Buenos Aires - Please help me narrow down my choices!
Hi all -
My husband and I will be traveling to Buenos Aires for four nights in February. It will be our first visit.
We're pretty set on doing La Cabrera, Pura Tierra and either Casa Saltshaker or Casa Felix for a closed door dining experience, as well as having lunch at Resto. But we need help with our 4th dinner. Here are some of the contenders so far. Please feel free to suggest others.
Lo De Jesus
La Vineria de Gualterio
788 Food Bar
647 Dining Club
Note that we live in New York City so we're not looking for Italian, French etc. recommendations or spalshy/trendy vibes we could get at home.
I had an excellent dinner at this place.
3 courses (no drinks) cost about 80 peso (2 years ago). They specialize in peruvian.
- Zadvarie (Uriarte 1423, tel. 011/4831-2719
Really though just go through the restaurant review on the Saltshaker blog. I used only that as a guide to avoid info overload and had an excellent time eating my way through BsAs.
Also, Un Altra Volta (a few locations around BsAs.) is great for gelato.
IIRC, Dan (saltshaker) is active on the argentina board here.
I'm don't like to go to closed door restaurants when I'm traveling. I have been to a few in BA and I would recommend Casa Felix. It has a lovely atmosphere and the Argentine chef does beautiful modern Argentine food with interesting ingredients that are typical from here. It's veggies & fish only. Another good reason to go. You will get a glimpse of BA off the beaten path.
I'd suggest Miranda over any of the others you list.
I always wonder were La Vineria de Gualterio is getting it publicity from. It was way over priced for poorly executed food especially since you are coming from NYC. For that price you can eat much better. It fits in the "splashy trendy can get better in NYC category".
I'm not a fan of Italian food in BA but if you want to try Italian, I'd recommend Sette Bacco. It's yummy. Actually it's not a bad idea for your 4th dinner. Or you can try something else like Peruvian at Astrid & Gascon.
I understand your logic for not wanting to try "Italian" because you live in NYC, however I think you may want to consider some places since it has played such an important dynamic to Porteño cuisine. Remember that 100 years ago 70% of B.A. was foreign-born and the Italians were the largest immigrant group. Moreover, many of these immigrants hailed from different regions that say the predominantly Southern and Sicilians who went to the US. This in turn is reflected in the food.
I'm full aware that NYC has fine restaurants and moved beyond the Italian-American standards, yet as you will see if you haven't visited before, pasta shops proliferate throughout the city similar to bagel stores. "Italian" restaurants of various price points are just as good in B.A., yet also entirely different in flavor profiles, than in the US and NYC.
Of course I'd pimp for us over Casa Felix, but you'll have a good time at either I think. Don Julio is our favorite steakhouse, so I'd put that on the list. And, though it doesn't get much press, I'm a big fan of 788 Food Bar. Almacen Secreto isn't really a closed door spot anymore, they bought a new space and expanded and are basically a regular restaurant these days - the food is still great. Your choice of Pura Tierra is perfect - probably our favorite restaurant in the city - I'd also suggest the little known Urondo Bar, it's a bit out of the way, but very creative and interesting Argentine food.
I'm by no means an expert, having only spent 10 days in BA. We went to Lo de Jesus for dinner and Juana M for lunch. I loved lunch at Juana M - not sure what it would be like for dinner. Food was good at Lo de Jesus and I didn't have any complaints, but I guess I expected more. The night we went there, my husband wanted to go to La Cabrera and I opted for Lo de Jesus. We ended up making a lunch reservation at La Cabrera for the day we were leaving BA, and I have to say I preferred it.
Another place I really enjoyed was Almacen Secreto. It's a closed door, and I know you already have a couple of them in your list, but Almacen Secreto offered a fairly large menu and the food was terrific. Everyone but us seemed to be local.
Also, if you like jazz, there are a couple of jazz bars (Thelonius was the name of one of them) where we listened to music and enjoyed individual pizzas. Pizzas were really good and the music was excellent.