Review: Florería Atlántico

This week I am dedicating my efforts to Retiro. Call me lazy, call me a genius (?), but there is nothing better than seeing new places pop up on your neighborhood radar.

Having a dog has shown me to a whole new side of things. Waking up at 7am every day so she can poop on grass will do that to you. Actually, aside from being able to get the scoop on gossip from the porteros as they hose down their sidewalks (honestly, they see everything, watch out), I have been able to keep an eye on little spots and shops that perhaps I’d never noticed before.

Floreria Atlantico One early morning I was strolling down Arroyo and stopped in my tracks when I saw that the long-abandoned space where chic/trash lounge L’Abeille used to be was finally occupied with a new tenant. Tall shelves with fine wines lined the back wall, while buckets of brilliant blooms and greens were placed up in the front. It intrigued me because there were no working hours posted in the door, and it looked to be a little bare bones to be a full-on florist’s shop.

Atlantico Florería Atlántico opened its doors barely more than a week ago, but the buzz is already doing its thing. Word on the street is that those behind the classic (and first-ever in BA) speakeasy 878 as well as gourmand’s paradise HG at the Fierro Hotel are running the show here, which can only mean good things. Celeb bartender Tato Giovannoni is the one slinging up some potent potables, punto a favor. We tried it out last Friday, not sure what to expect. Entering the downstairs bar area through what looks like a giant refrigerator door, we were surprised to see a badass space with awesome wall graffiti / art, well-done lighting, and an understated vibe that blends the chic and the run-down.

Cocktails follow the current trends you’ll see at other BA hotspots, what with Aperol and Campari and other concoctions. My drink was served up in a mason jar, which made me smile. I kind of felt like I was in a bar in downtown Manhattan, but without the twinge of porteño obsession to imitate what’s already going on in other parts of the world. Great music, great vibe all around, good times. Small bites are available. We munched on some mind-blowing mollejas, an incredible white salmon with an orange sauce, and a juicy rib eye with spinach.

Though the bar hasn’t had its official opening yet, it was packed and lively – more than a good sign. If anything, I’m just happy that I can drunkenly stroll those two blocks back to my apartment without having to pay a trapito or hail a taxi on Av. Juan B. Justo.

Florería Atlántico
Arroyo 872, Retiro

Review: Basavilbaso Grand Café

Despite its pitfalls, I am fiercely loyal to my beloved barrio of Retiro. I am close to work, enjoy a view of Uruguay across the river on a daily basis, and overall love its quirks like the sassy grannies and gossipy porteros. So, despite the Palermo-centric streak of gastronomic explosion that has been happening over the past several years, I have maintained firm in my devotion to Retiro and to my conviction that sooner or later, we’d have a windfall of our own. Well, ladies and gents, the Retiro Renaissance is well underway, starting off with a great little coffee shop just steps from my house.

DSC_0065Located in the Quartier building, Basavilbaso Grand Café serves up coffee (duh), homemade pastries and sweet treats, fresh juices and smoothies, and even has quite the extensive lunch menu. We visited just days after it opened and were happy to see it already buzzing with local neighbors and tourists alike.

DSC_0060Run by the same team behind the wildly successful Gran Bar Danzón and Sucre, Basavilbaso Grand Café offers a sort of industrial chic ambiance (much like Danzón, it has cement brick walls, as well as exposed beams and steel light fixtures) with cozy touches like blooming flowerpots and big cozy couches up in the front windows.

Grand Cafe FlowersOur breakfast was simple yet delicious, though the cappuccino wasn’t nearly as frothy and foamy as it should have been. Medialunas were a lot like croissants (I see this as a postive) and everything had that nice homemade feel. I look forward to picking up one of their tasty sandwiches on the go, or having an afternoon stop for tea and cake in the near future.

Grand Cafe Breakfast Insider tip: Plans are in the works to open up a bistro-type restaurant next door, meaning I’ll have even fewer reasons to cross Av. 9 de Julio in the coming months.

If you find yourself in Retiro, or even are just passing through the area while going from Point A to Point B, making a stop at Basavilbaso Grand Café is definitely something to mark on your to-do list.

Basavilbaso Grand Café
Basavilbaso 1340, Retiro