A popular Argentine saying asserts that “God is everywhere, but the only place he has to work is in Buenos Aires” – a phrase meant to mock the country’s apparent penchant for all things bureaucratic. But the latest edition of LatAm’s 50 Best Restaurants suggests that he might want to take a break and eat while he is here as well due to the fact that 10 Porteño restaurants made the list.
The Latin America’s 50 Best Academy, which brings over 250 culinary experts together to make their decision, held the 2015 award ceremony in the heart of Mexico City. Peruvians continued to dominate the list with Lima-based eatery Central ranking first, Argentina and Mexico were the most represented countries with 10 restaurants making it to the Top 50 each. Buenos Aires came out first in the cities’ ranking as it hosts the biggest number of listed bistros. These are the 10 restaurants you need to add to your wish list. Right away.
Tegui, from Argentine chef German Martitegui, made it once again to the top 10. He also happens to be the ruthless judge from Masterchef Argentina, by the way. Martitegui’s restaurant was not only ranked in 7th place, but it was also acknowledged as Argentina’s Best Restaurant for the second year in a row. Booking your table might be more difficult than ever but it is clearly worth the struggle.
Two other notorious Porteño restaurants managed to stay on the list for another year. Chila – the only female-led kitchen on Argentine’s list – kept its 21st position while Chef Soledad Nardelli’s creativity was exalted. Aramburu (28) moved back quite a few positions, but this Monserrat bistro still managed to enchant the judges enough to stay in the running.
Meat, Oh Precious Meat
(Not so) surprisingly, Argentine meat was the key element to many of the awarded menus. San Telmo’s El Baqueano and its autochthonous and unconventional meat selections (read llama or crocodile) clearly made an impression on the jury who awarded it 15th place. Palermo’s touristic hub La Cabrera made it to spot number 19, applauded for its “massive meat cuts” and the diversity of its side dishes. Dante Liporace’s Tarquino also made the cut (yay dad jokes), and onto our personal must-try-that-like-right-away list. Their all-meat “from head to tail” tasting menu stands out as particularly tempting.
Four Season’s Elena came up through the ranks and made it to the 37th position. Rumors has it that Elena’s bife de chorizo fascinated the jury, but we don’t like rumors, so we’ll be checking out that famous piece of steak for ourselves soon because… research.
The well-deserved entrance of Don Julio onto the list made us particularly proud, as our favorite parrilla was praised by the jury for its (and I’m quoting my stomach here) out-of-this-world bife de cuadril and its mouth-watering entraña. Yes, Don Julio groupies you were right! Restó (43) from Chef Guillermo Tassi was the hidden Recoleta pearl who dazzled the jury and joined Don Julio on the list of newbies. Restó’s debut on the Top 50 was just another brutal slap in the face reminding us that there’s life and fine dining beyond Palermo.
OK, Enough with the Meat
We know you’ve been craving some decent seafood. Well, Oviedo’s is not only good but “sophisticated” according to the Top 50 Academy. As if heavenly seafood wasn’t enough of a reason to visit it, Oviedo’s pasta is highly acclaimed by its regulars.
Yes, you counted correctly. We’ve already mentioned 10 restaurants, but a bonus shout out is totally called for here. Latam’s 50 Best Academy also granted a special recognition to one of the most creative and exciting kitchens in Buenos Aires. I Latina, established by the trilogy of Macias’ siblings – Santiago, Camilo and Laura – obtained the “One To Watch” award. If you haven’t tried I Latina’s eight-course tasting menu, you’ve been missing out BIG time. Chef Santiago Macias and his team have managed to merge Colombian cuisine with Latin American flavors while revising and enhancing traditional cooking methods.
Latam’s 50 best has given its verdict and one thing is for sure, Argentine cuisine has managed to impress the world and is starting to carve a name out for itself for having more than just empanadas and chimichurri.