Looking to enjoy a succulent meal with like-minded people?
Fuudis, a food tour program in operation since 2011, seeks to bring porteño and visiting gourmands together for a casual night of food sampling, wine and cocktail pairings and conversation. On both lunch and dinner tours, guests are invited to enjoy appetizers at one restaurant, main dishes at another and desserts at a third. Think of it as a book club but with better hors-d’oeuvres and no need to bloviate about books you never got around to reading.
Menus are fixed. Costs run in the 400-peso range, restaurants are in walking distance of each other and groups are typically capped at 15 guests. Though most attendees are porteños, Fuudis is welcoming to foreigners of any age and has become quite popular with tourists. The founder, a bilingual expat, is at the disposal of any forlorn English-speaker attempting to mingle with savvy porteño food connoisseurs.
Founder Anne Reynolds, a gregarious Aussie expat, launched Fuudis some years after relocating to Buenos Aires from London. “There were no tours then in Buenos Aires apart from the PubCrawl but nothing with food. So we wanted to combine gourmet and social, which is how Fuudis was born,” Reynolds said.
As a starving web journalist, I lunged at the chance to observe a special Buenos Aires Food Week edition of the Fuudis dinner tour. I was in attendance strictly for research of course and not, as I had to remind myself, to feed off the scraps of the other patrons. Fortunately for me, Reynolds took pity on my wan appearance and invited me to join in the tastings. Score!
First stop: Bengal (Cabello 3788)
Our tour began at the elegant Italian-Indian fusion restaurant Bengal. We were treated to a beet carpaccio with passion fruit and fried squid and, of course, generous pours of white wine. While I am still unsure of what Italian-Indian fusion is, I appreciated the effort to brighten up classic Italian dining with inspiration from the East.
The main attraction: Guido (Cerviño 3943)
We then continued to Guido, which appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek take on the US variant of Italian cuisine. While I am not particularly fond of runny North American marina sauces, the lasagna served was a hearty pang of nostalgia of my first trip to New York’s Little Italy. Also, red wine!
Dessert: Mishiguene (Lafinur 3368)
The final stop, regrettably only for dessert, was at a new favorite of mine, Mishiguene. Coupling classic Jewish dishes with Arab flavors (the restaurant was billed to me as Israeli), Mishiguene is both upscale and utterly one-of-a-kind. For dessert, we sampled a yogurt blended with crunchy pistachios and caramelized apples as well as some kind of sweet dessert wine (they pour; I drink). I would recommend you visit Mishiguene for their famed pastrami and unique interpretation on baba ghanoush.
Fuudis is a lovely time. I exchanged stories with a few locals, met fellow lovers of food and drank wines that cost more than 50 pesos.
And now may be a better time than any to begin attending, as the Buenos Aires food scene is truly just beginning to flourish. “Things have changed massively in the food scene. People are willing to try more and experience new tastes. Chefs have a lot more fun with their menus and use a lot more produce”, Reynolds opined.
For more information visit the Fuudis website at fuudis.com.