Roux-la-la

Oysters at Roux

It’s not always easy to find a neighborhood spot with enough elegance to add some glam to an otherwise humdrum Saturday night. Put your hands together for Roux, the hot new ticket in town from Martín Rebaudino (ex-Oviedo, a BA classic known for its impeccable food and service), which offers up contemporary Argentine cuisine on a cozy corner with big picture windows in Recoleta.

The current trend of focusing on market-fresh, locally-sourced ingredients has done nothing but yield excellent results (see: Aramburu Bis, Astor, etc.), and Roux continues to carry the torch, displaying a real flair for technique and presentation. It’s a place you can take someone if you want to impress, but it won’t intimidate those who don’t necessarily have a Ph.D in alta cocina.

Starters include a llama carpaccio, live oysters (nearly impossible to find in Buenos Aires, save for just a couple of places), egg poached at 63C served with seasonal veg, and lentil ragout with grilled chipirones.

For mains, choose from a nice variety of rice/pastas – risotto with baby squid and saffron, shrimp and pumpkin ravioli – red meat, poultry, and fish. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there on a night that red tuna is available, another otherwise elusive treat hard to find in these parts. The magret de canard, wild boar, and squid risotto were incredible, both well presented and cooked to perfection.

If you still have room for dessert, dive into the chocolate “nemesis” or the homemade ice cream. (Sadly when I went, the kumquats were no longer available, which would have been my first choice.)

Service is extremely attentive – for such a small space you’ll be surprised at the amount of waitstaff – if not a little wet behind the ears. It’s clear that some are new at this, but their friendly and helpful attitude make up for any minor slips. The space itself is extremely cozy but well-appointed, with nice lighting and sound-absorbing foam underneath the tables and chairs. (Try to avoid the two tables by the front door if you want to have a little more peace during your meal.)

Overall, Roux won me over with its mix of informal elegance, fantastic cuisine, and quality service. It’s a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or an upscale lunch that will satisfy your craving for gourmet goodness without any of the pretension.

Courtesy of Roux

Courtesy of Roux

Roux
Peña 2300, Recoleta
4805-6794
Monday – Saturday 12:30-3:30 & 8-Midnight
Reservations recommended

Food Porn Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! Its hot, and I am happy at home enjoying a cold beer to kick off the weekend. I also realized it’s been a while since I cooked a solid meal that doesn’t rely on pasta or empanada dough to get things rolling. So, I’m tempting myself with this easy and spicy coconut rice & shrimp dish that I stumbled upon this morning. Quick, zesty, and won’t require too much time over a hot stove – works for me! If only I could find limes in this damn town … Even the Bolivian women that sell hot peppers and fresh cherries on the corner are letting me down! I hope you have a lovely weekend spent in the shade of a patio umbrella as you sip a cocktail poolside.

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Photo Credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

Yo, Cocinero: Cooking at Home with I Latina

Sometimes the stars align and out of the blue a perfect night happens upon you. This was my experience last week when I was invited to participate in a cooking/wine-tasting at I Latina under the title “Yo, Cocinero.” To me there is nothing more fabulous than hovering over a boiling pot in a kitchen rich with aromas, fueled by good wine and even better conversation. And to have such an experience at one of BA’s hottest restaurants was just the icing on the cake. Continue reading

Eats & Treats in the US of A

As you can probably assume, my trips (regardless of destination) are always closely linked to food and what I’ll be eating – and where – upon my arrival. So I thought I’d cook up a little shortlist of my favorites (new and not so new) from both the Washington, DC area (my hometown) and San Francisco (as P’Trique would say, ob-sessed). It’s not as complete as it should be, but perhaps I’ll do a second installment if you so desire. *Photos posted below are not mine – rather than take snapshots of each meal I decided to leave the DSLR at home. Bad blogger! Sorry ’bout that folks.

 

Washington, DC
For those that think DC is just tourist buses and politicians in brown suits, you are nuts. Over the past several years the culinary scene has basically exploded and new spots are reminding us of the old classics that perhaps didn’t get the attention they deserved in the past. I love heading home for a visit, knowing I’ll be eating well no matter where I am in town.

Rasika – Indian with a gourmet, modern twist. Great cocktails, amazing atmosphere.
Zaytinya – One of the many gems of Chef José Andrés. Incredible Mediterranean dishes.
Nora – America’s 1st certified organic restaurant. Cozy, romantic, creative.
Patisserie Poupon – My go-to Upper Georgetown spot for an almond croissant.
Oyamel – José Andrés goes Mexican with this Penn Quarter hot spot.
Cork – Effortlessly hip wine bar and small plates restaurant on 14th street.
Crisp & Juicy – Arlington, VA’s favorite Peruvian chicken spot.
Baked & Wired – My favorite place for a huge cupcake and a cup of coffee.
Brasserie Beck – Stuff your face with mussels and other Belgian goodies.
Eastern Market – Farmer’s market heaven. Head inside to the breakfast counter.
*Special mention to the no-name taco truck that parks in the grocery store parking lot in South Arlington that literally has blown my mind with how amazing its food is.

Pictured above: Restaurant Nora, Oyamel, Cork, Baked & Wired

San Francisco / Sausalito / Sonoma
I was only in SF for 4 days, but every bite I ate was better than the last. Seriously I’d move out there just for the food if I could. So much variety! So many local market offerings! Farmer’s Markets! Organic things! It was like food porn heaven on crack, times infinity. I pine to return with empty suitcases so I can fill them with food and goodies.

Ferry Building – Anything and everything available here.
Out the Door – Chic Vietnamese bites in a sleek setting.
Dosa – Indian food that will blow your mind.
Bi-Rite – Obligatory ice cream stop, do it now.
Bar Bocce – Perfect for a sunny Sausalito lunch on the marina.
The Girl & the Fig – French classics with a country twist.
Blue Bottle Coffee – Erases my memories of burnt BA coffee nightmares.
Tartine – Buttery pastries, hello there.
Ft. Mason Farmer’s Market – Free samples + food stands (tacos, German sausages)

Pictured above: Ferry Building Marketplace, Dosa, Bar Bocce, the Girl & the Fig

Review: Casal de Catalunya

This time last year, I was high-tailing it out of town and leaving on a jet plane to stuff my face as I frolicked across Europe. Our trip to Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon and the Algarve was one of those indulgent moments in time where my stomach could not keep up with my eyes. Not surprisingly, I particularly loved Barcelona and its combination of quality, variety and sheer awesomeness of all of the food there. While dealing with a gnawing craving for a tortilla de papa and some slices of pan con tomate, I hopped in a taxi and headed for the next closest place to BCN in BA – Casal de Catalunya.

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