The dining experience at Ituzaingo Resto is an absolutely unique concept, and probably foreign to many seasoned travelers: you dine at the chef's house, in a charming intimate setting, and witness the preparation of your entire meal over wine and conversation. We started with a cooking lesson at 7:00pm by chef and sommelier Francisco and sous chef Anna, which included making bread and empanadas from scratch. The owner, Gonzalo, joined us a little later and brought his philosophy, charm, and energy to the party. We started the fire in the outside brick oven and the grill, and soon after, as we sipped wine and continued chatting, bread, empanadas, and a splendid assortment of local meats were cooking in the oven and sizzling on the grill.
A few other guests joined later, and the meal began as we were being served our empanadas, absolutely delicious bread, mixed grilled meats, etc. Apparently our empanadas were only second best to a Japanese couple who had been there previously: that was the only "sour note" of the evening....(just kidding). Amongst the highlights of the evening, was a local red with no label from the Caelun winery, which was amongst the finest reds I have ever tasted: deep, balanced, layered, and slightly jammy with notes of chocolate and a long finish. To me, this was reminiscent of an Opus One in depth and aromas, but perhaps with less fruit and complexity, but an absolute gem!
The meal is $120 USD per person, all inclusive of wine and food, cash only. In all, it represented one of the highlights of our trip, and without question the best meal we had while in Argentina. Thank you Gonzalo, Francisco, and Anna.