Hernán Gipponi’s T&A at Gran Bar Danzón

…That’s Tapas & Arroz, sickos.

HG at Gran Bar DanzónLast week Hernán Gipponi took over the kitchen at Gran Bar Danzón and rocked Recoleta’s socks off with a four-day gastronomic extravaganza. The propuesta? Tapas, rice, and wine, featuring versions of HG’s most well-known dishes, such as organic rice from Corrientes, sous vide eggy goodness, and light, citric desserts that cleanse the palate.

Gipponi has been acting as a bit of a free agent after parting ways with the Fierro Hotel in Palermo Hollywood several months ago. Though I’m surely going to miss his legendary brunches and One Table dinners there, change is a very good thing for all. After slinging nearly 500 kilos of prawns from Chubut at Feria Masticar, he moved onto this miniature residency at Danzón the last week in October.

Credit Gran Bar Danzón

Credit Gran Bar Danzón

The menu was paired with Zuccardi wines, with the spotlight shining straight on the Aluvional La Consulta 2010. This wine alone is beyond worth the price of admission and was indeed the metaphorical frutilla en la torta of a culinarily epic Monday night.

We started off with a little pincho of cured beef with mustard, grilled tomato, and turnip pickle. Done, delicious, come to mama. Paired with a crisp glass of Alma 4 Chardonnay, it was a nice prepper for the massive feast that was to come.

Huevo, papa, molleja - Gran Bar DanzónNext up was the tapas round. Much like a gameshow, extra points were indeed earned for scarfing down as much as humanly possible. Between the chilled fennel and green apple soup, baby squid with alioli, salsa brava and papel de calamar, the beef tongue served with little morcilla meatballs, and the sous vide egg with molleja, potato and onion… yikes I just drooled all over myself while reliving this moment. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be a tie between the fennel soup and the egg, but both the squid and blood sausage morsels really gave them a run for their money.

As if it were possible to have any more room for extra food, the main event was yet to come. The skillet of organic rice from Corrientes served with prawns, pork belly, leeks, and giant lima beans was brought out to much fanfare, our cup of La Consulta served suavely alongside it. Jaws definitely had to be picked up off the table; thankfully the music was loud enough to mask our borderline inappropriate moans and exclamations.

After such an intense savory sesh, the only logical dessert was the Copa HG – a light, foamy yogurt mixed with iced passion fruit, lychee, and toasted pumpkin seeds. It was a lovely balance of sweet and salty, crunchy and smooth. The Malamado Viognier paired well, though it was a bit strange to have a dessert wine sweeter than the actual postre.

It was definitely an aggressive(ly good) way to start the week. In fact, I think my liver is just starting to recover from the level of insanity I put it through during that dinner and beyond.

One thing is certain: No matter where he rests his knives, Hernán Gipponi is one fine chef. One can only hope that these pop-up menus will become more of a regular happening until HG hunkers down behind some burners of his own.

Gran Bar Danzón
Libertad 1161 – Primer Piso, Recoleta
Monday-Friday from 7pm; Saturday-Sunday from 8pm
4811-1108

Review: One Table at HG

HG's One Table It’s a pretty fair assessment to say that Buenos Aires has grown in leaps and bounds in the gastronomic sense in the past year or so. Pop-ups, food truck(s), closed doors, supper clubs, cook-offs, themed tours … the list goes on. It might seem intimidating to a greenhorn when it comes to upping the ante, but the hard hitters know what’s up. Enter Hernán Gipponi, chef of the eponymous restaurant at the hip Fierro Hotel Boutique in Palermo Hollywood. HG has been dishing out one of the city’s best brunches for quite some time, not to mention their gourmet tasting dinners and festive garden “Thank Fierro It’s Friday” happy hours.

My favorite wall Enter a new concept, one that brings together the best of the best: Gourmet dishes, in a familiar and communal setting, with a unique touch that sets it apart from the rest. Enter One Table. HG’s cure for even the worst case of the Mondays (dinners are only hosted one night a week) will satisfy anyone from the most demanding of palates to those just looking for something new on the scene.

Wino Seats around this table are limited, so you’d be a fool not to reserve your spot. Go alone, go with friends … go with an open mind and obviously an empty stomach. The idea is for the food to be shared among the diners in a casual and deconstructed way, which is a nice contrast of the high-level food you’re about to shovel into your gullet.

One Table Menu signedThe menu – which changes constantly and in our case was a staggering nine courses – is hand written and signed by Hernán himself, and wines are paired accordingly (and served generously). Dishes are developed with what’s in season (claro) and feature the best of what the local market has to offer.

HG and team at work Perhaps the best part of the whole experience is watching Hernán and his skilled kitchen team prep, plate and serve the dishes tableside as they come out. Hell, he even finished cooking the hare on the table – a little smoky, but whatever, I’ll take it. As someone who has always envied those who can edge out their space in that realm of the food industry, it was fascinating to watch them work as such a well-oiled machine.

Heart + Beans + MustardOf all the food we were served, it’s hard to choose a favorite. I love that HG always manages to sneak a huevo a baja temperatura in the mix, though the steak tartare and the heart (!!) with beans and mustard was a real treat. By the time the arroz bomba and liebre rolled around, I was in need of an auxiliary stomach to help me out. Everything was so delicious, so abundant, so full of love. Really. You could taste the love on the plate. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

Fish with peas, potatoes and peppersAfter a month-long and much-needed hiatus, One Table is back with a vengeance starting next Monday, August 12. Hurry up and make your res and get ready for one of BA’s best new dining experiences.

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HG – Hernán Gipponi at the Fierro Hotel Boutique
Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood
One Table Dinners – Hosted on select Mondays, by reservation only
3220-6800

Finishing touches on the hare

Food Porn Friday

Hi there everyone! Happy Friday, glorious Friday. It’s been a good week, and I am ready for the weekend and some sunshine. However I am really just having a massive pity party for myself since I missed GAJO’s big dinner at Hernán Gipponi and all I want is so be in the garden at the Fierro with a cool cocktail and some delicious food. Let’s drool over this amazing magret de pato and soak in the moment. Bon weekend!

Photo Credit: Hernán Gipponi

Feria Masticar Buenos Aires

For those of us that really love food, and not just in the gluttonous way of stuffing our faces into oblivion, but in the way that we truly think that what and how we eat can make a difference, it’s easy to admit that the winds of change have been blowing through Buenos Aires lately. Sure, there will probably never be a Whole Foods here, and we might never see the day of a sushi place without Philadelphia in each and every roll, but there is a growing movement that is raising awareness about the importance and value of truly eating well.

There’s been the Buenos Aires Market, hosted one weekend a month for the last six months all over BA, which has been giving natural and organic producers a space to educate people via their food. And of course the classic, El Galpón, a farmer’s market in Chacarita that has been taking place every Wednesday and Saturday for the past several years.

However, nothing of such magnitude has perhaps been organized in BA before such as the upcoming Feria Masticar. The Feria is organized by by ACELGA (acronym that also means “chard” in Spanish), a varied group of chefs that all believe in the power and future of Argentine cuisine, and as such have joined forces to bring about a series of common values and objectives to achieve their goals. During November 16-18 at El Dorrego (the original Mercado de las Pulgas space on the edge of Palermo Hollywood/Colegiales) there will be a massive event – food stands, a market, wine tasting, and tons of different cooking classes/workshops hosted by the local greats (think Narda Lepes, Hernán Gipponi, Dolli Irigoyen, and more).

The Feria’s motto – Comer Rico Hace Bien – is simple and summarizes perfectly the mission of these chefs that have organized the whole thing. Its aim is to break down the walls, invite people in, and celebrate all that Argentina’s local cuisine has to offer. From learning about eating seasonally to mixing things up from the typical milanesa and fideos, Feria Masticar will be three days of pure foodgasms for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss it! Here are some photos from the event launch in Casa Arévalo.

Feria Masticar
El Dorrego
Zapiola 50 – between Concepción Arenal & Dorrego
November 16-17 – From 12pm-11pm
November 18 – From 12pm-10pm
Entrance AR$30
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Photo Credit: Wally Diamond via Instagram

Review: HG Brunch at the Fierro Hotel

The HG restaurant at the Fierro Hotel in Palermo Hollywood is a little gem of gastro-goodness. Many a hungry panza and food blogger before me have waxed poetic on its virtues – be it a weekday lunch, Sunday brunch, or a fancy Friday night dinner. Last week I finally had the chance to give the brunch a whirl for myself, and I’ve gotta say, if you haven’t been yet, reserve a table for this weekend. For the price, you can’t eat as well anywhere in Buenos Aires.  Continue reading