When you enter someone's home and the hallway is lined with bottles of wine, you know a special evening is in store. Gonzalo is a superlative host and creates a magical evening in a locale that serves as both his residence and restaurant. The setting is intimate, sophisticated, and romantic with many of the tables located in a "secret," lush courtyard in the rear of his home. It's a lovely setting with indirect and subtle lighting that could pass as an exclusive restaurant in Rome or Paris. As an added touch Titi, his boxer, is a comical canine with personality galore. Gonzalo, fluent in English and Spanish, hosts about a dozen or so guests for the evening and welcomes everyone to partake in a communal gathering of empanada sampling and conversation. During our two-week trip, these were hands-down the best empanadas we tasted. Excellent! While sharing stories, we savored other appetizers and a different wine accompanied each flight of delicacies. When it came time for the main course, we went to his library and selected a wine of our choosing to take to our table. Not so fond of the Malbecs we had tasted on the trip, I opted for an older Syrah from northern Argentina. It turned out to be the best bottle of the entire trip! As for the main course, it was a superb steak, cooked rare as requested, and served with a savory chimichurri sauce and potato prepared in a unique manner. It appeared to have been baked, flattened, then sauteed. Wow! A potato has never tasted so delicious, and the steak was marvelous. Kudos to Gonzalo, kudos to the young woman that effortlessly served us, and extra kudos to the outstanding chef who diligently prepared our exceptional meal. How he managed the entire meal for all of us from that tiny kitchen was amazing.
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