Well, I should start with my expectations - having seen a friend's photos of a whole suckling pig and an overly positive review in Pick Up the Fork, a famous Buenos Aires food blog, I had to investigate for myself when my favorite Spanish-expat friend was in town for the week.
I left confused... and hungry.
I'll go chronologically - first, my dinner partner asked for tap water. A sensitive point in Argentine restaurants, but I'm assuming common enough among American diners that it wasn't the first time the waiter had gotten that request. He told her that the water would be right out.
About 10 minutes pass, no waiter returns, and there certainly isn't any water. A second waiter comes to take our order, the request for tap water is repeated, and this time the waiter curtly replies that this restaurant does not serve tap water. Ok, no harm done, we can get sodas, but..
The first tapas arrive - patatas bravas, and garlic prawns ('shrimp scampi'). The roasted potato pieces have a lot of paprika dumped on top, and other than that are served plain. Absolutely nothing special. The 4 shrimp are cooked well, but lacking any unique flavors and are swimming in a plate of oil. Charred garlic bits stick to the shrimp. Simple, reasonably cooked, and recommended to order but won't blow you away.
Now on to entrees - my friend the vegetarian had severely limited options (this place is not ideal for vegetarians at all, but you don't know 'til you try!) and ended up with a plate of sauteed red peppers, green peppers, and onions. I could have prepared it better at home myself. I ordered the chicken and saffron rice, which came out so undercooked that the white centers of the rice were visible even through the thick orange coating. It was a flavorless, crunchy disaster, and inedible.
The crema catalunya arrived a whole 20 minutes after we ordered it, but was very good. Some burnt bits I could do without but overall a stand-out on the lineup. Would recommend to try, but still short of amazing.
So I left wondering if I'd gone to the right place, happy to have a 30% discount (Thursday is their 'noche de mujeres' apparently.. at least for any mujeres who can't eat their rice), and not with any clear intention to return. The space is beautiful, but it felt like something was missing in the execution of each dish. If you've chalked my anecdote up to one bad experience and are going to dive in anyways, stick with the seafood dishes and keep your vegetarians at home.
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