Eating our way through Buenos Aires

Our first breakfast in Argentina was a very pleasant surprise. The breakfast buffet table was filled with delicacies both familiar and unfamiliar. The usual cereal, fruit and yogurt were available but also making an appearance were various meats and cheeses, chocolate and vanilla muffins, brownies (surely a first) and croissants both French and Spanish (known as medialunas). There was also a wonderful warm Spanish tortilla, more like a potato torte.

Not quite on Argentine time we hit the streets early by that country’s standards—around 10 AM. The weather was cool and rainy but not overwhelmingly so. After hours of poking, prodding, walking, standing, peering, picking up etc we were dusty, famished, and ready to sit down and try the local cuisine. Our choice for lunch: Amici Miei, Defensa 1072, in San Telmo district of Buenos Aires.

Amici Miel Ristorante

What a gastronomic treat.

To start, a basket overflowing with bread sticks, foracci campanado and gnocchi bread which was like a fried pizza crust, all made on the premises. We chose a bottle of 2004 Cateña DV Chardonnay from Mendoza Argentina, crisp and dry with a hint of fruitiness. Perfect with the antipasta Emiliano (prochiutto, mortadella dotted with pistachio nuts, salami, buffalo mozzarella, brie, olives and roasted vegetables) for 68 pesos or about $18.

1st_course Amici

For our main course…malfatti con asparagi, pomodoiri e provola affumicata (gnocchi -like spinach and ricotta cheese stuffed pasta with asparagus, cherry tomatoes and smoked provolone cheese) for 38 pesos or about $10. Absolutely divine!!

Making malfatti

Making malfatti

malfatti

We were thrilled that the owner and chef, Sebastian Rivas Proia, was making the rounds of the tables and that he was willing to tell us about himself and his ideas.

Owner-Chef, Sebastian Rivas Proia

Owner-Chef, Sebastian Rivas Proia

Before opening his own restaurant in Buenos Aires, Sebastian spent time in Parma, Italy learning about classic Italian cooking and Italian wines. He chose Italy because it is the home of his grandparents and a part of his heritage, and Parma because of his admiration for two Italian chefs from Parma who were using traditional methods of Italian cooking at their Buenos Aires restaurant. In 2004 he became executive chef at Dolce Vita in Parma. The city of Parma has a mixture of French and Italian cultures and the food reflects that: fusion-rich, delicate, and polished, raffiné. After also spending time in Alsace, Switzerland and Germany, Chef Sebastian returned to Buenos Aires and opened Amici Miei two and a half years ago.

The traditional recipes and techniques of classical Italian cooking used by Chef Sebastian are well known and still used in Italy, but have been forgotten by the many descendants of Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires. He hopes to return that rich heritage of culture and food to Argentina by teaching cooking classes at the restaurant and by writing a cookbook.

Sebastian’s means of advertisement is by word of mouth. Amici Miei is the preferred restaurant of the Italian ambassador to Argentina, and we certainly agree!

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2 Responses to “Eating our way through Buenos Aires”

  1. Lorre Lei Jackson Says:

    Loved the pair of candlesticks! Hope you grabbed those. With all the eating, when did you have time to shop? Did you fit in a tango lessen while there?

    • Patina Says:

      Aren’t they wonderful!! We can’t wait for our container to arrive, we expect it in another 3-4 weeks. We will post a few of our purchases on our blog site when it is approaching “port” in New Orleans.

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