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Buenos Aires - recommendations, but not meat


nickarte
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Can anyone reccomend restaurants in Buenos Aires that are NOT meat-based? We are by no means vegetarians, but are from Mexico which is loaded with Argentine meat places. Once a year is enough for a steak, in my opinion! I'm more interested in seafood or anything else that might be interesting...

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You could then try some Italian restaurants in Belgrano. El Gato in Puerto Madero, Parilla 1880 in San Telmo, or try Katmandu, Indian restaurant. If you want more specifics please do not hesitate or you can look up Clarin for reviews.

Edited by anil (log)

anil

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Can anyone reccomend restaurants in Buenos Aires that are NOT meat-based? We are by no means vegetarians, but are from Mexico which is loaded with Argentine meat places.  Once a year is enough for a  steak, in my opinion! I'm more interested in seafood or anything else that might be  interesting...

Try El Federal in the Palermo Viejo area: the chef has used typical Argentine dishes (not necessarily grilled meat) and created an updated menu. There are a lot of non-grilled-meat restaurants in Palermo Viejo, some very good.

Do not miss Piegari in Calle Posadas, I think it's one of the best Italian (northern) restaurants I've ever eaten in. Beware, portions are HUGE.

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  • 3 weeks later...

you and I are different breeds nickarte! :smile: But luckily for you BA has some great dining options.

I second the idea of Italian in La Boca. I put the homemade gnocchi at the top of my ever tasted list. You really can't miss in this neighborhood for Italian. We really liked Il Matterello (Martin Rodriguez and Villafane). Prices weren't the highest, weren't the lowest (no more than $15 for a dinner plate).

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  • 3 months later...

This is my first post on these boards, thank you for allowing me to join.

I second the recommendation of Oviedo - in my book, one of the premiere places for Seafood in Buenos Aires.

For an upscale gourmet experience, Nectarine is always an option.

Italian fare is always very good at Bella Italia. In what may come as a surprise to many gourmands knowledgable about Buenos Aires, the fashionable La Parolaccia has commendable pasta dishes.

Visit Argentina and try wines from the RIGHT side of the Andes !!!

www.terroir.com.ar

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I haven't had very good luck with seafood here in Buenos Aires - yet.

Unless you go for Japanese, the smell of any fish restaurant leaves a lot to be desired.

As an Italian I seldom encounter properly cooked pasta, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with home made (al dente) pappardelle al pesto at Piegari in La Recova. Good pizza pizzaiola also, for a change without tons of cheese on top.

I am toying with the idea of Katmandu - got a hankering for Indian food. Anyone know how authentic it is? (I live in India half the year).

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Well, I haven't had very good luck with seafood here in Buenos Aires - yet.

Unless you go for Japanese, the smell of any fish restaurant leaves a lot to be desired.

...

I spent all of April in Buenos Aires and have been there several times before. As someone who doesn't eat a lot of red meat, I naturally get cravings down there.

I've tried seeking out good seafood places but have never had any luck. I'd get a tip, try a place out, and be disappointed. There's pretty good Japanese. It seems to be a trend. But I live in what is basically a Japantown area here in the San Francisco Bay Area with probably 20 Japanese restaurants within a half dozen blocks of me so eating Japanese in Buenos Aires isn't much of a treat even though the sushi I tried in Buenos Aires was admittedly pretty good. They obviously have access to a good supply of fish.

I do have a suggestion though. After I returned on this last trip, I went through the Argentine cookbooks that I bought and found that Patagonia (in the south) appears to place more emphasis on seafood. Therefore, I would suggest finding a restaurant that specializes in Patagonian regional cuisine. They just might have some good Argentine seafood dishes.

Edited by esvoboda (log)
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...

As an Italian I seldom encounter properly cooked pasta, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised  with  home made (al dente) pappardelle al pesto at Piegari in La Recova. Good pizza pizzaiola also, for a change without tons of cheese on top.

...

This is very interesting to me. As an American who often doesn't care much for "Italian" food and even much of "authentic Italian", whatever the region, that I find in the restaurants here, I found myself enjoying much of the Italian food there. I've always wanted to ask an Italian what he or she thought of the Italian food in Buenos Aires. I know roughly half the people in the city can claim Italian ancestry and most of them arrived around the same time that the Italian immigrants arrived in New York City. Obviously, what passes for "Italian" here is actually Italian-American which can be pretty different than anything found in Italy. I wonder if Italian-Argentine is just as different or if it is closer to what one might find in Italy. I'm guessing the biggest difference is more use of beef.

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Good seafood (and this is relative, of course) is hard to find in Buenos Aires. If you're looking for the freshest stuff you need to get out of Buenos Aires and travel either south to Mar del Plata (basically a holiday destination), or north to Rosario in the Santa Fe province.They are both known for their fresh fish (former coming from the sea, latter coming from the river if I'm not mistaken), but in my opinion neither are particularly interesting destinations.

If you can't get out of Buenos Aires, you could visit either the Vasco Frances or Vasco Fermin (french-basque restaurants), which have good quality and decent preparations.

I've also heard of a few peruvian restaurants that make killer ceviche (citrus-marinated fish), but I have to look those recs up.

Moreover, fresh fish can be bought in Buenos Aires' Chinatown, but that's assuming you'll cook it yourself.

Also, high-end restaurants like La Bourgogne, Agraz, Nectarine, etc. have excellent fish dishes, as they get their fish regularly from fishing ports like Mar del Plata or further down south, and have properly trained cooks to handle it.

SD

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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I have to agree: Seafood does not come naturally to this city. It's not uncommon to see a breaded filet of "merluza" (hake) on some restaurant menus, but anything beyond that requires a little more hunting.

I'm speaking mostly of places that aren't on the top end. I have heard good things about Oviedo, mentioned earlier in the thread, but I can't exactly make it a regular lunch or dinner spot.

I lived in Spain for a little bit and enjoyed the appreciation for seafood there. Most recently I lived in Chicago which although far from the ocean has such a vibrant food scene that good seafood was relatively easy to come by. So the relative lack of fish here has been an adjustment. As noted above, Argentina has had a lot of immigration. The Italian immigration shows up in the food and the Spanish immigration does too, BUT this does not seem to extend to a seafood tradition. Oh well.

Peruvian restaurants are indeed a good bet for some seafood and I can recommend one I found to be solid. It's called Status, and it's in what I would call the Congreso area. The service was friendly, the prices were reasonable. I went for lunch on a weekday and there were very few people there, I'm not sure what the scene would be like at other times.

I had the ceviche and a side of potatoes in a creamy sauce. I'm not a Peruvian cuisine expert, so I can't go into how it might compare to other places, but I enjoyed my meal.

As another seafood aside, fish markets aren't too difficult to find. In my experience, the selection can be limited but that said, I've been able to get some very fresh fish. The only problem I had was deciding what the hell it is I was buying. My Spanish is good, but I've decided a lot of these critters don't exist in the States, so the names just aren't going to mean much to me. A little trial and error -- and asking the fishmonger for tips -- helps, though.

I also sometimes make use of a few web sites that have the scientific names of fish found in Argentina, and then cross-reference those with a site that gives English common names for scientific names of fish. [Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands to contemplate fish names].

My favorite fish market is on Corrientes between Estado de Israel and Lambare. [They also sell Jewish breads: challah, etc.] They have a good selection of prepared fish foods, too: seafood salads, etc.

Finally, a seafood pet peeve: I have yet to come to terms with the prevalence of "krab" here. Kani-kama has taken over the city. (I know it's more economical than real crab, but I would just as soon see another fish entirely). Phew. Glad I got that off my chest.

www.restaurantstatus.com.ar

Virrey Cevallos 178 - Ciudad de Buenos Aires

Tel: 4382-8531

Good list of fish often seen in markets/on menus here:

http://www.harengus.com/english/species.html

. . . from which you can pull the scientific name and pop it in here:

http://www.fishbase.org/search.cfm

Hope this helps someone.

-dan

Edited by Daniel Shumski (log)
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