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There’s nothing I hate more than a straggler, so my final brief missive from last month’s Argentina vacation must be posted now or it never will see the light of day. And I know everyone’s dying to hear about Basque food in South America.

Despite speaking Español (or Castellano, as they say, you know, just to be different) Spanish food is scarcer than you might think in Buenos Aires. Italian culture is definitely more pervasive.

Burzako is near the San Telmo market, a big Sunday afternoon draw. I’ll admit that I only gave it a quick stroll through because I’m not wild about outdoor markets (I went to Brooklyn Flea for the first time Sunday and was kind of eh about the whole thing, though I enjoyed my slightly pricey Jamaica-flavored shaved ice sweetened with agave syrup from Chida).

I was expecting a more rustic restaurant, but the room was more elegant with white tablecloths and floral arrangements. Being lunch, we only ordered tapas, which I wouldn’t say were particularly Basque. The entrees leaned that way, though.

Burzako langostina croquetas

It’s hard to resist a croquette/croqueta/kroketa (American-approved French, Spanish or Basque, whichever you prefer). These non-oily fritters were filled with a gooey langoustine mixture and topped with an aioli type sauce.

Burzako cheese

I couldn’t tell you everything on this cheese plate, but I’m fairly certain the blue was Roquefort as that was by far the blue cheese of choice in Buenos Aires.

Burzako pulpo

I have no idea why the octopus was so expensive. At around $18 if I’m remembering correctly (there’s no Menupages to refresh my memory) the plate of pulpo a la gallega was pricey. I felt compelled to try it, though. It was definitely tender and I like anything spiked with pimenton.

Burzako jamon crudo

I ate a lot of jamon crudo on vacation. I also drank quite a bit of tinto, and was always surprised at how high they filled wine glasses when ordering by the glass. I’m more value-minded than concerned with my wine being able to breathe so this was a fortunate quirk to me.

Burzako * Mexico 345, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Blue’s Clues

Bluekitchen Maybe I’ve been watching too much too much HGTV because this weekend I decided to get into the open house game. Just what sort of stuff is selling in my neighborhood, anyway?

Apparently, scary stuff. I now know that $1.6 mil will get you a stuccoed townhouse with security cameras, next to a junk yard on a dead end warehouse-centric street that dead-ends at the Gowanus canal. There might also be a scary pit bull in the paved-over backyard, a one-armed realtor, carpeted floor-to-ceiling columns, Jacuzzi tub, metallic flower vase sculpted to look like two guns and lots of vitamins and protein powder on the counters of the most overwhelmingly glossy blue kitchen you could ever imagine.

I’ve lamented for years about the lack of color in American kitchens (and the abuse of travertine and granite). Even though you wouldn’t know if from my current mishmash apartment décor, I’m obsessed with everything green (despite having little interest in the Upper East Side or Italian food, I’m smitten with the color scheme at new restaurant, Alloro, and might have to pay a visit just to see the unbelievable greenness in person) and fantasize about the day I can apply the emerald hue in a serious way.

So, I have to admire the homeowners’ dedication to a single color (and I know the brand must’ve cost a pretty penny) but this abomination makes me question my own taste a bit. However, this blue kitchen renews my faith some.

And the pseudo-serious house hunt continues.


I’ve found a new contender for the most awesomely un-salady salad. Sripraphai’s crispy watercress salad is still tops but Resto’s crispy pig’s ear salad is a close second. Clearly, the secret to a good salad is the use of crispy ingredients.

Resto crispy pig's ear salad

I’m still not sure how something so suspect can taste so good. The sizable curls of fried ear almost outweigh the chicory leaves. The meat has much more chew than chicharrones, the closest thing I can compare the cut to, but still retains lots of crackle. White tarbeis beans are also distributed through the dish and everything is laced with a mustard-based dressing most likely herbed with chervil (the little fronds looks like parsley yet taste a little licoricey). The crowning glory is a soft-cooked egg.

I’m so sick of mix and match Financial District lunch salads I could cry. Even the cheapskate in me would order this $12 (oh, it’s $10 at lunch) number on a regular basis if it were available in the neighborhood.

Resto debal curry mussels

After my new favorite ear mélange and a bottle of Kasteel Donker, curry mussels were superfluous. I was just going for something relatively light and non-meaty. Never mind the French fries and mayonnaise. Those fries were very tasty, but abnormally heavy.

Resto tete de veau sandwich

James and I were going to share appetizers, but he was more into the tete de veau sandwich spiced with sriracha and I was obviously smitten with my salad. He actually preferred the head cheese on toast to the much lauded gruyere burger, his entree. I forgot to taste the burger so I’m not sure what to think.

Resto chocolate sampler

Dessert was a chocolate tasting, from left to right: cinnamon milk chocolate, Sichuan peppercorn dark chocolate and orange dark chocolate. Not purists, we chose all flavored bars, besides they were out of the hardcore 88% cacao anyway. I love Sichuan savory food but I’m not sure how I feel about the use of these crunchy pods in sweets. The metallic tingly effect is kind of overpowering, like licking aluminum foil. I could still feel it while waiting for the 6 train 20 minutes later.

I know that if you were reading a cooking blog and they were whipping up pig’s ears they would be sourced from a quaint farm where the animals are blissful or special ordered by their local butcher they’ve forged a trusting relationship with. And those ears, lovely as they might be, would set you back say, $30. And maybe that’s a small price to pay for quality ears. I don’t know.

Western beef pig ears

But I’m a grocery store girl so Saturday while at Western Beef, my favorite all-purpose supermarket, I browsed the walk-in meat cooler for ears. And of course I found them all frozen and scary looking, yet for a mere $2.39 a pound. I needed no convincing to put them in my cart.

It’s just cartilage, skin and fat. Do you think there is genuinely a marked difference between odd bits from a grocery store and a butcher? That would be one taste test that would be hard to recruit for. Well, I’m only out $3.87  if my pig’s ear cooking experiment goes south. I’ll crack open my copies of Nose to Tail Eating and The River Cottage Meat Book tonight

Resto * 111 E. 29th St., New York, NY

Duda’s Tavern

Our attempt at post-dinner harbor-side firework watching was thwarted when a rainstorm kicked in and we were umbrella-less. I can take or leave fireworks so I wasn’t heartbroken that we missed most of the display while trying to find parking in Fell’s Point (it was still nothing compared to NYC scrambling for spots).

James wanted to pop into the Wharf Rat, a place he’d been a million years ago. I would’ve gone anywhere because I didn’t know enough about the city to be discriminating. Fell’s Point Unfortunately, it was temporarily closed with a handwritten sign that the staff had left to watch the fireworks. I got the impression that Thames Street is Baltimore’s Bourbon/Beale/South Street, the bar-lined meat-heady strip that all cities seem to have.

I wasn’t extremely hungry because I’d just eaten half a dozen crabs (well, five out of 12) but I did want to try a crab cake while in Baltimore and I knew nearby Duda’s was rumored to serve an exemplary specimen.

Duda's tavern crab cake

This turned out to be true, and in no time we were presented with a loose baseball-sized mass of lump crab meat minus a lot of nonsense holding it together. Listed as market price, I was wondering what the damage would be. $13.99, as it worked out; a good deal considering crab cakes here tend to be flat, pancakey, 50% filler and cost at least as much.

Two packets of saltine crackers, potato chips, tartar sauce and a choice of coleslaw or potato salad come on the side.

I intended to eat another crab cake the following day at Faidleys but I ended up getting distracted by pit beef instead. Now I’ll never know how Duda’s version stacks up against the local competition.

Duda’s Tavern * 1600 Thames St., Baltimore, MD

Chaps Pit Beef

To be honest, I was kind of disinterested in pit beef. I knew that it was a regional form of barbecue but I’m not one who goes gaga over piles of smoked (which this isn’t, technically it’s grilled) meat. But as I’ve often found with vacation food, you never know what will be a hit. We ended up at Chaps two days in a row, despite a big poster of Guy Fieri near the order window. That’s saying something.

Chapps pit beef sandwich

You generally eat pit beef, cooked rare and sliced thin, as a sandwich on a kaiser roll. It’s nothing like Arby’s, though on the surface that’s how the sandwiches appear. But they do have a horsey sauce kept on ice in one of a handful of squeeze bottles provided for doctoring. Plain thick horseradish is the traditional condiment. I added the chilled spicy white sauce, Tabasco sauce and a few pickles. Perfection.

Chapps interior

With a side of fries and an indoor picnic table (I’m very pro-air conditioning) you have a fine meal. It’s not as if the outdoor view is particularly noteworthy anyway. Chaps is next door to a gentleman’s club and this strip of the Pulaski Highway is lined with liquor stores, adult book stores, convenience stores and little else.

Of interest to me because I’m a reuben fan despite rarely eating them, was their special board advertising its sister sandwich, the rachel. I’ve heard of this treat that swaps corned beef and sauerkraut for turkey and coleslaw but I’ve never seen one first hand. I still haven’t seen one up close. A guy in line behind us ordered one but I didn’t want to stare.

We got sandwiches and ribs to go on the way out of town and I’m glad we did because there’s nothing grosser than a New Jersey turnpike rest stop Sunday night at the tail end of a holiday weekend. I did have to wait in a 40+ deep line to use the bathroom at one point but I wasn’t about to queue for heat lamp Roy Rogers fare when we had the real deal in the car. We did grab some paper bags and napkins from the chain to use as barriers on the storm-soaked picnic tables beyond the parking lot, though.

Chaps ribs

We ate the ribs for dinner when we got home around 9pm rather than the anticipated late afternoon. I don’t think we will be driving anywhere July 4, 2009.

Chaps exterior

Chaps Pit Beef * 5801 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, MD

The JakeWalk

I’ve been scoping out new and newish neighborhood bars for potential birthday celebrating. I think many opt for this solution because their living quarters are cramped. That’s not really my problem at all (don’t worry, I have plenty of others) I’m just not sure that I want to go the big messy, cooking and cleaning shebang in the apartment route (but I probably will because I’m a control freak).

Group dining is too traumatic. Annd apparently, my circle of friends are gauche because we always do the split the bill and divvy up the birthday person’s meal approach. It’s not as if the birthday person ever picks an expensive restaurant, so I don’t get the big deal. I also don’t know anyone who hosts their own birthday party and pays for all guests—that seems very rich and elderly, or at the very least like that middle aged guy in the commercial for what I think is Harrah’s Atlantic City and he’s showing off for his friends by picking out all the food and wine and shaking hands with the chef.

My inclination would be to check out Hot Pot City where it’s all you can cook plus unlimited beer for about $30 per person. But Flushing is a pain to get to and the non-carnivorous would probably have problems with raw meat dipped in the shared broth. Feh.

What I’d really like is to order lechon, a whole roast Filipino pig. Yesterday, I got distracted on this blog affiliated with a New Jersey restaurant, New Barbecue Pit. Dining-wise, it’s unfortunate that I know such a large number of vegetarians. Pig heads are enough to scare anyone, and even worse, practically every side dish and appetizer I could order from this place, including vegetables, would contain pork because that’s just the Filipino (and Chinese) way. I really, really do want to have a party with a whole pig but I don’t want to be a brat. It’s my birthday, though, right?

Well, if I ever get married there will most definitely be whole hogs…er, and durian cake and lots of things cooked with foul smelling shrimp paste. You know, just because it would be my special day and I’d like to exercise my right to be self-serving.

So, last night I intended to visit both The JakeWalk and Clover Club and started with the former when I should’ve reversed the order. JakeWalk was only about half-full when I arrived and still had a few open tables when I left around 9pm. Clover Club was at capacity by the time I made it a few blocks up the street. I should’ve known better since it’s gotten a lot of press people flock to newness. I wasn’t inclined to wait around for a seat.

I love fondue to death but I was kind of freaked out by how many diners were ordering it. I mean, it was like 98% humidity last night. My clothes were all damp and sticky just from the 10-block walk. I wouldn’t eat fondue in a place like Singapore either, but that’s just me.

Jakewalk cheese plate I did order cheese, though. I’m not supposed to be eating sugar and that makes me sad (I’m on a mailing list that has been talking about chocolate croissants the past few days and food blogs seem to have gone wild with summer fruit tarts). But no one said I couldn’t go wild with cheese. And yes, I realize there is sugar in alcohol, cocktails in particular, but I turn a blind eye.

We ordered a small sampler with a choice of three cheeses and two meats. They were out of lamb prosciutto, which I was interested in because why not. Instead, we chose wild boar sausage, which was fatty, gamey and very stiff on the teeth. I liked it, though it’s not a soft pliable piece of charcuterie. We also ordered speck because I always forget what it’s like. I would say it’s a heartier less salty prosciutto.

I was hoping for Hooligan because it’s one of my favorite cheeses and I’d seen it on their website (urgh, I have to type “Web site” at work all day and now my hands automatically want to use that format) but it wasn’t listed. No matter, as an offshoot of Stinky Bklyn you know there will be plenty of winsome options. Instead, I picked another raw cow’s milk cheese I’ve liked in the past, Constant Bliss, and creamy blue Stichelton (which I now know is pronounced stickleton rather than stilcheechon). James always likes sharp and hard cheeses so he went for an Essex Street Comte.

Jakewalk speck and boar sausage

Extras entailed a blob of peach jam, fig almond cake and pickled beans and onions.

I did appreciate that they provided a serious amount of bread slices (more than shown in the photos). I’m not supposed to be eating bread either (seriously, what can I freaking eat?) but whatever, it’s the principle. I hate it when you get tapas or things demanding bread and you’re given like two tiny slivers.

Jakewalk arugula salad

Who cares if the leaves are coated in creamy lemon vinaigrette, I like to pretend that salads are healthy. This tuft of arugula also contained shavings of manchego and spiced marcona almonds.

Jakewalk improved gin cocktail Apparently, I’m easily influenced because I ordered a glass of sherry after just having read Eric Asimov’s lament in the Times. The main reason I wanted to try Montilla-Moriles Fino was because I was wondering if this was the mystery sherry we’d had in Buenos Aires, the one where James inexplicably scrawled down the nonsensical phrase malo-malo. This sherry did contain two hyphenated M words. I don’t think it was the same, though. The flavor was a little harsher, kind of like musty almonds with a hint of dirt.

I finished with an Improved Gin Cocktail because I was curious how the ingredients–genever, maraschino, absinthe and angostura bitters–would blend. Now that’s a pretty yet bitter drink. I’ve never liked syrupy sweet cocktails but only in old age have I been able to appreciate the opposite end of the spectrum. The orange peel twist only upped the ante.

The JakeWalk * 282 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY

Bo Brooks

1/2 This wouldn’t be the first time that my out-of-town eating plans were thwarted by the vacations of others. Taking time off during summer? Restaurateurs don’t make a habit out of warm weather breaks in NYC. Uglesich’s (before it closed for good) and a handful of other places were shuttered when I was last in New Orleans, and like every tapas place on my list was out of commission the week I was in Barcelona two summers ago.

It didn’t occur to me that my first place crab house choice, Mr. Bill’s Terrace, might have the entire week beginning July 4th off. It’s a shame because I was liking what I was seeing on the way to Essex (I’m not sure if that’s a neighborhood or township): Teenagers with carp moustaches and non-ironic fedoras topping long frizzy locks. I spied timewarp youngsters that could out-hesher the best the Northwest has to offer. Scrawny Jack Sprat men in denim cutoffs and (once again, non-ironic) trucker hats with enormous wives were not rare either. I saw more wheelchairs in Baltimore in two-and-a-half days than I’ve practically seen in a decade in NYC (I’ve never understood what the big deal with using the handicapped stall was because no one here seems to be in need of them, but at a Nordstrom bathroom there were two disabled women waiting to use one). And cats just sit in the middle of the road, not even flinching when drive up near them (I would never hit an animal—we drove up on a belligerent feline to try and figure out why it wouldn’t move. It seemed that it simply didn’t want to).

And I liked what I saw when we arrived at the windowless box of a restaurant. I could smell peppery-sweet Old Bay in the air. I imagined Keno, pitchers of beer and the lingering stench of cigarette smoke despite a half-year indoor ban being in effect. But everything was locked up tight. We only found out that they were closed for the week when a woman in the parking lot told us so. No, I never call ahead when trying new restaurants.

I racked my brain for choice number two, Costas Inn, which I didn’t think was terribly far from where we were (nothing in Baltimore seemed a great distance from each other). We weren’t making the same mistake again and called to confirm they were open for dinner on Independence Day. They were, but uh, they didn’t have any crabs. I was starting to lose hope.

Dramatically, a severe thundershower struck adding a literal dampening to my already floundering spirits.
I had ignored James’s favorite Baltimore crab house, Obrycki’s, because it’s some weird tradition he has with his family and I hate family traditions. I wanted to do my own thing and at 6:30pm it didn’t seem likely to get in without reservations.

The only other option I had stored in memory was Bo Brooks. It was the dead opposite of Mr. Bill’s. Some places you have to look past the dump to admire the food. Here, you had to get over the cheesy vibe. I kind of knew it would be touristy but didn’t realize how much so, like a chain, maybe Margaritaville (even though I’ve never been to one), sterile, corporate, but with a good view of the harbor (it was the only one with outdoor seating, not that I ever choose alfresco over air conditioning) and substantial crabs.

Bobrooks crabs

Certainly, the fact that they serve crabs all year long when the other eateries don’t is telling. Not that I have any locavore tendencies. I couldn’t tell the difference between imported Asian crabs and Chesapeake blue crabs in a million years.

Crabs are not cheap anywhere—there aren’t bargains to really be had short of catching them yourself. Bo Brooks had large, extra large, jumbo and colossal. Our extra large dozen set us back $75. They certainly were hefty, dwarfing the crustaceans at Brooklyn’s Clemente’s (scene of last year’s birthday—2008’s is rapidly approaching and that doesn’t sit well with me).

 Crabs are a strange food. For me, it’s next to impossible to get even close to full because I spend so much time messing with the shells. I’m still learning cracking strategies and managed to cut up my fingers and bloodied my pinky. I think I’d starve to death on an all-crab diet. But eventually I managed to extract pristine white nuggets that actually required a few chews.

Even James, the crab snob between the two of us, conceded that these were good. And I was inclined to agree. I think heavy is the term for crabs where the proportion of meat is high. And 11 of this 12 fit that definition.

We started with bottles (classy) of Natty Boh and quickly moved onto a pitcher of Hoegaarden (only because it was the special). We were initially dismayed at their pitcher-less drink menu until we realized that pitchers are a given in Baltimore, rather than something requiring an explicit mention.

Bobrooks aftermath

This was only a fraction of the aftermath.

Bo Brooks * 2701 Boston St., Baltimore, MD

Charm City

Well, that was a short and sweet mini-vacation. Unfortunately, I spent over seven hours in a car yesterday attempting to get back to NYC. I’m still not sure how we got to Baltimore on the 4th, itself, traffic-free in half that time. I always forget why it’s wise to just stay home during three-day weekends, but the concept of a “staycation” makes me want to hurl. I will not be a tourist in my own city, thanks.

I really just use out-of-town excursions as an excuse to ignore my reluctant sugar and starch avoiding regimen. I have the logic that somehow Tastykakes, cheap beer, fried potatoes and bread baskets don’t count as long as I’m not on my home turf. But really, how much damage can be done to one’s constitution in 48 hours?

Baltimore is the type of place where you just feel less self-conscious. NYC feels guarded and judgmental, but perhaps I’m just guarded and judgmental. Overall, I would say that people are friendly and they drink heavily. James, who went to college there, attributed the latter to alcohol being so inexpensive. I think it’s the culture in general. For instance, I don’t see people doing shots much here (though I was offered one a few weeks ago at South Brooklyn Pizza and that was highly unusual). Maybe it’s simply the difference between $12 and $5 cocktails and $5 cocktails, sipping vs. slamming.

I was turned on to the charms of National Bohemian, a.k.a. Natty Boh, and was reminded how sad it is that NYC lacks a crappy cheap regional beer. Yes, PBR is a universal, but that doesn’t count.  In Portland we had Rainier (r.i.p.). I don’t think such a beast exists here. I’m 99% sure I’ve never seen $1.50 cans of beer in NYC bars, either.

I also discovered a tasty creature called a crab pretzel at a Phillips Express tucked inside a Maryland rest stop. There’s nothing particularly pretzely about it; this is a blob of baked dough topped with crab dip and cheese, then broiled. A perfect marriage of fat and starch.

More Chesapeake goodness to come. Meanwhile, here are some admittedly random photos. Picture-taking has never been my strength.

It’s Not All John Waters and The Wire, Right?

Utz_crab Yay, four-day weekend. It’s not quite the same as a European two-month break but this is as close to a French work ethic as I’m likely to get. I’m not going to argue with a freebie Monday off.

I’ll be in Baltimore for no other reason than that I was only there once for like five hours a few years ago and figured this weekend was as good as any to go back and find crabs, crabcakes and pit beef.

La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar

Sometimes you have to ask yourself if you want to travel over 5,000 miles to eat shot glass and soup spoon food; modern fine dining, molecular gastronomy, whatever you want to call it. Even chef Alejandro Digilio, himself, didn’t have a preferred label when I asked him how he describes his cuisine. He simply said, “contemporáneo.” But yeah, I’ll bite. I mean, you have to temper all that steak-eating somehow and you won’t find a tasting menu like this anywhere else in Buenos Aries.

This was our most expensive meal on vacation, and if you didn’t know what you were in for you might not have high expectations based on the bare bones San Telmo storefront. The small, concrete, high-ceilinged space is in the heart of the tourist district. I don’t find talking about money in relation to dining to be gauche, especially when espousing value, so we spent 320 pesos.  $105 dollars for nine courses of creative food plus wine pairings for two is pretty remarkable.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar starters

You can order a la carte but that’s not the preferred way to dine. Once we opted for the tasting menu we were presented with a jumble of appetizers. The spoons contained a liquid “ravioli,” whose flavor I have completely forgotten, cheese croquettes topped with a tiny jellied tomato square and ceviche.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar more starters

The granules on the left were a tomato powder. You dipped flatbreads in olive oil and then the tomato essence. The almonds in the center were spicy and sweet, but only spicy by Argentine standards. Candied nori sheets were were wedged atop apple cubes like crackly wind sails. Sugared seaweed should be a new Jolly Rancher flavor because these were good.

You would probably be fine just sharing a bunch of fun amuses while sipping a glass or two of wine, but the more substantial dishes are definitely worth trying.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar sopa en 2 tempuraturas 
sopa en 2 tempuraturas

This pea soup is pretty, well, if you like shades of pea green like I do. I’m still not sure how I feel about contrasting temperatures. They were also playing around with this sense when I dined at Moto last year, and I wasn’t crazy about it then either. James was kind of accurate when he said it’s like when you microwave a bowl of soup and there are still cold spots in the middle.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar papa huevo trufa 
papa huevo trufa

This is the dish I kept thinking about later because it simply tasted good. You’re supposed to crack the shell (they’re good at that candied lacquering thing) swiftly with your knife so you don’t mush and the potato and the runny yolk comes out cleanly. I destroyed mine. The starchy, garlicky, creamy and truffled flavors were actually similar to my risotto at Casa Cruz. Maybe these are components are more Argentine than I realized.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar 24 weeds 
twenty-four weeds

They called this assemblage of vegetables, herbs and flowers weeds. Pretty and flavorful, it was almost like something you might find at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. I’m always surprised how much I enjoy dishes like this because, not because I dislike vegetables but because I’m scared of eating flowers. I realize that makes no sense coming from an intestine-and -blood sausage-lover.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar pulpo vinagreta solida 
pulpo vinagreta solida

Chewy and tart octopus with a vinaigrette formed into a substance resembling feta cheese.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar mero jugo de paella 
mero jugo de paella

Paella juice isn’t the most appetizing description.  I was more interested in the Rice Krispie bits floating in the broth around the sea bass.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar carrillera caldo de hongos 
carrillera caldo de hongos

I’d never had beef cheeks before and certainly wouldn’t have known what they were. They were rich and just fatty enough, kind of similar to short ribs. Ack, those flowers showed up again.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar cerdo rabanitos hongos 
cerdo rabanitos hongos

Despite the name I don’t recall any mushrooms or radishes with this tender pork. This dish was served with a skinny perfume sampling paper scented with smoke. Inhaling and chewing at the same time created the sensation of barbecued meat, something that would seem to appeal to both Americans and Argentines. I enjoyed it. Toying with temperatures hasn’t wowed me, but manipulating scent and taste is kind of impressive, and fun too.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar ravioli de ron 
ravioli de ron

Another ravioli, and I can remember the filling this time because it was like a mini shot of rum, tempered by a granita.

Vineria de gualterio bolivar crema catalana 
crema catalana

This was deconstructed, obviously. Soft, foamy, powdered and creamy all mixed with hot espresso poured in tableside.

James took wine notes, which is weird because he’s not into wine. I only have surface knowledge, myself. Well, they weren’t tasting notes, just what we were served. I don’t have the same brain/memory for wine as I do for food, which is the main reason I don’t tend to discuss it here.

We were served a sherry first. His notes read "malo malo," which make absolutely no sense. First off, no one would call their wine malo because that’s bad. I can’t even come up with a homophone that would be accurate. The order of the rest are as follows:

Aristides Chardonnay
Colomé Torrontes
Escorihuela 2005 Syrah
Weinert Sauvignon Blanc

La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar * Bolivar 865, Buenos Aries, Argentina