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Monday, August 13, 2012

Las Pizarras Bistro

If your Spanish does not include vocabulary from inside a schoolroom, you may not know that Las Pizarras means "The Blackboards", also the name of the restaurant we visited for our four year anniversary back in June (I'm a little behind on my post for this place).

Las Pizarras (Thames 2296, Palermo, 4775-0625) was highly recommended by Dan at the SaltShaker, so highly recommended in fact, that it is in his top 5 recommendations in the Buenos Aires!  This is one of the reasons that Jon went ahead an booked reservations for us on this special night out, and it was a good thing he did because the place was packed by 9:00pm.

True to name, Las Pizarras does not provide any type of printed menu to you at the table, but the menu is incorporated in the decor by being plastered on every open wall surface in the form of a (wait for it....) blackboard!  This is an interesting and novel concept, unless you are the guy sitting right under the blackboard while everyone seems to be staring intently at you all night. This allows for the chef to decide the menu each day and change the components, or the entire dish, at a moment's notice - which is priceless in a city that is known to have availability issued from one day to the next.

We chose our dishes and were immediately served a burlap sac of outstanding warm bread with an infused coffee butter that I could have eaten as an entree.  Coffee and butter, and unlikely, but delicious combination.

Don't get stuck on this novelty, you are going to want to save room for your dinner!

Jon ordered the lamb, which was served over a bed of smashed potatoes and topped with a tomato compote, or relish, or something of that nature.  It was tasty, tender and, in a word, gone.  I wish I could describe it better, this is why I can't wait 2 months before posting about a restaurant....

I ordered the risotto, which is not something that I do often, because I feel like it's one of those dishes better served at home.  This one had multiple kinds of mushrooms in it, which is something that I never make at home due to Jon's detesting of fungi (a ridiculous aversion considering what other foods we eat, but nevertheless) so I enjoyed a chance to eat mushrooms to my heart's content at a restaurant.  The serving sizes are not deceiving, they are LARGE, and we enjoyed every last bit of them.  
We had a great time meandering through their wine list as well, which was ample and included many of our favorites for really great prices.  Just be sure you bring your glasses if you plan on enjoying wine, the list is on one of the smaller blackboards, and I was having a rough time trying to read the selections (darn you, PRK laser surgery!).  

By far the best thing about Las Pizarras is your bill at the end of the night.  For eclectic dishes like this, you might find yourself leaving the restaurant feeling like it was good, but not something that you could afford every weekend - Las Pizarras is the exception.  Our bill was easily 50% of what it would have been anywhere else in the vicinity, and we were much more impressed than we have been at many of the more expensive places we've tried.  This was a win many times over with the casual atmosphere, the interesting and tasty dishes to choose from and the affordable prices.   

The only downside we experienced was a lapse in the service as soon as the restaurant got busy.  The place has roughly 30 tables and we only saw 2 waiters for the dining room, making it a cliche BsAs restaurant faux pas where you get great service for the first 30 minutes and then fall asleep at the table waiting for dessert and/or the bill.  We'll give it another shot though, for the positives outweighed the negatives by a lot at Las Pizarras.  

Happy 4th Anniversary Jon! Thank you for choosing such interesting places to spend a night away from home.

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