Category Archives: Restaurants

Finding hole-in-the-wall gems as well as testing what’s already popular.

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Picnic in Le Parc – Third Dinner in Mendoza

After our tour of Bodega Alta Vista, Margaret and I decided to spend the remainder of our day relaxing and picnicing in Le Parc, Alta Vista’s small, picturesque lawn with tables, chairs, blankets and pillows. Our meal only cost $190 (ARG). Not too bad for 5 hours in the sun and lots of delicious food, huh? I was overwhelmed by the beauty of our surroundings and could not help but take lots of photos. Here are some of my favorite moments from the day.

IMG_9294One of the guides leading us to Le Parc for our picnic.

IMG_9250Le Parc! There were a bunch of these white metal chairs for guests to sit and enjoy the view, some wine, and a picnic.

IMG_9252Our picnic location. There were several other blankets with pillows along the lawn for guests to relax, drink wine, and picnic.

IMG_9253I wish this were my backyard.IMG_9310The menu. Luckily, we didn’t have to decide what we wanted. The picnic included all of this.IMG_9298Chardonnay and agua con gas.IMG_9299That water though.IMG_9302

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IMG_9300The meal! From top left corner to bottom right corner, you’re looking at:  Ham & cheese quiche, anchovy + onion + pepper tostada, eggplant & olive oil, caprese salad bite + olive, bread with cheese & fig, tomato + parmaham + cheese on white bread, and pork + avocado spread + tomato on ciabatta.

We also had ground beef + egg + cheese + pepper + onion empanadas, but I didn’t get a picture of them.IMG_9304Dessert! From left to right: Flan and wafers + dulce de Leche + merengue. We also had fruit salad. IMG_9305

Post-picnic food coma.

IMG_9316Can’t imagine how much upkeep a vineyard would require.

IMG_9318A view of the torrontés through the trees. IMG_9248Rows of torrontés and petit verdot with mountains in view. We tried the torrontés. Delicious! IMG_9242Mountains and vines.IMG_9255Red globes growing overhead.

Alta Vista was my favorite place that we visited during our three-day trip to Mendoza. I would say this bodega is a “must” for anyone making a trip to Argentina’s wine country. The staff are friendly and informative, the view is beautiful, and the bodega is peaceful and isolated.

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Restaurante 1884 Francis Mallman – Second Dinner in Mendoza

After browsing restaurantes mendocinos in our hostel on day one, Margaret and I had too many culinary adventures to choose from. Everything looked so delicious, yet we only had 3 days to spend in Mendoza. When it came time to make decisions, we relied on advice from a combination of sources including NYTimes articles, restaurant reviews, and excerpts from my Argentina travel guide. Good choice? Most definitely. On night number two, we had reservations at what may be Mendoza’s best restaurant and what this article calls Latin America’s 37th best.

What is the restaurant? 1884 Restaurante – Francis Mallman in Bodega Escorihuela. What do they have to offer? Only a 36-page wine list, really delicious food, and free bread that never stops.

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The entrance.

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Seating areas. Where are the people? It was a little chilly that night, so most people (including us) were inside or in the other outdoor area, close to the fire.

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Most extravagant bread table I’ve ever seen. This is where the waiters refilled their baskets of bread to bring from table to table.  IMG_2363

Humita. My favorite comida argentina made of corn, red pepper, squash, milk, onion, and cheese. And probably some other stuff.IMG_2365

A delicious dessert.
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Pears, pistachios, cashews, helado de vainilla. Many of my favorite things in one dish.

Going to Mendoza? I would highly recommend eating at 1884 Restaurante – Francis Mallman. If you need more convincing, you should check out the photo gallery and general information on their website.

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Azafrán – First Dinner in Mendoza

Since we were spending minimal amounts of plata on our lodging, we were able to eat like reinas. During our first night in Mendoza, Margaret and I decided to go to Azafrán, a restaurant downtown Mendoza, recommended in my Fodor’s Argentina guidebook. Here is what the guidebook had to say:

It’s as much a gourmet grocery and wineshop as it is an incredible restaurant with tons of character…shelves are stocked with local olive oils, dried herbs and spices, smoked meats, and olives and homemade jams. Eighty wineries are represented by more than 400 labels in the wine bar, where an old wine press has been converted into a tasting table. There is no wine list, but you can explore the wine room and look at the shelves of wine while working with a sommelier to find the perfect pairing for your food order. The food is super fresh, traditionally Argentine yet with creative flair, and gorgeously presented…This is a versatile place that works well whether you need to have a business meeting, dine with your family, or have a romantic dinner for two.

The book really sells this place, right? Right. And with good reason. It was wonderful.

Here are some pictures of our food and the restaurant itself!

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The wine room! We had to (so rough, right?) hang out here while waiting for a table. IMG_9072

So many to choose from! And I knew so little about wine. Good thing we had the sommelier to direct us to a Torrontés, a white wine that paired well with the seafood we ate.IMG_9074Another part of the wine room.

IMG_2344Ceviche con brotes de alfalfa y maracuyá. Tuna ceviche with alfalfa sprouts and passion fruit.

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My dinner. Especial del día: trucha con espárragos y puré de papa. Trout with asparagus and mashed potatoes.

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Margaret’s dinner: Shrimp risotto.

The best part: Degustación de postres including flan, frutas secas & quesos, torta de chocolate con helado de vainilla, y whatever is in that shot glass with dulce de leche on top.

IMG_9076This dinner was a wonderful way to celebrate our first day in wine country. If you plan on making a trip to Mendoza City, I would highly recommend Azafrán. Here’s a link to the menu, just for fun.