. re: britinflorida

        I agree with Casa Saltshaker on Puerto Madero, it is probably my least favourite part of Buenos Aires and really seems to lack soul.
        I can give you two reports on 647 Dinner Club and Cafe San Juan...both are excelent!!!..and very different. Cafe San Juan was great,the food was rustic and extremely good. The place it self has got a good vibe and does not feel like it is full of Tourists.
        647 was a more gourmet type of experience, it would be ideal for your anniversary as it looks really amazing.The food was also excelent which helps..
        Good Luck.

        1. re: britinflorida

          Again, I think I'd skip dining in Puerto Madero unless you have some commitment to spending lots of money for average value - as noted, it's a completely tourist oriented spot. Wandering around to see it, yes, but go elsewhere to dine. Palermo - parts are trendy parts are not - it's the largest barrio in the city, so there's a huge amount of variation. Very trendy in the "SoHo" and "Hollywood" parts, but those are a very small percentage of the zone. Juana M, great choice. El Sanjuanino for lunch, excellent. La Brigada - there is only one, in San Telmo, the Recoleta branch closed almost a year ago - but you'll have better steaks and better ambiance at any of the three I recommended above. Casal de Catalunya is not what I'd call low key - yes I suppose in terms of not being boisterous and such, but it's a very elegant fine dining experience with probably the best Spanish cooking in the city. Agree with danny on 647 as a great spot for a reception dinner - beautiful and very good food - not, as I said above, local in style - it's very much what you'd find in any trendy lounge/club type spot in, say, Manhattan, but done very well. As to Cafe San Juan - I have yet to be impressed with either food or service - it's the kind of place I want to really like, but just haven't, despite numerous people recommending going there (though, just as many recommending against - so I guess it's just one of those love it or hate it places).

          1. re: Casa SaltShaker

            Just got back from Buenos Aires and stayed in Recoleta which I adored. We'd start off our day at Cafe Biela with chocolate de la Espanola, then just wander and find somewhere for lunch - I really do recommend La Chicrita opposite the Recoleta Cemetary, the bife de lomo was out of this world and the desserts! I had sabayon which was marvelous. We also liked a place teeming with locals called Rodi Bar on Vicente Lopez, the bustling atmosphere is super. We had a dinner at La Cabana which I can heartily recommend too.