Yes Way Diaré: Goes To Argentina Once
Over the winter holiday I had the great pleasure of escaping the polar vortex for sunny, perfectly warm Argentina. The trip took quite a bit of planning since I wanted to explore both Buenos Aires and wine country (not exactly around the corner), but the payoff was huge. The food alone was worth the 10+ hour flight! Here are my top ten highlights from a trip that took me to Buenos Aires, Cafayate, Mendoza, and back to Buenos Aires.
1. Buenos Aires is a city that likes to parté. They start late and stay out late. Our most epic night began at Floreria Atlantico, a flower shop/wine store/speakeasy with an incredible campari cocktail. I had a toté on me because I knew I’d want to buy a bottle. Naturallé, I picked up a Malbec Rosé with a Wonder Woman label from Riccitelli Wines. We then headed to Tegui in Palermo for a modern Argentine tasting menu where they request no photos at the table. Highlights included an oyster course and duck situation. The last stop was Frank’s, recommended by our waiter, a speakeasy that required a password to get into (‘Ella Fitzgerald’) and where an Old Fashioned was served in a smoking box.
2. Casa Rosada, the presidential palace in Buenos Aires (like the White House) where Evita delivered speeches to supporters from the balcony, is PINK. There’s nothing like a giant pink building to make you feel like you’re in the right place. While sightseeing around Buenos Aires visit La Recoleta Cemetery, Teatro Colón, and the Floralis Generica metal sculpture. Shop around Palermo Soho, perhaps the most instagrammable neighborhood in the world with bright murals everywhere.
3. I’m obsessed with the PROA Foundation in the colorful La Boca neighborhood. The contemporary art museum is now showing Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles installation. Take in the exhibit, have lunch at the awesome museum cafe, and walk around La Boca.
5. Don Julio in Palermo is like the Peter Luger of Argentina: a steakhouse popular among tourists, highly recommended, and very good. Order the filet, try the mashed potatoes (although the papas fritas looked ridiculous), and drink Reserve Malbec.
6. To get to the Cafayate wine region in Northwest Argentina we flew to Salta and had a car take us on the almost three hour journey south on Route 68 through Quebrada de las Conchas. The views are breathtaking with red rock formations, a variety of mountain ranges, and herds of goats casually stopping traffic.
7. In Cafayate stay at the Grace Cafayate Resort. Chill out by the gorgeous pool, take in the scenery, indulge in empanadas, and sip as much Torrentés as possible. The aromatic Argentine white wine smells sweet but is dry in style. Taxi to Bodega El Esteco and go horseback riding through the beautiful vineyard. The entire Cafayate experience is insanely scenic and gorgeous!
8. We flew to Mendoza through Salta for more wine and fun. In wine country one must drink wine! Taste Malbec, Malbec Rosé, and Cabernet Sauvignon while taking in stunning views of the snow-capped Andes. We spent a great day touring vineyards with Trout & Wine. Lunch at Bodega Casarena was one of the best and impeccably presented meals we had (lets just say fried empanadas were involved).
9. White water rafting on the Mendoza River with Argentina Rafting was a total adventure. I was nervous, especially after the third round of safety precautions, but happy to do something completely out of my comfort zone on this trip.
10. Dinner in the garden at Francis Mallman’s 1884 in Mendoza, where food is cooked over wood fires and in clay ovens, is a meal I will not forget anytime soon. While the steak was great, as expected, it was the appetizers that left a lasting impression. Order the zucchini with Parmesan and pine nuts and grilled goat cheese with vegetables. Next level delicious!