Monthly Archives: December 2010

Another 4 days in Argentina

After our return to BA we were searching to find wines that we had learned about during our visit to Mendoza. We headed out early for the antique market and street market. I found several things to purchase in the antique market but since they only accept cash I was limited on my purchases. There were no cash machines around so go prepared. there is a lot to buy.

We had a crazy lunch at “la Brigada”. La Brigada has been the go to restaurant of all those soccer players of past and present teams. The owner is a past player himself and the walls are draped with every type of memorabilia you could imagine. They are famous for their beef, we shared a large steak and when was servedour waiter cut the meat  with a spoon before being passed around our table. We did find one of our new wines on the menu for $22.00.
Be sure to check out the underground eating, dinner served in private homes. The top pick seems to be “Casa Salt Shaker”, we did not make reservations far enough ahead and they were full for the two nights that they serve, another hot underground spot  is ” Casa Felix”.

We walked for hours each day making sure to visit the Evita Museum and a true walk back in time. We also took a cab over to their modern museum, well worth a visit.

We did attend a tango show at the Hotel Faena, this is a small venue compared to show that are in a grander space. The hotel is worth seeing, a true showcase of work by Phillipe Stark.  Back at the hotel we sat out on the deck at midnight and shared a light supper with many others.

Shopping again took on a life of its own. There is a great handbag store next door to the Hyatt called “Humawaca” we bought several bags called a mail bag worn over one shoulder, great for traveling. 

Do not miss the famous ice cream at one of the many “Volta” ice cream shops. The flavor touted by all is their Dulce de Leche. You will find this thick carmel in one form or another on every desert list. The Argentine people eat huge amounts of dulce de leche so you have to try it.

Be sure to make time to go to “Guido’s for a beautiful pair of hand made moccasins. This company has been making shoes and moccasins for over 120 years and they really do fit like a glove, for about  $70 dollars.

Back to the hotel we had to walk a couple of blocks to the most famous empanadas places in BA, “El Sanjuanino” , 1515 Posadas Street. You can try several types, a caraf of house wine all for $10.00 and head out to dinner later.

On the last day we walked the Soho area, a young hip area with great shops. Shoes seemed to be the real bargain and we took advantage of the assortment before taking a time out for lunch. We ate at a place called Mott, very clean white walls, L.A. type food but fresh and perfect after so much meat.

Back to the hotel for a late check out and a process of getting all our great purchases into our bags. We used Silver Star Transport for our return trip to the airport., e-mail ahead to fourpoint64@yahoo.com. This is a good service that you can use world wide. www.silverstarcar.com

We loved every minute and will return in the near future.  

The

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Argentina, Buenos Aires and Mendoza

On November 29th I went to Buenos Aires with three other ladies that are involved with food and wine. Joanne Weir, www.joanneweir.com, Lauri Corliss, owns Corliss Estate wine,www.corlissestates.com, with husband Michael, Barbara Buzzell of Dallas, has a P.R. firm dealing with food and chefs.

We arrived in BA early in the morning after a long flight from the U.S. and hit the road running. After dropping our luggage we changed into summer clothes and headed to the cemetery,  it seems to be on the top of everyones list. We had a guide to walk us around and point out the tombs of interest, including Evita’s place of rest.

Since we were on a quest to experience the true colors of this country we wanted to have a late lunch, walk for a while and go to dinner at the proper time after 9:30.

Lunch was at a fun local place called La Cholita close to the cemetery, they did good empanadas, and a platter of grilled meats all for a reasonable price of about $14.00 per sperson, including a bottle of wine.

After lunch we started walking and ended up at the Alvear Hotel for their tea time, shared a few cookies, and glasses of  local wine.  Back to our hotel, after a short nap, we made our way to the famous steak house called “La Cabrera”. There are two La Cabrera’s, so be sure to ask for the first one, not the new one.  Remember to share the main courses, the standard for steak service is a 16 oz. portion.

The next day we headed out early to shop for a few leather items.  We found great things in a well know shop called “Casa Lopez,”  www.casalopez.com.ar , there are several so find one close to your hotel.  The values were amazing, be sure to ask for a discount if you pay cash.  Each section of BA has a different feeling so take time to explore, we were staying at the Park Hyatt in the Rocoleta area and the shopping in this area is  high-end . The hotel gets an A+, good restaurants, spa and the service was top notch.

They recommended  a great neighborhood restaurant for lunch and it was interesting since not many tourists, most of the customers were business people and the food was very fresh and local. The restaurant “Fervor” on Posadas 1519, was two blocks from the hotel. We shared fresh fish, and several side dishes each one perfect, once again trying their version of empanadas.

Time for shopping and just walking through the neighborhoods played a huge roll the rest of the afternoon.  There is a wonderful shop in the Alvear Hotel called “Ariete” , wallyvintageworld @arnet.com.ar, we all found great things made of silver and special serving pieces. Now our next problem was how to get all the treasures home that we bought.

Dinner our second night was at a new restaurant that is a must when in BA. Tegui is the new brain child of chef German Martitegui, 5852 Costa Rica Street in Palermo. When you arrive at the front door you feel like you made a mistake, but after you ring the bell and the black door opens a new adventure awaits you.  The other more famous place owned by Chef Martitegui is “Casa Cruz”.  We loved the first course of Asparagus, brie cheese with arugula sprouts and a small glass holding a tomato ice-cream. You decide how many courses you wish to share and pay accordingly.

The next mroning we caught an early morning flight to Mendoza, about an hour and half to the wine country and worth the time and energy. We were in the hands of Carolyn Gallagher, the owner of a company called Uncorking Argentina, carolyn@uncorkingargentina.com.  If you are going to visit this region and want the best treatment, visits to hard to visit wineries and the perfect tour you must contact Carolyn. Our first stop was “Cheval Andes”  where we were greeted by Nicolas Audebert, wine maker and manager of this beautiful winery.  As you drive down the long road between the fresh vines you see a Polo field in the middle, a beautiful guest/ greeting space and a view of the surrounding mountains. Welcome to Mendoza. 

Lunch was served to us at the parent winery, Terrazas where Clarisa Murekian, made us feel at home. You can spend the night in one of their 6 rooms and enjoy the food of their in house chef. We had a grand tour and loved every sip of wine and the veal served for lunch was perfect in every way, visit www.terrazasdelosandes.com, for details. 

We spent the night at the new Sheraton Hotel in town, good workout space plus a casino in case you need to throw the dice. We rested and then went to dinner at 1884, Francis Mallman’s restaurant, www.1884restaurant.com. It is hard to describe the restaurant except to say that we were so pleased with every aspect. We ate inside since it was cool in the garden at 10 pm. The cooking is done in one of the many mud ovens with an open fire next to it for all the grilled meats.  Their corn dish called Humitis was so good we could have had seconds. We enjoyed a great bottle of Bramare 2007.

After returning to our hotel at 1 am we were up and ready to drink the next great wine.  Nothing could be better than the first visit to “Achaval Ferrer Winery”, www.achaval-ferrer.com. This cult winery has earned its reputation with wines like their Malbac called Fiaca Bella Vista. You will also enjoy learning about a venture called “Hand of God” that Santiago, the wine maker, is doing with Jon Staenberg. 

Read my next post 4 more days in B.A.

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