The title of this post is obviously misleading. It can apply to anyone eager to celebrate the holidays, regardless of denomination, and when I say “orphan” I mean the expat orphans (like myself) who aren’t lucky enough to spend such special days with our families. We have three options: hope we are invited to spend them with Argentine friends (out of pity), cry ourselves to sleep while we watch “Home Alone,” “Love, Actually,” and “Elf” on a continuous loop, or go all-out and splurge on a nice dinner somewhere fancy-schmancy.
La Nación seems to be behind option #3 as they published a handy guide to such pursuits in last week’s Magazine. I’m not going to lie, when I read this list I laughed out loud, mostly because I wonder what Argentine would be willing to spend this kind of money on a dinner. Maybe if you’re a tourist from the US or Europe I can understand shelling out some serious dough (after all, most of these prices are quoted in dollars. Touché, Arg), but it continues to baffle me how anyone manages to do anything here. But I digress. Here are some ideas for Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) or New Year’s Eve dinners all about town …
Bengal – Arenales 837 – Retiro, 4314-2926
Ok so this one wasn’t in La Nación but I’ve got to add it. Bengal – one of my most favorite places of all time – will be hosting a big Christmas dinner this year: six courses, all with wine pairings and lots of yummy goodness. Ceviche, oysters, crab claws, rack o’lamb … and more. Prices are AR$480 a person (children under 12 AR$240).
Sofitel – Arroyo 841 – Retiro, 4131-0100
Live music, entertainment for the kiddos, and a REAL LIVE Santa handing out gifts (I hope he made a stop at Cartier) !!!! The four course meal will include things like salmon caviar and roast turkey. It will only set you back AR$550/person, children AR$250. I better start forging my ID so I can get that discount.
Alvear Palace – Alvear 1891 – Recoleta, 4805-3857
Let’s be honest. We all know this is out of your (my?) price range. But it can’t hurt to dream. Besides, since you can’t sneak your dollars out of the country this year you might as well spend them locally. Right? This eight course feast will be chock full o’ caviar, red tuna, duck and an 18k “chocolate sphere.” I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds expensive. Cost per person, US$360.
Hotel Madero – Rosario Vera Peñaloza 360 – Puerto Madero, 5776-7652
This is a pretty cool hotel down in the Miami-esque bubble usually known for the Hilton and Faena. Apparently this year’s New Year’s Eve menu will be inspired by color and the sensations that the food/color emit. Whatever. Live music, costumes (for whom?), acrobats and a DJ will all be there to rock out. US$250 a person, children for US$125. Christmas Eve prices: US$165 for adults.
Palacio Duhau – Alvear 1661 – Recoleta, 5171-1352
My favorite hotel of all, the Palacio Duhau is going balls to the wall this year. The garden courtyard will be specially decked out for the occasion and there will also be a tango show inside. You can choose to dine in either the Piano Nobile, Restaurant Gioia or the Duhau Restaurante. Prices start at US$300 a person (children pay half), but the tango show/dinner option is going to cost you US$600 a head … you might want to sell a kidney on the black market beforehand. Just in case.
Cabaña Las Lilas -Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 516 – Puerto Madero, 4313-1336
Everyone’s favorite ripoff, Cabaña Las Lilas will offer a seven course Christmas Eve menu accompanied by the exclusive Rutini wines. For dessert you’ll get some Nespresso and turrón español. All of this for just AR$860 !! Children under 5 are free, awkward pre-teens pay AR$430. For New Year’s Eve this fiesta is going to cost you a whopping AR$1280.
Sette Bacco – Agüero 2157 – Recoleta, 4808-0021
Ok, so this one won’t burn too big a hole in your wallet. Sette Bacco – one of my favorite Italian places in the city – will be preparing a four course meal paired with Escorihuela Gascón wines and champagne. Also, Chef Daniel Hansen is kind of hot. Did I just say that? Price – AR$495 for adults, children under 12 AR$245.
Other places mentioned in the article worth checking out: Astrid & Gastón, Benihana and Aljibe at the Sheraton.
Planeta Joy just added their 15 ideas for holiday meals – Check out the article HERE