Eating in Argentina Part 3: Beyond Beef

By Kristin Donnelly Posted July 31, 2007

Besides Standard restaurant, which I raved about last week here, and eating plenty of steak, which I wrote about here, I popped into a number of great restaurants and bars on my recent trip to Buenos Aires. Here are the highlights:

Bar Uriate:
The perfectly crackly, slightly chewy crust of the arugula-topped pizza at this sleek spot was honestly one of the best I’ve ever had, thanks to the restaurant’s wood-burning, dome-shaped mud oven.

Casa SaltShaker: Five courses at this “underground restaurant,” which is actually just former NYC sommelier Dan Perlman’s living area, were impeccably paired with Argentinean wines that went way beyond Malbec. I loved the panade (a creamy pureed bread soup sweetened by slowly caramelized onions) paired with a fresh and floral 2006 Alfredo Roca Tocai Friulano.

Another spot with a dome-shaped oven, but this cozy, casual restaurant in the luxe Recoleta neighborhood specializes in the hearty mountain dishes of northern Argentina. I loved the delicate pastry of the empanadas blistered from the wood fire; the pork-laced, hominy-filled stew called Locro that was like a Latin cassoulet and the ultimate comfort dish: squash puree layered with honeyed corn pudding and topped with melted cheese.

878 (Ocho7Ocho): In a town where Fernet Branca and Coke is the drink of choice, it was sometimes tricky to find great cocktails. This impossibly hip unmarked bar in the quiet Villa Crespo neighborhood, however, had a truly inspired cocktail list (I had a refreshing gin-based drink made with the Italian bitter liqueur Cynar) and an impressive whiskey selection.

Cava Jufre: With puffy sofas and a hospitable owner, Lintol, this year-old homey little wine store and bar, also in the Villa Crespo neighborhood, feels like the extension of a living room. We shared glasses of wine and chatted with Lintol and other friendly locals at the tiny bar for over an hour. After seriously scanning the fun selection with unexpected bottles, we picked up a Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Patagonia, in the southern part of Argentina, to take home.

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