After an exhilarating trek in and around the Atacama desert region, including the jaw-droppingly beautiful Chilean Mattoral ecoregion to the south, we continued on to BsAs to relax and visit with old friends. We camped out at the Legado Mitico, Gurruchaga 1848 in Palermo Soho, and highly recommend this awesome little jewel-like boutique hotel. Can’t say enough about our stay – perhaps the ideal location and venue if you want to experience all of the ambiance Soho has to offer. We also got out and about and sampled some new restaurants and enjoyed a low key stay in one of our favorite cities. We just did the ‘normal’ touristy things this time around – hung out at museums, window shopped (I did splurge for something in Retiro that is hanging on the wall opposite my desk, as I write up this trip report!), said howdy-doody to Evita’s gravesite and just blended in to the normal rhythms of the city, sitting down at a cafe table and ordering a coffee or water, watching the world walk by, slowing things down. It was like catching up with an old friend – nothing in particular to talk about, but everything said is oh so special. Anywho – some new restaurants and some new experiences. To wit, our favorites:
La Percora Nera | Ayacucho 1785 – Recoleta | Proprietor/chef Daniel Hansen, formally part owner and chef at Sette Bacco, (a perennial favorite of ours) opened La Percora Nera last year to much fanfare and generally favorable reviews. The space is much more elegant than Sette Bacco was and the dishes are a bit more upscale in both presentation and execution. If you like Italian, in a city that has many excellent Italian restaurants, this place is not to be missed. (Side note – a rather safe and conservative, but still impressive, wine list. My only quibble with an otherwise fine dining experience. I would have preferred a more eclectic mix, but that’s just my own preference, for what its worth. That being said, the Escorihuela Gascon Gran Reserva Malbec was very tasty indeed.)
Smeterling | Uruguay 1308 – Recoleta | This is one of the best patisseries in the city and offers up scrumdeliumcious cookies, macarons and dessert treats that will satisfy even the most serious of sweet toothes. If you are in the area, pop in and grab a bag of tasty treats to munch on as you walk around the village – the chocolate cake with a flan topping was particularly captivating.
Coco Marie | Armenia 1764 – Palermo Soho | Don’t let the swimwear shop deter you from venturing to the back, where you’ll enter this lovely little café that is perfect for lunch/brunch on a nice sunny day. There is a wonderful patio area to sit in and retractable glass wall panels opens up most of the inner space, turning everything into a sunlit oasis of peace and calm. Wonderful little dishes and nutritious drinks, as well as obnoxiously delicious sandwiches and sinful desserts. Reminds me of a hipper, airier version of Don Bar, a former favorite of ours out in Belgrano.
Bar du Marché | Nicaragua 5964 – Palermo Soho | There are always questions on this forum about wine tasting locations, and while I prefer to wine taste at vinotecas, we came across this little slice of heaven that I can more than recommend if you are in the mood to sample some of Argentina’s wines and cheeses. This French bistro is right smack in the heart of Soho. So when you need to catch your second wind after hoofing it about the neighborhood, take a load off, order up some vino and slip slowly into madness. Side note – they evidently have a closed-door sushi joint upstairs, but cannot report on any particulars. Maybe a local can chime in if its worth an honorable mention.
Pierino | Lavalle 3499 – Almagro | Yet another reasonably priced, family-run Italian restaurant that has fantastic dishes and wonderful service and an engaging attitude. Evidently, they’ve been in this location since Moses parted the Red Sea. There is such a good vibe about this place, packed with locals and nary a tourist in site, that just makes you feel good about dining with friends and family. Bring a smile – it will go a long way towards a great evening. Interesting side note – when I visit Italian delicatessen/restaurants in the city (which I do because I love Italian!) I always take notice of which dried pastas they either serve or sell. And, it seems like Barilla and De Cecco have the market cornered in the best Italian delicatessen/restaurants in the city (from my observation, anyway). Pierino leans to De Cecco – which happens to be my favorite. Something to put in the back of your noggin for your next visit.
D|1684 | Boulevard San Martin 2294 – Ciudad Jardin | A few years ago I raved about this little place and still recall with great fondness a most excellent evening spent in the company of our dear friends in the neighborhood. Well, let me just say that if you are willing to pop for the 25 minute cab ride, you will have a fantastic dining experience. And, to our great fascination and utter joy, they had a cheeseburger and fries on the menu! Now, this is pretty high end dining, so imagine our amazing, jaw-dropping “you’ve got what on the menu tonight?” looks as we thought “hmmmm, the bondiola de cerdo and the curry verde de pollo and the sorrentinos de cordero all look good, but the burger with brie and the fries look too good to pass up.” They were! And the flan de coco, con helado de dulce de leche for dessert? Awesome! Get there if you can.
Cucina Paradiso | Castaneda 1873 – Belgrano | Friends of ours turned us on to this wonderful Italian restaurant and delicatessen. It’s located right around the corner from one of our most favorite of all places to dine in BsAs, Sucre. This is the second opening for Donato de Santis (local TV personality, celebrity chef) - they have another place in Palermo, but you’d have to google it for an address. We bought up a bunch of goodies and made a wonderful evening of it at our good friend’s house out in Nunez. When we used to stay in apartments in the city for a week or two, we’d always find a good local deli and keep our fridge stocked with plenty of goodies for hot tub and movie night – if I lived in Belgrano, this would be my go-to place. Next year, we’re definitely going to eat at one of the restaurants because the lay out, the food, the atmosphere – without a doubt a first class operation.
Honor y Causa | Carranza 1591 - Palermo Hollywood | This quaint, seemingly traditional Argentinean restaurant, with a Patagonian influence, was one of the best places we dined at on our visit. We had lunch and dinner here and while the lunch menu is a pared down version of dinner, there is something for everyone, including vegetarians. Gimena Molinete and Lucas Curcio are the proprietors and this young couple have it all goin’ on – don’t miss this reasonably priced restaurant; they’re deft touch with fresh fish and their amazing risotto were both dishes I dreamed of on our return flight home. Bravo!
Boteco do Brasil | 1367 Bonpland – Palermo Hollywood | I was sad to see Maria Fulo close their doors a few years ago, as they had some of the most authentic Brazilian food going on in BsAs. (I know, I know - Brazilian food can be a little dark and starchy at times, but when it’s done properly, it’s hard not to get lost in the intricate layers of flavors). Boteca do Brasil reminds me of MF, but with a much more lively atmosphere and a vibrant (and tremendously loyal) neighborhood clientele who come for the reasonably priced (and tasty) food, excellent cocktails, incredible music and the general ‘good-vibes’ scene. We had an absolute blast and highly recommend it. If you have a command of Spanish, you will probably end up chatting with everyone in the restaurant (including the chef and waitstaff) at some point in the evening. Total, riotous fun is the name of the game. Enjoy!
All in all, another good time in the good city of Buenos Aires.
Until our next visit | Travel safe