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“Nice porteñoatmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of La Cantina de Hugo

La Cantina de Hugo
Bolivar 938 | Barrio San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina (San Telmo)
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Ranked #1,571 of 2,815 Restaurants in Buenos Aires
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: San Telmo
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Nice porteñoatmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

The place is not a cantina anymore It has been transformed into a restaurant. It is attractive for foreigners because the walls are covered in photos from the 1900´s, the big immigrant wave.
Food is fine, the place is divided into three different rooms including a roofed patio so it is quiet and easy to have conversations. I would definitely recommend it to tourists. The price is "normal" according to the standards of San Telmo. The waiters are nice, quiet and polite. It was a friends visit but I saw couples and business people too.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    20
    6
    7
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Frankly, Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

Meal August 6, 2013; 10:38pm when we got our bill. Table of 3

I had visited the restaurant expecting basically the very best that Argentina has to offer.
It has been a privilege to be able to dine at some of the best restaurants so far in town due to business arrangements. This restaurant was recommended by a business acquaintance's family member with high regards to the quality.

Note: I do not speak much spanish however we did have a guest at the table that is local.

We ordered everything they had recommended, especially the "Corte especial" cooked with a special cut of beef. They did not tell us the cut, and we respect that, expecting the best. Also this was said to be able to serve for multiple portions, so we decided to share this 280 peso steak for two.

To start things off, they had given a piece of sweetbread to each of us, complementary, and that was the best part of the meal. Amazing sweetbread, just delicious (thats why they got a star) but then the meal just felt ran over right after that.

The steaks arrived, nothing to write home about, cooked to perfection but the meat was chewy and was tough, even medium rare. So very disappointing.

Our colleague ordered a Beef T bone, disappointing as well. Gosh, no kidding, the best steak restaurant and yet producing two tough, very unflattering cuts of meat.

Disclaimer: Myself and my business colleague are Chinese so we may been looked down upon slightly, I felt that way with our server. Racist may be a bit harsh but perhaps not as well treated as other guests.

Anyhow, after the entrees were served, we had no followup as to our meal, to ask if things were the way they should be. But clearly they did not hear the voices of disappointment until much later in a minimal way.

I had ordered the Lemon Sorbet (65 pesos) while the others had teas and coffee. My sorbet happen to be a drink with champaign in it, and I being not a champaign lover, was surprised and asked that my local friend reflect that to our server. Not only was I not offered to change for something else of equal or less value, I was declined to have it removed from the bill. Coming from a service background, that was truly the dagger that changed the mood of the meal completely. (yes i was charged for a untouched drink)

Of course, once things turn sour, it only gets worst for me and our party.

As for the teas and coffee, no biscuits were given as part of that order, unlike the two other fine dining restaurants we had attended to a day and two earlier in my trip.

Finally coming to pay, the bill was 887 peso and we had given 1000 peso (10x100peso bills), and since that moment on, no attention was paid to us, they (our less than courtesy server) took the money and gave me no change. Now, I aint a cheapskate when it comes to dining, and I make a second disclaimer here. Perhaps they expect a big tip and think that it is Normal to keep anything you give them under 15 percent BUT, I think that should be asked "Would you like change?" or simply a "thank you" would be appreciated. Nope, didnt get that.

Sorry that I have to be the one that rains on their parade.
But perhaps the server just didnt live to standard which caused this ranting on this review.

Long story short, the restaurant atmosphere, Great. Everything else, less than expectation by a long shot.

My sincerest apologies.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“BEST ITALIAN IN SAN TELMO”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

I reviewed this restaurant in January 2013 and my opinion has not changed. An old mansion has been tastefully restored and the restaurant serves pasta and fish dishes.
The wine list is superb and the attention couldn't be better.
We hear that this restaurant, owned by La Brigada steak house, will move to new premises opposite the Brigada itself. This will boost the number of customers who can choose between meat or pasta just by crossings the street.
The old mansion will be used for private functions and corporate events, I think this is another coup for the owner, Hugo Echeverrey, a restaurateur and huge football fan.

Visited July 2013
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San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Marvelous!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

After a walk by San Telmo on a hot, hot, Sunday, this restaurant was just the cherry on top a perfect day.

I ordered the calabaza ravioli with spinach sauce and the taste was indescribable! My sister ordered spinach cannelloni and they were just as good. My dad ate meat and it was the only place in BA that got it right with the cooking point of the beef. The only tiny tiny downside was the service, which was good, but not up to par with the rest of BA. Still, do not walk, do not collect $200, just GO.

Visited April 2013
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Sugar Land, Texas
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Delightful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We found this restaurant on TripAdvisor during out recent trip and stopped in mid-day for lunch. We got the ravioli with shrimp and garlic. Also ordered a vegetarian penne pasta and a bottle of wine. Excellent service. White table cloths in a rich, dark wood setting. Great service. Total bill came to about $70 US. Would definitely go back again.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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