Sunday, February 8, 2009

La Cabrera

When we first arrived in Argentina, my friends and I discovered the gem or La Cabrita, completely by accident. In trying to find more info about it, I was always redirected to La Cabrera, and thus became aware of one of the most famous (touristy) restaurants in Buenos Aires. My curiosity was piqued, and I chose this for a welcome dinner for Jose and Bettina.

We didn't think to make reservations, so the wait was a good hour (maybe more), but we were finally seated outside, amongst the throngs of other tourists, awaiting tables. It was a beautiful night, temperature-wise. They offered typical Argentine dishes, with a creative twist--tenderloin and chicken wrapped in bacon with orange; rib-eye steak with ham, cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes—obviously not a lot of vegetarian options, but we happened to choose two of them, and both were excellent.

A basket of bread was brought with several dips—two were very watery for bread, one with a thousand-island taste, I missed the other. However, the third was slabs of sun-dried tomatoes, and delicious. We also ordered a delicious Malbec, unfortunately I didn't get the details. After glancing at the large portions on the other tables, we decided to forgo appetizers and salads. As it was, entrees started at 30 pesos, and most sides were at least 15 (including a 17 peso plate of french fries!), this would be the most expensive meal I'd eaten in Argentina by a long shot. Table service was pegged at 11 pesos per person (I've never noticed it higher than 4 pesos before).

Jose went with a basic steak (sorry, they're all the same to me), but Bettina was feeling a bit squeamish about meat, so after debating on the chicken, she went for the grilled veggies. As there were no other grilled vegetarian options, and their homemade pastas sounded perfect, I went with the homemade fussilli with sun-dried tomatoes.

Everyone loved their dishes, however, they were each accompanied by about six tiny side dishes, that really threw the meal off the charts! Each was exquisite, there were dishes of squid, baby potatoes, green beans, eggplant escabeche, a pasta/potato salad, garlic in a vinegary sauce, pumpkin puree, mashed potatoes, hummus, a white bean salad, a tomato and red pepper salad, baby onions cooked in wine sauce...incredible! The portions were also enormous, after having the waiter check with his manager (he said normally they were only allowed to package steak to go...?!), I took home the majority of my pasta, accompanied by a few of Bettina's leftover veggies.

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