The Trenchermen

We eat other people’s food.

Social Paraíso (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

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Here comes another post from the archives (of my brain and Jenny’s BlackBerry). While we were in Buenos Aires for a week in mid-March, we ate.  A lot.  Mostly steak.  There were several notable meals, including lunch at Mark’s in Palermo and dinners at La Cabrera and Cabaña Las Lilas, which made it onto R.W. Apple’s final list of restaurants.  The food was great.  But the one meal that stood out from the rest was a late lunch we ate at a little restaurant called Social Paraíso on a shady — as in, tree-lined — street in Palermo Hollywood. We had walked past the restaurant while winding our way through the leafy neighborhood, and its simple, elegant interior and alluringly nostalgic gold-leaf window sign caught our attention.  It was closed for the day, but we made it in just before they closed for lunch the following day and had a great meal.

The details are below.

The highlight of this special meal was the wildly inventive dessert (pictured above): Láminas de manzana caramelizadas con mousse de maracuyá y helado de pimienta de sechuan.  The literal translation is caramelized apple slices with passion fruit mousse and Sichuan pepper ice cream.  But it’s colloquial for: nothing you’ve ever had before and something you’ll never, ever forget.  The apples slices seemed as if they had been freeze dried, cracking into pieces under the fork but softening and releasing their sweetness in our mouths.  The ice cream was buttery and gritty with hints of the dazzling metallic spice of Sichuan pepper.  The light passion fruit mousse was not exceedingly sweet, but perfectly complemented by the sugary raspberry paste used to garnish the plate.  Completely unforgettable.  It makes me want to go back to Buenos Aires.  Immediately.

This salad started the meal.  Unfortunately, I was too busy fawning over the food and eating it to take notes.  It was a special, too, so it’s not on the menu available on the restaurant’s site.

It is what it looks like.  Dried, cured beef wrapped around fresh greens on chick peas and chopped vegetables.  Very good.

A very good beer made locally in Santa Fe, Argentina.  “Otro Mundo,” which means other world.  Golden Ale. Lots of English on the label, either because it is “Export Quality” (as the label suggests) or designed for serving to tourists like myself.  Either way, as an Argentine beer, Otro Mundo was a delicious novelty to me.  And it was good and cold, which is just how I like my beer.

Bife de chorizo con chimichurri, papa rota, ensalada tibia de morcilla, cherry y verdeo y salchicha parrillera con morrones asados.  Translation:  Steak with chimichurri, broken potato, warm salad of black pudding, cherry and green onion and barbecue sausage with roasted peppers.  (Or something like that.)

This was a special.  Rotini with fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes.  It was a simple, beautiful dish, flavored with a little salt and olive oil.  The mozzarella chunks, which were tossed into the pasta while the noodles were hot, melted into a rich, salty sauce as we ate.

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Written by trencherman

July 19, 2010 at 11:11 pm

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