Our favorite holiday is Thanksgiving back in the states (the food of course) so along with touching base with various family members we wanted to make sure we made the most of our holiday time away from work over Thanksgiving weekend. We booked at least one dinner every night of the long weekend except Sunday to give ourselves a rest - here's how it went!
Wednesday, November 23rd
Mad House Pasta (@madpastahouse) is a new addition to Buenos Aires just a few weeks ago and we were super lucky to snag a table and get some sit down time with Chefs Lucas & Clara. They recommended a bottle of wine we were all too happy to drink and fully polished off by dessert. Turbio by Ravana Wines (@ravanawines) if you'd like to find it yourself, it was very good! The pasta was absolutely out of this world, but we agreed our favorite dish was the provoleta in a fabulous creamy sauce. The crumble on top was the same crumble found on top of the asparagus at Alo's Bistro (@alosbistro) so we were thrilled to see it make a comeback in this dish. We also had to order the cacio e pepe with the ribeye, the raviolis and all the desserts (no shame), but Chef Lucas brought us out an extra order of the cacio e pepe with a milenesa (similar to a chicken fried steak in the states) as well. Man oh man are we so glad he did. This power couple of Chefs are going to be top of the best list soon, so do yourself a favor and go check out Mad Pasta House ASAP!
We had already made reservations for the night at Pierda Pasillo (@pierdapasillo), but were surprised to find out Chef Lucas was a chef there as well! He called ahead for us and made us some excellent recommendations including the beef tongue in leche de tigre (an acidic sauce usually used for ceviche), the deer tartar and a crispy skin duck with red cabbage done a variety of ways. We of course had to order everything he recommended and the homemade bread with kimchi butter - YUM. This place had a gorgeous atmosphere and seemed to be hosting a Meta (Facebook) event on the roof in the speakeasy behind the restaurant. Stay tuned for a more in depth look at the speakeasy, we were far too exhausted to appreciate it on Wednesday so we of course had to make another reservation.
Thursday, November 24th - Thanksgiving!
After calling family and recovering from the previous night's meals we headed over to Nino Gordo (@xninogordox) which recently made the top 100 list at spot number 75. While the first half of our meal was outstanding in both flavor and visuals we were highly disappointed in the second half of the meal unfortunately. We won't be doing an in-depth review of this one, but suffice to say the food is a 9/10 and the service was a 4/10 for us (not a 0 because our bartender in the first half of the night was amazing). There was some kind of mixup at the host stand and they moved us to another area halfway through our meal which then caused confusion on who our server was and what we ordered. No drinks or food were brought to our table until we asked what happened 3 times over 15 minutes. In any case the Steak Tataki and sweetbreads were equally fantastic and the atmosphere certainly didn't disappoint! If you go here we highly recommend you book the bar seating.
Friday, November 25th
We heard from Chef Lucas (king of hooking us up this week) that Cruasan (@cruasan.ba) had the most luxurious croissants in town so we of course had to make a pit stop on the morning after thanksgiving. Everything we tasted knocked our expectations out of the water! We've been visiting a local french bakery near our apartment that is fantastic as well, but this took the buttery layers to a whole new level. Alysha has always thought she didn't like croissants, turns out she just doesn't like shitty croissants in the U.S. Definitely order the hot chocolate if you make it out here, it is thick and luscious.
Before coming on this trip we had seen recommendations for The Argentine Experience (@theargntineexperience) so we've been looking for a reason to do this one and we're so glad we did! Not only did we have some amazing food, enjoy mate for the first time and make some empanadas together, we made some new friends and laughed all night long. The squad at the Argentine Experience made our nights super special with fun lessons throughout the night on Argentinian phrases, how to order a rare steak, how to prepare an alfajor and even an empanada competition! It was a super fun experience and we highly recommend it even if you're just in town for a bit.
Saturday, November 25th
Yet another recommendation of Chef Lucas & Chef Clara, Bestia (@bestia.smk) was our end cap to the weekend's foodie madness and we knew it would be amazing the moment we saw the octopus dish on their instagram. What we were not prepared for was to be blown away by the meat quality at every step and the incredible wine pairings with each dish. How this isn't on the 50 best list we have absolutely no idea, but that allowed us to get a reservation in the same weekend where most of the 50 best list takes a bit more planning. We agreed this rivaled some of the best places we've ever been and highly recommend it to any meat-lovers. We'll be sure to let you know how it compares to Don Julio (recently voted the best restaurant in Buenos Aires), but we spoke to some folks these who said it is right on par with Don Julio and they make reservations at Bestia often.
We started with meat snacks including duck heart on a rosemary skewer and fresh trout on a crispy trout skin. Then moved on to roasted quail & goat cheese, then the octopus which was easily the best octopus we've had to date and came with an amazing barley side. Then a pumpkin tortellini, crispy duck and finally a 40 day aged ribeye steak with the best kimchi either of us had ever had. They then brought us a palette cleanser in the form of a green apple sorbet before bringing out the hibiscus fluff and raspberry sorbet dessert with a pisco sour and to finish out the desserts a chocolate vanilla sorbet with chocolate shavings, cookie crumble and basil oil. This menu was also paired with a variety of wines (listed after the food in the photos) that were matches made in heaven. Not overwhelming, paced nicely and our sommelier Steve (shoutout to Steve, he's the best) even top us off at the end of the night with a secret port wine that HIT.
Alright here's the real question: what did this weekend cost? right? that's what you're wondering. Here's the thing it's a lot less than you might think. Check out our Argentina tips and tricks post for information on the blue dolar rate here in Argentina, but TL;DR version is because of this rate, these 5 star meals cost significantly less.
Mad Pasta House - About 15,000 pesos after tip or $45-$50 USD
Piedra Pasillo - About 12,000 pesos after tip or $35-$40 USD
Nino Gordo - About 10,000 pesos after tip or $30-$35 USD
Cruasan - About 6,000 pesos for 13 pastries and two drinks or $15-$20 USD
The Argentine Experience - $95/person USD, we paid by card for this one
Bestia Tasting Menu - About 42,000 pesos after tip or $130-$140 USD
All prices included here are totals and not per person.