When we heard Cabaña Las Lilas, one of the highest rated steakhouses in the city began serving feijoada – Brazil’s national dish – on Saturdays, we knew we needed to find out what was going on.
Stepping in, there’s no way to miss it: the powerful smell of the hearty bean stew grabs you and leads you to where action is. Twenty three pots are arranged around a large stand, dressed with colorful aromatic plants and flowers. It’s a setup that’s as easy on the eyes as it is delicious.
The Bubble asked Executive Chef Juan Ignacio Caverzaschi where this very un-Argentine choice was coming from and he explained that the restaurant was pursuing two goals. The first: introducing pork cuts that will later integrate into the regular menu for the public. As the house specializes in beef, moving onto include pork seemed like a bold move. Knowing this, Caverzaschi continues “our intention is to introduce these new cuts of pork while guaranteeing the same quality and refinement we use in our cuts of beef”.
The second goal: introducing this Brazilian trademark flavor-bomb to the local public. Not an easy task, considering the Argentine palate tends to be a little reluctant to embrace spice, something Brazilians seem to handle happily. The challenge for Chef Caverzaschi and his team was exactly that: adapting this rich, surprisingly complex dish to the palate of local clients while preserving the what makes feijoada the most beloved dish for our neighbors to the north.
The reactions from Argentine diners seem to be positive. It should be noted that a small parrilla was set up on one side of the stand, giving clients the choice to try the pork cuts cooked in a more familiar way. The pork’s ears, legs or tongue aren’t the immediate choice for most, but have a concentration of flavor that beats the more standard cuts.
Months of preparation preceded the launching of this new and almost audaciously good buffet. Cabaña Las Lilas Head Chef was sent to an affiliate restaurant in Brazil to get proper training. Then came the time to put this recently acquired knowledge to action in his own kitchen, opening the option up to the public in June.
Dividing a dish that is usually cooked in a single pot into 23 parts presented another major challenge: ensuring a regularity in the flavors. To overcome this, a rigorous cooking method had to be set up: the beans are cooked in the meat stock, while every single preparation contains “Tempero”, a Brazilian typical dressing. The result is a large array of preparations unified by a bold and consistent taste.
Our take? It is, as the French would say, a “réussite”. The richness and intensity are kept almost intact. Although we would have welcomed a little more spice or heat, this is with out a doubt, an experience worth switching up your regular Parrila experience for.
Ready Your Eating Pants
Cabaña Las Lilas will only be serving its Feijoada on Saturdays from 12 PM to 5 PM until the end of August. You have our word on it: it’s a bomba of flavor that is well worth hurrying over to Puerto Madero for.
The Feijoada is offered in a buffet format which means you can eat to your heart or waistband’s content. The price for this Brazilian food institution is AR$ 490 for us unfortunate grown ups and about AR$ 240 for kids. You can also have as many “smoothies” as you like and yes, quotation marks mean these smoothies contain alcohol.