Guanacazul is a gem. Not just because it's a phenomenon in Río Gallegos, a parched industrial town in Southern Patagonia: it would be a find in San Francisco. This is a Patagonian restaurant, red in tooth and claw, but cognizant of recent innovations. We've eaten there twice, separated by two weeks, and the chef had made new discoveries. Wonderful rack of lamb (sheep, actually) and an onion soup with potato and ham that you've never tasted the likes of.
Don't even ask for the menu. The locals don't lay hands on it. The chef will make you a meal inspired, under the guidance of the happy wait staff, especially the guy whose name I never learned, who wears crocs under his black striped uniform. The house wines will astound you. They are better here than I've had anywhere. Whatever the guys feel like opening.
Everything isn't perfect, as happens in an innovative place. They cook the fish too long, as in all restaurants who have to deal with customers. Some sauces are too sweet for my taste.
The immeasurable virtue is the enthusiasm of the waiter in his crocs, who insists that you drink from his favorite bottles and try the chocolate volcano, or black cod of the evening. Laguanacazul is about two jiggers from being a Destination Restaurant. It is already, if you already happen to be in the Southern Hemisphere. I fear for the Gallegenos. The chef could be snatched away at any moment to Buenos Aires and then back to parrillas.
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