The shortest distance between two points is always a straight line, correct? Now imagine that if along the straight line between your office and home there were a perfect little spot for a drink and some tapas – it would be a pretty good deal, don’t you think?
When Shout opened up along Maipú, just steps from Plaza San Martín, a couple of months back, I was thrilled to pop in and see if I could add it to my barrio repertoire (the #RetiroRenaissance is real, people). Luckily, it was a home run. The lovechild of two veterans of the noche porteña (Sebastián Maggi and Santiago Lambardi, who cut their teeth at Sucre and then moved on to head up the drinks team at Pony Line/the Four Seasons), Shout is reminiscent of a few of my BA favorites mixed together: Milión, Dill & Drinks (RIP), and Florería Atlántico.
Located in an elegant mansion that has lived through many reincarnations, Shout is imposing and inviting at once. Climb the winding staircase (watch your head if you’re tall) and you’ll come to a landing that leads to the bar and lounge space. Walls painted an amazing dark blue contrast with well-placed lighting to envelope you in chic ambiance. Picture windows looking over the street don’t provide much of a picturesque view, but it’s still a worthwhile exercise. Don’t miss the lovely parquet floor that was restored to its former glory after having been covered up by something much more utilitarian during its days as a boliche dance floor (though that wood was put to work as part of the bar itself).
To the left of the bar is the expansive open kitchen space, ideal for whetting the appetite and seeing how things are run at the back of the house. Toward the front are high communal tables as well as loungey furniture to satisfy the needs of every encounter. I always like to sit at the bar, chatting with the ones making my drinks and getting their recommendations for both libations and snacks. The one downside of this means grappling with those impossibly uncomfortable metal chairs that leave you sunken and sticking to the cushion. I couldn’t handle them at Dill, and I don’t think I will get over them now, but it’s a minor bump that is soon forgotten drink in hand.
Now let’s get down to business: the Brasas and the Drinks. Both menus are short and sweet, well-curated and crafted with attention to detail. We ordered the open-faced boquerones atop crusty toast, the sweetbreads, and a baguette topped with chipirones and romesco. Portions were small – they are “platitos” after all – but full of flavor. Think of them as the perfect after-school snack that will tide you over before dinner. We didn’t try any of the mains, though they follow the same line of simple and savory with a twist. Nothing too fussy or over the top, just a focus on quality flavor and presentation.
Cocktails are inventive and made with care; bartenders are quick to help you as you peruse and choose. They follow overarching trends but definitely leave their own imprint, ensuring whatever you’re about to sip on isn’t something you can find just anywhere. There is also a solid wine list, and the ability to drink a glass of any label no matter what, thanks to their magical “by the glass” dispenser that hasn’t really made inroads here yet, for whatever reason.
Service is friendly and personable, if a little on the slow side. Let’s chalk it up to the kinks that come with a new space, but it shouldn’t have taken so long for our dishes to be ready. Both owners were on hand to make sure everyone was happy, and given their background, it’s clear that focusing on client satisfaction won’t fall to the wayside.
As the summer heats up, an outdoor patio space is set to open, which should solidify Shout’s place as a microcentro must. For now the Sky Bar at the Pulitzer (less than 100 meters away) is the only watering hole that offers up what apparently seems to be a near impossibility in this city, but Shout will surely give it a run for its money when the time is right.
Whether you’re an oficinista like me or forced to head downtown to partake in some Buenos Aires bureaucracy, Shout needs to work its way onto your radar. If you’re in the mood for a quick cocktail or looking to stay out of your kitchen and have someone else do the cooking, the bases are covered. It’s guaranteed to be one of the city’s new hotspots, and you want to be sure that you’ve got a front-row seat.
Shout Brasas & Drinks
Maipú 981 – Retiro
Monday-Friday from 7pm, Saturday from 8pm