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Sunday, April 28, 2013

New York, New York Resto Bar Gourmet

We celebrated another birthday here in Buenos Aires, Jon turned 32!  As I searched for candles for this year's cake, it amazed me that we had the "29" candles from the first year we lived here.  That means we've been in Buenos Aires for FOUR birthdays, incredible.

Anyways, after our family party at home, we spent last weekend at dinner with friends at a new place called New York, New York Resto Bar Gourmet in Palermo (Fitz Roy 2192, Palermo, 4776-6118).  We heard about this place from the SaltShaker blog, which gave the place a favorable recommendation.

Our reservation was at 9:30pm, and we sat down to a completely empty restaurant.  There are only 10 - 12 tables in the place, though it feels smaller than it should due to all of the decorating "noise"; Christmas lights, sparkly red, white and blue garland, large patriotic flower arrangements and Marilyn Monroe fabrics everywhere.

The menu was all over the place, which we knew going in.  There is KFC-style chicken alongside macaroni and cheese, tacos, Thai salad and BBQ pork, so when the waiter suggested a 5-course tasting menu, we jumped on board.  The waiter gave us the option of 5 courses chosen by the chef, or choose whichever 5 courses we wanted off of the menu.  In a stranger turn, each of our 7-person party could choose their own 5 courses.  This seemed an unlikely situation for a restaurant of this size, there were at most, two people in the kitchen working, we were no expecting these two people to make up to 35 different dishes for our table.  I'm still convinced that the waiter was unsure of the options and was making it up as he went.  Either way, we asked for the chef's selections for the entire table.

We started with the Thai salad, which was very good and presented in a really pretty bowl.  It was the best Thai-style salad that I've had in Buenos Aires.  Tasty, light, and full of a variety of vegetables.  Good going, course 1.

Course 2 was a squash soup.  Also tasty, nicely presented, and served with a delicious toasted bread slice with basil oil drizzled on top.  Another win, though the time between courses was a disturbing 45 minutes.  It seemed excessive considering that at this point, there were only 4 other people in the restaurant outside of our table.

Moving to course 3, the taco.  It was a tasting menu, so we only received one taco, but it was served with a large flower holder candle holder filled with salsa.  The taco was great, filled with pulled chicken and a little bit of spice.  Again, the only complaint was the time that it took to get to this point in the meal. It was a solid 45 minute wait for this little taco, and at this point it is getting late in the evening...

The meal continued with a sushi course, which did not live up to the quality expectations we had from the rest of the food.  The rice was undercooked and the sushi was pretty tasteless.  Admittedly, I am pregnant, so we asked for all cooked items so the sushi was a bit limited.  That being said, the chef was able to choose any items off of the menu, why he chose this course is unknown.

The main dish was a BBQ pork rib that was outstanding.  The pork fell off of the bone, it was smoky and delicious, and the sauce could have been eaten with a spoon.  It was the highlight of the evening!

At this point, it was 12:30am.  One of our friends had to leave and relieve their babysitter so they missed the delicious BBQ.  The waiter came to the table now and asked if we wanted the next course - which he claimed was part of our tasting menu.  By my count, we are already at 5 courses, so we turned the next dish down - which was salmon - but I'm still perplexed as to why we were even given the option.  Since it was a birthday dinner, we stayed for dessert - which took another 45 minutes and had the option of a cupcake, banana split or brownie.  I was the only one who ordered the cupcake, which was just ask well, and as it was delivered the entire dish was dropped in front of me, flipped over and went all over the table.  No worries, everything was cleaned up and a new cupcake was served.  Or the same one with some new sprinkles on top....  The cupcake was dry, my search for a good cupcake in Buenos Aires continues.

So at the end of the day, it was a four hour dinner.  We left at 1:30am.  The food was good, but with the competition in the area, one block from Osaka, Sudestada next door, I'm not sure that this place will survive.  Between the confusion of the staff and the time it took to eat a meal, I'm certain that no one in our group will return.  The menu prices are right, we had 2 bottles of wine and the food mentioned above for AR$200 per person - but we just about fell asleep at the table waiting for the next dish to arrive.

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