Now that the initial hoopla surrounding closed-door restaurants has settled down a bit, I feel as though there’s a second wave of incredible spots opening up and garnering buzz while still managing to fly below the radar (I Latina and NOLA come to mind). Last week I was happy to discover a restaurant that seems to be even more ensconced in secrecy yet that provides something original and different on the puerta cerrada scene.
Chambre Tres is located in the far reaches of Belgrano and for now is only open on Friday nights. At the helm in the kitchen is former Thymus chef, Fernando Mayoral while your hosts are Daniel Kantorowicz and Paola Taboada. Chambre Tres blends a gourmet experience with art & music; each week a different performance will take place both during and after dinner.
The space is incredible – an old house covered in ivy totally renovated on the inside to reveal open, modern lines. Exposed brick ceilings and hardwood floors are contrasted by a huge mirror and sleek black & white furniture. You can choose to sit at a communal table or sit with your friends/dining buddies. It’s nice to have the option.
You’re greeted with a glass of champagne and mix and mingle with the other guests. Starting time seems flexible – we had a reservation for 9:30 but didn’t move to our table until nearly an hour later. One detail I wish they would consider would be printing out the menu so you know what you’ll be eating – I had seen the menu on Facebook a few days earlier but had completely forgotten by then!
We started with a ceviche of sole, mango, red onion and smoked chile. I was surprised at how small it was – more of an amuse bouche than an appetizer. It was delicious though, I could have eaten 10 more. Our next course was a dim sum with prawns wrapped in brioche and served over some kind of broth with a hint of heat. The brioche was a bit soggy in my opinion, but the sauce and shrimp were quite tasty. I would have preferred a more Asian/rice paper style of wrapping over the doughy bread.
The main course was slow-cooked lamb braised in balsamic, served over lentils, leeks and turnip, a big portion that I managed to inhale in about 8 minutes. Lamb is only good when it’s in a fall off the bone state, and this dish was spot-on. A nice hearty plate to stave off the chill of a very wet and cold week.
Dessert was marinated pears with a hint of pepper and a chocolate toffee cream/semifreddo. The chocolate bit was amazing – rich and velvety. I liked the pears but didn’t know why they were served in little cubes; I would have preferred slices or something a little more aesthetic.
The menu costs AR$230 and includes wines with the meal. In terms of refills, servers were neither stingy nor overly generous, but I would have liked a little more wine. There was another table that evening – clearly friends/family/”VIP” you might say – that was being served bottle after bottle of wine. A little annoying (because I’m a bratty pre-teen perhaps) when you feel that you aren’t getting the same treatment.
After dessert and coffee/tea, cellist Agustín della Croce came down from upstairs (he had been playing the piano wonderfully during the meal) to perform some original material. It was a nice way to wind down the meal and linger. From what I could tell, the crowd was a nice mix of locals and expats, but sort of an alternative group, artsy-fartsy (in a good way), with some funky onda going on.
We had a great night, since the restaurant was conducive to long conversations and the space itself was a lovely place to be on a Friday night. I would love to go back when the menu changes to see what else they have up their sleeves. If you’re on a quest to try all of the closed-door restaurants in the city, be sure to check out Chambre Tres.
Belgrano – exact address provided upon reservation
Friday nights from 9:30pm
Photo Credits: Vero Urian via the Chambre Tres Facebook page