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Gourmet Switcheroo: Two of Argentina’s Best Restaurants Trade Places

Aramburu and El Papagayo pop-up in each other's kitchens Nov 21-23.

By | [email protected] | November 6, 2019 12:39pm

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Talk about taking the concept of a pop-up to the next level. Aramburu and El Papagayo, two of Argentina’s best restaurants – hands down – will be trading places from November 21-23 as part of the SWITCH foodie series. Each restaurant’s complete kitchen and front of house teams will participate in the exchange, lending new meaning to the series motto gastronomía en movimiento. If you’ve been looking for something to snap you out of your inevitable fin de año slump, consider this the perfect opportunity to take the plunge.

This is the first time two restaurants will literally switch places. Aramburu will leave its cozy Recoleta pasaje and set sights on Córdoba, Argentina’s most fun city (there, I said it), and El Papagayo will take a break from its narrow confines to take Buenos Aires by storm. Both experiences are guarantees of creative, conceptual, and innovative cuisine with a heavy focus on local and seasonal products and high-quality ingredients.

Argentina’s evolving and dynamic journey to culinary maturity has made leaps and bounds in recent years, with a new crop of young and fearless chefs, sommeliers and winemakers, and other gastro professionals testing the limits and leading the way in transforming the national palate. By prioritizing the country’s own bounty rather than look to Europe or North America for guidance, they’re putting local culture and heritage on the pedestal it deserves, playing with exciting and unexpected preparations that put any doubts about Argentina’s ability to play in the big leagues to bed.

Now, let’s get down to business. Aramburu – which recently ranked No. 9 in TripAdvisor’s “Traveller’s Choice” global awards – has been around for more than a decade yet never ceases to raise the bar. For years it was located in a rather nondescript (if not seedy) part of the city, highlighting the contrast between its grim surroundings and the pure magic that transpired within its walls. Nowadays you can find it nestled on the darling Pasaje del Correo in Recoleta, across the way from its more laid-back sibling, BIS.

El Papagayo is superlative in every sense. Chef Javier Rodríguez fell in love with the passageway that barely measures more than 6 feet wide (yes, you read that right) and managed to transform what could be mistaken for negative space into one of Argentina’s most superb fine dining destinations. With just 36 covers, the experience of eating at El Papagayo is exciting and enjoyable enough to bring a smile to even the toughest of critics. Its hyper-seasonal approach to the tasting menu, paired with a less-than-typical wine list, make it reason enough to hop on the next flight to La Docta, stat.

If you’re ready to sink your teeth into the delicious delights these restaurants have planned, we’ve got some intel on the menus. El Papagayo at Aramburu will offer a 14-course tasting menu that includes everything from oysters to aged beef to grilled duck – with a dizzying array of local produce to round it all out. Aramburu, meanwhile has a whopping 19 courses (!) in its arsenal. From cashew cheese to kimchi cannoli to fish and venison and duck to popcorn… let’s just say you’re in for a serious treat – and then some. Both menus include pairings with D.V. Catena wines, because #glamour.

You’ll need to book ahead of time, of course. Check out all of the details below. Bon appétit!

SWITCH Aramburu – El Papagayo | November 21 – 23 | From 7PM | Each menu AR $4,200 

Aramburu | Vicente López 1661 – Recoleta | Tel: 4811-1414 | Web

El Papagayo | Arturo M. Bas 69 – Córdoba Capital | Tel: (0351) 425-8689 | Web