Choosing where to eat in Buenos Aires is getting harder and harder as new restaurants open. There is so much to eat and drink! So who better to trust than the guys that are in the most acclaimed kitchens and know their way around? Next, these top chefs tell us where they like to eat for three different situations or moods:
1. A special occasion
2. One for everyday
3. A guilty pleasure
This variety gives us the key to what we want: GREAT food!
Antonio Soriano; photo by Olivia Najt.
Antonio Soriano owns Astor-Manduque porteño, a small bistró where Palermo ends and Colegiales begins. There is a lot in the name, following Astor (for Astor Piazzolla, a musical genius) comes porteño slang “manduque porteño”, which means porteño eats, and that hits right to the core. Soriano has spent much of his time searching for the greatest Argentine products, and has set a changing menu of three, five courses or a taste of every dish available. The cuisine is very creative, contemporary and includes modern technics such a sous vide. So it is natural that we go to him for advice when it comes to dining.
1. Paraje Arevalo: a modern bistro with many local products and contemporary techniques. A set menu of 6 or 8 steps, including their signature dish “huevo a baja temperatura” an egg, cooked sous vide then fried to perfection. Created by Estefania di Benedetto and Matias Kyriazis.
2. Aramburu Bis: the small brother of Aramburu (a very elegant and elaborate 12 course type of restaurant). With a relaxed atmosphere, soft prices and delicious food, it’s Antonio’s choice for an everyday meal. Menu created by Gonzalo Aramburu.
Humberto Primo 1207, Constitución
3. La Bourgogne: “To be treated like a king” is Soriano’s guilty pleasure. This French restaurant located in the fanciest neighbourhood and in the fanciest hotel (the Alvear), gives us a hint of what Tony* meant by guilty, if being pampered by white gloves and a chef that has in his title the words Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux, Jean Paul Bondoux, is his thing.
Ayacucho 2027, Recoleta
*at this point we are on a friendly first name basis.
Astor is located at Ciudad de la Paz 353.
Jessica Lekerman (right); photo by Olivia Najt.
Jessica Lekerman is the Argentine vegetarian chef goddess. With a 25 year career that started in The Natural Gourmet Culinary School in NYC, she has managed to maintain that high standard throughout the years. She’s the chef/owner of Mooi (opening Mooi2’s doors soon in Palermo), the starting empire of healthy – and sometimes gluten free – cuisine.
As an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, her job might ask her to cook meat, but when it comes to choosing where to eat a parrilla won’t stop her:
1. Elena or El Secreto, at the Four Seasons: “As a vegetarian I’m kind of complicated. I love Elena’s space but the food is difficult for me”, one of Elena’s specialties is the aged meat. “I choose to take out the protein or just dive in the pastas and have a great time”.
2. Yeite: “I spend most of my time at Mooi, so I usually eat there everyday. But when I’m not there I like the concept of Yeite. I’d go there everyday for the salads and tarts, they are filling but just enough to continue my day as planned”.
3. The chocolate and almond ice-cream at Las Grutas: “The chocolate ice-cream with whole toasted almonds that are added just at the end, becomes the greatest guilty pleasure”
Sucre 2356 and Vuelta de obligado
Mooi is at Cuba 1985.
Pamela Villar; photo by Olivia Najt.
Pamela Villar is my personal idol. I used to watch her on the telly and dream to have her creativity for simple-yet-completely-delicious recipes. She’s one of the owners of Yeite, and when she’s not travelling to London, or teaching pastry classes at Mooi, or any of the other million things she does, you can see her cooking with a lovingly smile at Yeite. The following are her choices:
1. Tegui: Named after its Chef and owner German Martitegui. It’s the best restaurant of Argentina and nº9 in Latin America (San Pellegrino awards). Great wine selection and carefully thought dishes.
Hidden in Costa Rica 5852
2. Yeite: “Yeite!!! Haha” Because when she’s not trotting the world, we can find her at her new home. Inspired by her trips to London, and Chef Ottolenghi’s take on simple and marvellous dishes. We can find at Yeite a vast selection of salads, tarts and sweets.
3. NC Freud & Fahler: Located in a calm street of noisy Palermo. Innovative Chef Pablo Lykan designed a menu, inspired by his trips around the globe, where we can try everything. At night, there are “tapas” such as octopus with chips and a step menu, where the dishes are illustrated and tell the moment of creation.
José Antonio Cabrera 5300
Yeite is located at Humboldt 293.
Tomás Di Lello
Tomás Di Lello; photo by Olivia Najt.
Tomás Di Lello is the youngest chef of the list. He travelled and worked at the best places in Europe, but also in Buenos Aires. Creator of the incredible food at Oporto Almacén, where by day we can find sandwiches and salads, next to small dishes from the “rotisería” like the wonderful paté or the octopus cooked for seven hours sous-vide. At night, it’s a different story, the sandwiches and salads are out. Expect to find duck, beef tartare, beautiful ceviche, and a selection of desserts for the highest standard.
1. Nihobashi: “Nabemono cuisine in Argentina, one of the only places that serves it. To taste the fine cut of beef that has been dipped in raw egg is a new experience each time I go there”.
2. Hong Kong Style: “Until recently, it was a place in Bravard 1170 called El Original, where they made xia long bao (chinese soup dumplings), like I’ve never tasted before. You would have found me there two or three times a week. Sadly, the owner closed down and went back to China. Now we usually go to Hong Kong Style where they have their own take on Dim Sum.
3. El Puesto del Tío: “At wacky hours, after I’m done with my shift, I head to El Puesto del Tío (where Lugones highway meets Dorrego), and enjoy a bondiola sandwich while looking at the park.”
Oporto Almacén is located at 11 de Septiembre 4152.
Enjoy these top restaurant choices, my fellow eaters!
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