Review: Paraje Arévalo

I am still drooling over our experience at this delightful gourmet eatery in the far reaches of Palermo Hollywood. Paraje Arévalo (Arévalo 1502, esq. Cabrera) takes the cake for being one of the most delicious, enjoyable and memorable culinary experiences that I’ve had in the past four years here. Two weeks ago we visited with friends and prepped our bellies for the 6- and 8-course tasting menu that promised a meal that would be nothing short of spectacular.

The restaurant is run by couple Estefanía Di Benedetto and Matías Kyrizis. They worked together at the Fat Duck in the UK; Estefanía also worked at Mugaritz (HELLO). They’ve got some serious street cred, let’s be honest.

The restaurant is tiny, with big glass windows looking out onto a quiet corner removed from the typical Palermo Hollywood craziness. Chef’s bicycle is leaned up against the wall that separates the kitchen from the dining room, and the place is full of subtle charm – a nice contrast from the insanely gourmet touches that you’ll be eating in a few minutes. The menu is prix fixe, wine pairings at an additional cost, there’s a modest corkage fee and an extensive wine list.

Since I’m a delicate flower of a lady, I was the only one at our table that went with the 8 course menu. The lyrics to Queen’s “I want it all” rang in the back of my head as I got in the zone. Note: solely for review purposes I doubled up and obviously snacked on the 6 course menu as well. All in the name of honest journalism.

Everything, even starting with the warm fresh bread and butter, was spot-on.

Let’s get started shall we? (*Note: you’ll see that I got lazy and didn’t clarify how the two menus were served – we all ate the cheese and dessert courses at the same time, and the dishes I was served “alone” were the shrimp and the chicken liver salad. Ok bien)

First Course

6 course: Corn and yellow curry croquette. Delicious, although we should have been warned that the inside was incredibly hot as steamy liquid burst out. It was worth it though.

8 course: Melon gelee with parma ham. I loved this molecular take on honeydew and it was the perfect pair to the salty slice of ham. Fun and refreshing, not at all jiggly/Jello-y.

2nd Course

6 course: Egg cooked at 63°, potato crisp, salsa criolla and fresh chorizo. I love runny eggs, so this was great. The chorizo was a little salty for my taste, so I had to gulp a bit of water after my first bite. I loved the fresh salsa criolla.

8 course: Apple geleé with cucumber topped with prawns. I am obsessed with cucumber so I really liked the freshness of this dish. The prawns were large and in charge, none of this wimpy camarón stuff you see elsewhere. A cool mix of flavors for sure.

3rd Course

6 course: Merluza with a fennel and orange salad, topped with a yogurt foam. I had just a nibble of this one and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t fighting to shove my fork back over there. Everyone at the table said it was yum city, light and with nice flavor.

8 course: Breaded egg a la Florentina. I loved loved loved this. The egg was cooked perfectly, the yolk still nice and runny, with a badass crispiness on the outside. It sat on a sort of avocado emulsion so I was basically licking my plate clean at this point.

4th Course

6 course: Goat cheese tortellini with Greek olives, lemon and oregano. Accompanied by a smoked eggplant smudge (?). The olives were really salty (maybe I’m just a salt wimp?) but I love goat cheese and the pasta was nice and homemade. The eggplant bit on the side seemed a bit random but I love the smoky flavor so I’ll go with it.

8 course: Warm chicken liver salad. This sounds gross but it was so, so good. I loved the earthiness – not at all mealy like liver can be – and the mix with portobello mushrooms reminded me of an escargot dish I had in Paris earlier this year. It was both simple and complex and I really liked that.

5th Course

6 course: Cheeses. A little small (3 bite sized pieces) but delicious regardless. I love cheese.

8 course: White fish tempura with spicy pepper paste. The fish wasn’t as tempura-y as I had expected but the batter was light and golden. My favorite part was the spicy pepper paste – I would have bottled that if I could. It was a nice kick to the palate and complemented the fish perfectly.

6th Course

6 course: Dessert – Braised pineapple with rice flour shortcake and lemonade sorbet. The sorbet was so, so good. Nice and icy, refreshing and natural. The shortcake was so-so, but the pineapple was surprisingly good. I almost always prefer chocolate for dessert though, so obviously my menu won.

8 course: Slow cooked lamb with a fresh tomato and mint salad. At this point I had to unzip the pants a bit (full disclosure) because my panza was getting full. The lamb was a little tough to cut, but cooked how I like it. The fresh salad was simple but kept the dish from being too heavy. Just goes to show that the key to a good meal is quality ingredients.

7th Course

This was the cheese course that was served in conjunction with the 6 coursers. Like I said before, small little pieces but simple and good.

8th Course

Dessert: Chocolate “borrachito” (just go with it) with coconut and dulce de leche semifreddo. This. Was. Amazeballs. I loved the texture of the semifreddo and the density of the chocolate.

We accompanied dessert with a glass of poir, one of my favorite boozy treats. I loved that they had it on the menu! Bonus points.

Paraje Arévalo is definitely a gem and worth checking out. I look forward to the monthly menu changes and am already looking for an excuse to go back. Perhaps you don’t even need an excuse; the moustachioed waiters are more than enough.

Paraje Arévalo
Arévalo 1502, esq. Cabrera (Palermo Hollywood)
4775-7759
Thursday – Saturday, From 8 pm, Reservations highly recommended
6 or 8 course tasting menu (AR$160/ AR$180)
Wine Pairings an additional AR$160
Corkage AR$50
Tuesday – Sunday, 8 am – 4 pm
3 or 5 course lunch menu

They say it’s cash only, but I did see people paying with credit card. Bring cash just in case.

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