Today would be my final full day in Buenos Aires. Work kept me busy until about 1pm when I was finally able to escape for a bite to eat. This time I was certain my destination was open so I made the quick walk down the street and arrived the relatively empty L’adesso a few minutes later.
There is a fairly large Italian influence in Buenos Aires and this place is considered to be one of the better restaurants focused on real Italian cuisine. I had been told their 3 course tasting menu was excellent and soon discovered there were in fact 2 options – Il Piccolo or Il Grande. Sending the latter might be too much I opted for the smaller. I was soon presented with a very nice amuse bouche of fresh tomatoes and basil on focaccia.
About 10 minutes later, this monster arrived. A huge bowl of eggplant Parmesan with rosemary and black olives. This is definitely not my usual favorite mix of ingredients but I trusted the chef. While definitely not my favorite dish on my trip, it was still very good with the fresh rosemary helping cut through all of the richness. I knew from the menu that the 2nd course was pasta of some kind but after about 15 minutes of waiting, I began to wonder if perhaps that last course was it.
A few minutes after that the mystery was solved when presented with a massive bowl of bucatini with fresh tomatoes, olives and white fish with a seafood broth. Again not something I would necessarily order on my own, it was very good.
The final course said “a trio of desserts” so that left a lot to wonder. I knew though it would probably be very good and soon found out when an impressive spread of tiramisu, biscotti with limoncello sauce and gelato with caramel arrived. Unfortunately, I knew due to the caffeine I couldn’t have the tiramisu but the other two were fantastic.
Seeing though that I hadn’t touched the tiramisu, the server asked if I wanted something else. Not wanting to be rude I said sure. The chef himself brought out the replacement – an absolutely perfect pana cotta with macerated black cherries So good in fact I forgot to take a photo – d’oh!
I somehow rolled away from the table and headed back to the apartment to lie down for a bit. After a bit more work and my usual siesta, it was time to hail a cab to the up and coming barrio of Belgrano.
I had wanted to check out this area during my last stay but somehow never got around to it. My destination was a newish restaurant Astor which featured modem takes on classic Argentine dishes. After about a 20 minute cab ride, I exited and walked up the block…only to discover a sign saying they were moving locations. Grrr.
It took awhile to hail another cab in this quiet residential area and without Internet access, I didn’t really have a new address in mind. I decided to just be dropped off in the center of Palermo Soho and go from there.
As I walked down one of the main streets, I saw a place called Sintaxis that had been on my list so that sounded good. I walked in to the large bustling dining room that seemed to be mostly groups of friends and families. The only table available was for 6 so I felt a bit odd sitting in that solo but oh well.
When the menu came, I discovered that the concept of the restaurant was that everything is gluten free. Only in trendy Palermo Soho would this work. Still, given the insane amount of gluten I had ingested for lunch perhaps this wasn’t a bad idea.
Since I really didn’t have a clue how to navigate a menu like this, I relied on my server who recommended the pork ribs with BBQ sauce and roasted apples. While not to the most aesthetically pleasing of dishes, it tasted great and was a nice change of pace after so many heavy meals.
After dinner, I walked a few blocks over for one last nightcap with my old friends at Rey de Copas. I told the bartenders about my experience at Nicky Harrisons and had the original version of the Negrito Peligroso, which was quite good but not in the same class as the one I had at the speakeasy. I chatted awhile with one of the other Rey bartenders, who was there on his day off and had a long discussion about why Argentine beer is so terrible and how hard it is to get imported liquor due to the very high restrictions/taxes.
By just over 1AM, I hit the wall and while tempted to have one last drink, I knew tomorrow would be a long day and probably wise to just head home. I told my friends I would be back at some point soon and cruised back to the apartment.