(Buenos Aires) — Continuing my pursuit of visiting all the restaurants of my favorite chef, Francis Mallmann, after an all-night flight, I had a five hour layover at the Buenos Aires airport.  I planned to take a car into the city to have lunch at his famous restaurant Patagonia Sur in BA’s colorful La Boca neighborhood, then head back to the airport. I asked my travel agent to make a reservation and when I got there they unlocked the door and let me in. There was no one there but the extremely nice waiter. I asked “Where is everybody?” and he replied: “We’re normally not open for lunch, but you had made a reservation so we opened up early for you.”  I think that’s a perfect example of the extremely gracious hospitality I’ve found at his other restaurants.

Being the only one in the restaurant, I found myself with a new camera to figure out and time to explore every nook and cranny of this beautiful place. I’m sure the nice waiter thought I was a freak. (More than they usually do).  I’d seen small thumbnail pics of this place before, so I had these grand visions in my head. Once there, it was better than that.  Every square inch is so well thought out. I wish my house looked like this. Man, the French have pea gravel and bougainvillea down right, Italians have decay perfectly, Argentinians have black and white tile down pat.

It was just me and the patient waiter, with me giggling and pounding the table as I took my first bite of each course. It’s expensive for Buenos Aires — more like New York prices vs. the incredible value you find elsewhere — but it’s worth every penny.  I can only imagine what it’s like with people. Pinch me.




Last visited: March 2011

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