Help With BA Italian Food
I would like to get one a great italian meal while I am in BA but have not really found a good place for it. I have been to Piegari and thought it wasn't bad, but wasn't great (and was quite expensive). Not much is written about other places, especially on the Chowhound boards, which I thought was strange for a place with a large Italian population and supposedly good Italian food. I have read about Il Mattarello, Sotto Voce, Guido's Bar and Filo. Any thoughts on these or any others I have missed?
Thank you all for your input. Club 647 is definitely on my list, as is probably Il Mattarello. I am not going for a while but will report back when i do make it there.
Casa Saltshaker, I hear what you are saying about italian in BA. After eating at Piegari, I kind of figured as much. But I still want to give it another shot. Thanks for the help.
I completely disagree with the last post. Italian food in Buenos Aires can be and in many cases, is amazing. Guido's Bar is one of my favourite places in BA; a tad pricey for locals but well worth it. No menu, excellent fresh dishes brought to you tapas-style and a unique decor and atmosphere. Sette Bacco is also fantastic but it's what is called 'fusion': Italian food with a Northwestern Argentinian twist. Il Matterello and El Obrero in La Boca are worth a visit as is Pinnuccio & Figli where you have a huge antipasti table from which you fill your plate and you get two goes at guessing the weight. If you guess it right, it's free! Regardless of this game, it's great food. Great pastas also at Campo Di Fiori.
While I'll agree that Pinuccio & Figli is fun, and the whole guess your antipasto weight is a cute gimmick, the food is like a poor imitation of Little Italy in NYC or maybe a catering hall on Long Island - and the winelist prices are extortionate for the wines being offered - often 2-3x retail price (in BA, restaurants typically only charge about double wholesale price or slightly more, so not much over retail) - the last time we were there we actually challenged the manager on the price, pointing out that we were locals, not tourists - he immediately cut the price of the bottle in half. El Obrero isn't Italian, though I love the place - it's a classic old style local steakhouse. I'll stand by my assessments of Guido's and Sette Bacco, I don't think the former is worth the price and the quality is too uneven, and the latter is just okay.
Il Mattarello is definitely up there among the best in town. The two Sottovoces are good, though very expensive, much like Piegari, probably even a bit more. Guido's is fun, if not a great Italian meal. Filo is great for casual, like pizza and basic pastas. Sa Giara in Palermo has really interesting Sardinian food, as far as I know the only Sardinian restaurant in Argentina, if not all of South America. Don Chicho is a little hole in the wall out near Belgrano, but they hand roll the pasta to order - very simple, but very fresh and good. Sette Baco that Walters mentioned is good, it's best quality is that, for the neighborhood, it's cheap. Almanza out in Palermo serves a Patagonian-Italian sort of mix which is interesting and quite good, plus it's a charming little space.
Honestly, you won't find great Italian food here - given the Italian heritage, you'd think you would, but you have to remember that most of the Italian descendants are probably somewhere around 5th or 6th generation in Argentina - they only know Italian food from reading about it or hearing about it - and over time, what was probably once a place for really good Italian food has become a poor imitation.
When my wife and I lived in Centro we went to D'Oro quite a bit, and we loved it. It is Italian food with an Argentinian twist. Everything I had was great, I particularly liked the amaretto ice cream dessert. It's worth checking out!
I have a attached a photo of the amaretto ice cream and some bruschetta from D'Oro.
I'll second the recommendation on Club 647, I loved it. I'm going back a second time tomorrow in fact.
Perú 159 Buenos Aires , AR