Springtime in Buenos Aires: jacarandás in bloom, balmy afternoon aperitivos on your best friend’s rooftop, and the return of the dreaded platform sandal + all-white clothing ensemble. It’s a special time of year, no doubt. It also marks the return of M.E.S.A. de Estación, the seasonal eating initiative that reminds people across Argentina how both important and delicious it is to eat fresh, local ingredients bought from trustworthy producers.
This is the 14th (!) edition of the federal and flavorful foodie fiesta, with over 80 restaurants in 10 cities across Argentina taking part this Spring. The four products selected this time around as the standout representatives of primavera abundance? Eggs, peas, garlic, and cherries. Each restaurant will design a special menu centered around these ingredients, showcasing not only their own individual style and prowess, but the versatility and diversity that they offer along the way.
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Agendate la fecha porque el próximo 3 de diciembre arranca #MesaDePrimavera, la semana gastronómica de la temporada. Vamos a estar presentes en Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, Córdoba, Rosario, Mendoza, Posadas, Neuquén, Cipolletti, San Martín de los Andes y San Patricio del Chañar. 82 Restaurantes confirmados, listos para crear los mejores platos con los productos seleccionados ¿Y cuáles tenemos para cerrar 2019? Huevos, arvejas, ajo y cerezas. Reservate esa semana y en los próximos días te vamos a ir contando más detalles
So when can you take part? From December 3rd through the 9th, if you find yourself in Buenos Aires, Cipolletti, Córdoba, Mar del Plata, Mendoza, Neuquén, Posadas, Rosario, San Martín De Los Andes, or San Patricio Del Chañar, you’re in luck! And if you’re really manija, don’t miss the #CharlaMESA that’s going to be hosted on Monday, December 2nd by Julieta Oriolo, the badass chef and co-owner behind local fave La Alacena. She’ll be joined by a panel of experts and local producers to discuss the impact of local, seasonal eating and how every home cook can use the featured ingredients in their everyday meal prep.
Read on for a quick roundup of our top recommendations for where to eat during the 2019 M.E.S.A. de Estación in Buenos Aires.
You might not realize that this legendary speakeasy – the first of its kind in Buenos Aires – also has a pretty mean kitchen, too. Chef Martín Ramborger has put together quite the menu for the latest M.E.S.A. that is sure to entice you beyond just your regular Negroni at the bar. Start off with a pea ragú with crispy morcilla (AR $300), which is basically the only thing I want to eat for the rest of my life. The peas are cooked in homemade chicken stock, low and slow, to get nice and sweet and soft. The morcilla is joined by a hardboiled egg and some fresh toast to sop it all up. Or, check out the gambas al ajillo with cornbread, prepared on a hot cast iron skillet (duh) with a hint of spicy red pepper; it’s served with boiled potatoes and fresh parsley for AR $300. Ready for dessert? Cherries marinated in Cointreau (zomg) served with a dark chocolate cookie and semifreddo, also for AR $300. You’re welcome.
878 | Thames 878 | Instagram | Tel: 4773-1098
If I could have one person or restaurant cater my life 24/7, it would be Cantina Sunae – or by default, the fuega genius chef behind it all, Christina Sunae herself. Don’t miss the menu they’ve got in store, which is sure to blow you away. Start off with itlog na manok: a salad with cured egg, tomatoes, red onion, and lemon, for AR $370. Move on to the mains with inihaw na pusit, grilled squid served with peas, garlic, cilantro, and lime (AR $430). For dessert? A twist on the restaurant’s classic cobbler, this time with warm cherries, and condensed milk ice cream (AR $260).
This is when you want to amp up the romance, the glam, the magic that is Buenos Aires. Casa Cavia is like an alternate universe, one where your bank account is flush and your skin, flawless. Chef Julieta Caruso is as creative as they come, and this menu will be no different. For a starter, you can nibble on asparagus, creamy egg yolks, and guanciale (AR $620); follow it up with house made pasta featuring peas, beans, edamame and cured cheese (AR $980). For dessert, things get seriously drool-worthy: scorched cherries, cardamom ice cream, and toasted almonds (AR $300). Take someone you’re looking to impress, be it your novie or mom or hell, maybe just yourself. But be sure to wear a clean shirt, yeah?
Casa Cavia | Cavia 2985 | Instagram | Tel: 4809-8600
OK, sorry not sorry for including another Asian restaurant here. Green Bamboo has been rocking it for 20 years and its chef Malvina Gehle keeps things interesting by finding new ways to mix and match Vietnamese and other SE Asian flavors with local produce. Start off with a dragon ball (Z?), a breaded egg with beef and chili sauce, for AR $360. Then go for the wild curry (loving these names, btw), which includes pork, eggplant, fresh peas, and steamed rice (AR $600). For dessert, you might just lose your mind. Cherries marinated in sake served with chocolate crumbs (AR $280). If you get the whole menu, it will cost you AR $1,200, but you can pick and choose which ones you like the most in case you’re struggling with commitment.
Ugh, Los Galgos. The reason I feel nostalgic for a porteño childhood that I actually never had (minor detail of living in another hemisphere and all that), that keeps me tipsy with its Negronis on tap and that offers some of the best people watching in the whole damn city of Buenos Aires. Chef Flor Dragovetsky has kept things in line with their classic-with-a-twist culinary approach, serving a Black Forest cake all day (AR $250), for example. If it’s mealtime, dive into some pea croquettes (#paco) with goat cheese, mint, and sour cream (AR $320) or french fries a caballo with farm eggs, salsa criolla with corn, and cilantro (AR $320). The main course features a ribeye carpaccio with black garlic vinaigrette, arugula, pecorino cheese, grapes, capers, and fried garlic chips (AR $390). For dessert, dark chocolate tart with salty toffee and cherries (RIP me) for AR $280. Want to keep things simple and refreshing af? Ask for a bowl of organic cherries served on ice – they’ll set you back just AR $120.
Los Galgos | Av. Callao & Lavalle | Instagram | Tel: 4371-3561
If you’re looking for a dose of traditional luxury, Tomo I is where you need to be. Situated within the stately Hotel Panamericano, just steps from the flashing lights of the Obelisco, it’s a bastion of fine dining that is eager to remind you this isn’t your grannie’s cooking. Chef Federico Fialayre is at the helm of the operation and never fails to impress. Yes, it’s pricey, but you probably earn in dollars anyway, so I don’t feel sorry for you. Start off with some pea soup (AR $700), and then follow with either chicken, peas, and garlic-infused egg yolk (AR $800), or duck if you’re feeling extra #top, for AR $1,300. For dessert, a classic cherry clafoutis for AR $600. If you want the full menu, with chicken it will set you back AR $1,400, but with duck it’s AR $1,900. Drinks are not included, but there’s no cover charge, so yay! You can also order the dishes a la carte.
Tomo I | Carlos Pellegrini 521 | Instagram | Tel: 4326-6695
Participating Restaurants (members of A.C.E.L.G.A)
1893 (Danilo Ferraz) – 878 Bar (Julián Díaz) Jefe de cocina: Martín Ramborger – Basa Basement Bar &; Restaurant (Luis Morandi) – Basta de humo (Diego García Tedesco and Johnnie Giebert) – Dambleé Brasserie (Raúl Sosa and Gustavo Cano) – Elena Restaurante (Juan Gaffuri) – El Preferido de Palermo (Pablo Rivero – Guido Tassi) – Farinelli Arroyo y Bulnes (Marina Bissone) Chef: María José Moretti – Gioia Restaurante & Terrazas (Antonio Soriano) – Gran Bar Danzón (Luis Morandi) Chef: Aldo Benegas – Green Bamboo (Darío Muhafara) Chef: Malvina Gehle – Hell’s Pizza Palermo (Danilo Ferraz) – La Alacena (Julieta Oriolo) – La Fuerza, bar y vermú (Julián Díaz and Juan Bertero) – La Mar Cebichería Peruana (Gustavo Montestruque) – Los Galgos Bar (Julián Díaz) Chef: Flor Dragovetsky – Los Salones del Piano Nobile (Antonio Soriano) – Malvón (Darío Muhafara) Chef: Sebastián Esme – Möoi (Belgrano, Rosedal, Recoleta and Vicente López) (Jessica Lekerman) – Morelia Caballito (Danilo Ferraz) Chef: Edgar Pronio – Narda Comedor (Narda Lepes) – Nuestro Secreto (Patricia Ramos) – Oh’No! Lulu, Tiki Bar & Pupu Platter (De Biaggi, Morandi, Scheuer) – Parrilla Don Julio (Pablo Rivero) – Restaurante Austria (Diego García Tedesco y Johnnie Giebert) – Tanta Argentina (Gustavo Montestruque) – Tomo 1 (Federico Fialayre) – Yeite (Pamela Villar)
Other Participating Restaurants
ALDO’s (San Telmo) (Maximiliano Matsumoto) – Alegra Restaurante & Vinería (Lorena Papasergio) – Casa Cavia (Julieta Caruso) – Chiuso (Mariano Akman) – Fayer (Mariano Muñoz) – La Pescadorita (Sebastián Valles) Chef: David Ribulgo – La Pianca Bistró (Mercedes Giraudo) – La Tornería de Camila (Cami Pérez) – Museo Evita Restaurant (Juan Frías) – Sunae Asian Cantina (Christina Sunae) – Trattoria Olivetti (Juan Ignacio Ayesa)
Alta Gracia: Herencia (Roal Zuzulich); Capital: Bodegón 7 onzas (Marcelo Navarrete) – Leonardo. Neper Select Hotel (Federico Ernst) – Sibaris (Facundo Tochi y Roal Zuzulich)
Mar del Plata
Caldo (Hernán Domínguez and Lisandro Ciarlotti) – Cantina Lo De Tata (Lisandro Ciarlotti) – Corte y Confección (Esteban Borione)
Aires de Fuego (Nacho Molina) – Bardot (Yamila Olmos) – Bröd Bakery (Centro and Chacras de Coria) (Sebastián Flores and Francisca Costanzo) – Chachingo Craft Beer (Diego Tapia) – Casa Vigil Chachingo (Santiago Maestre) – Casa Vigil Palmares (Sergio Caro) – Finca La Anita (Chefs Pablo Torres y Carlos Torres) – Fuente y Fonda (Carlos Hernández) – Osadía de Crear (at Susana Balbo Wines) – Pan & Oliva. Bodega Santa Julia. Familia Zuccardi (Matías Aldasoro) – Pez Globo (Nacho Molina) – Pie De Cuba (Nacho Molina) – República de Chachingo (Fabricio Terrara) – Restaurante La Vid. Bodega Norton (Patricia Suárez Roggerone) – Restaurant Finca Agostino (Pablo Torres y Carlos Torres) – Unión 777 (Graciana Solari)
Hoy cocino yo (Saúl Lencina)
Neuquén & Río Negro
Casa Tinta (Emmanuel Leiva) – Emmas Sabores, Neuquinos (Emmanuel Leiva) – La Toscana Restaurante (Mauricio Couly)
San Martín De LosAndes
Merkén (Alejandro Marchant) – Torino Bar & Bistró (Pablo Buzzo); San Patricio Del Chañar: Saurus Restaurant (Ezequiel González) /
Del Sur Espacio (Carlo Puricelli)
Churrasquería (Gabriel Ocampo y Pablo Fornero) – Chinchibira (Diego Hugolini) – Cuadra Bistró (Martín Orell) – Esenio (Mariano Risiglione) – Fausta Cocina (Juan Pablo Cugiani) – Rico Bistró (Juan Cimino) – Varón Wine Bar & Bistró (Nicolás Sanfilippo y Yazmín Rojas)