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Jun 8, 2012 07:27 AM

Puertas Cerradas in Buenos Aires

We’re going to be in Buenos Aires for 6 nights in July, staying in the Retiro neighborhood, and after reading about the Puertas Cerradas scene, we think we should definitely make it to at least one of them while in town. Any advice or help in narrowing down? From reading the boards here and other articles around the Internet, it seems like Casa Mun, Casa Felix and Casa SaltShaker pop up on every list. In general we tend to prefer eating more local cuisine than foreign cuisine when traveling…but Casa Mun seems to be consistently the most recommended. However as New Yorkers (one of us Asian), who have traveled to Japan, we’re really not all that impressed by the sample menus we’ve seen. Is it really better than we’re thinking? Any strong opinions on the other two? Or any others we should be considering instead?

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  1. Unless I'm mistaken, it seems like Casa Felix, which was the one that intrigued us the most, is typically closed in July?

    1 Reply
    1. re: wallyg

      They'll be traveling in the US, here's the schedule:

      San Diego: June 30 to July 30
      Los Angeles: August 1 to August 7
      San Francisco: August 8 to September 7
      New York: September 10 to September 30

    2. We also enjoyed Almacen Secreto - great food and a very nce atmosphere.

      1. Asian food, in general, is not good in Argentina. They are not allowing imports into the country. But, I did read a recent NYT article about Casa Mun:

        4 Replies
        1. re: Sushi Lush

          we read the same article...but had the same opinion...why go to Argentina for Asian food? Especially since we live in New York and my wife's family lives in Flushing....and we went to Japan last year. but Casa Felix, which is where we kind of wanted to go...apparently is closed. So if we really want to do a puerto cerrado, our choices are dwindling. I'll hae to look into Almacen Secreto.

          1. re: wallyg

            There are others frequently by locals only -- I like both Treintasillas & Paladar -- requires only a basic knowledge of spanish...

            1. re: Sushi Lush

              how basic? i could probably get by reading a menu, but conversationally i'd be very challenged...

              1. re: wallyg

                owner speaks english at treintasillas...not sure about the staff...check with him

        2. I've been to many of the closed door restaurants in Buenos Aires. They're very trendy right now in the city. Casa Mun is great as is Cocina Sunae (also Asian themed). As far as I know the real thing going for the closed doors is that they offer food generally not available in Argentina. If you want something semi local I love the restaurant Cafe San Juan in San Telmo, which is run by two young Argentine chefs trained in Spain.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cevichefan

            One of the better puerta cerradas I've been to that I haven't seen mentioned around the boards is Paladar. It's menu is typically more local cuisine with a twist, in a very warm, intimiate environment. Great for a romantic dinner if that's your thing.

            And to echo other people's comments, don't bother with Asian food in Argentina if you're just visiting. There are way better options.

          2. I just returned from a 10 day trip to BA this March. We chose to go to Adentro Dinner Club in the Palermo neighborhood. It was an awesome experience. It is hosted by Kelly & Gabriel at their spacious apt. Kelly is a gracious host that speaks perfect english since she grew up in Boulder, CO. Gabriel is a porteno with alot of personality and knows his way around a parilla. They cook a traditional argentine parilla with many different cuts of beef unavailable here in the US, different types of sausages, empanadas to die for, proveleta, Argentine liquers, the best chimmichurri sauce, and other items. My fiance is gluten free and they even prepared her gluten free empanadas.

            We arrived at 8:30pm (I know early by argentine standards) but there were so many courses and conversation the we didn't leave until around 2 am. It was nice to have some lively conversation in English after dusting off my spanish for so long.

            I ate at the following restaurants during our trip: Don Julio, Adentro Dinner Club, Las Nazarenas, Tarquino, Le Borgougne (Alvear Palace), and El Baqueno. Everyone in my party ranked Adentro either number one or number two in food but the experience put it at number one. They incorporate you in the process and give up alot of their secrets. It was neat to get a birdeye view of the argentine parilla process.

            El Baqueno was not puerta cerrada but I thought it was a phenomenal degustaction experience and also a great value. It is more in the modernist cuisine experience similar to Tarquino (started by a couple of people who worked in El Bulli with Ferran Adria) and was the best of the bunch in service and food execution. I hope this helps!