February 2014 in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires)

The city picks up  pace in February as the flock of sea-side goers return from their holidays, lovers smooch in the parks on Valentine’s Day while demons and dancers take a hold of the streets for carnival season. Below, some of the activities and concerts that will be taking place.

Verano en la ciudad: Free outdoor cultural events take place during the months of January and February in different city parks. Some of the programmed activities include drive-in cinema, theatre, live music, poetry readings and more. Check out the full program here.

Carnival 2014:  Starting Saturday, 1 February 1st, expect loud drums and colorful costumes around different city neighborhoods as the murgas hit the streets in February. More information here.

Shakespeare Festival: From the 8th to the 15th,  the city gets medieval with this festival that celebrates one of the most renowned playwrights in history. Theatre is, of course, one of the highlights, but the festival also includes live music, the recreation of a medieval village, film screenings and a special bicycle adventure. More information here.

Ultra Buenos Aires: The yearly electronic music festival will be taking place in February in Costanera Sur. This year’s line-up includes DJs Tiësto, Hardwell, Paul van Dyk, Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero. Tickets here.

22 February: Rod Stewart will be staging a live show at GEBA. Tickets here.

22 February: Charly Garcia at the Colón Theatre: Legendary Argentine rock star Charly will be presenting a unique show at the Colón Theatre on 22 February. Tickets here.

Argentine Cuisine, Beyond Asado

(Photo by guido_cc)

One of the most immediate associations people make with Argentina is mmm – meat! And although undoubtedly it is one of the pillars of Argentine cuisine, it is not the only delicacy on the local table. (This is not a post about dulce de leche either.)

Brazilian and Paraguayan influences are ever present in Misiones, a province to the north-east of the country (where the Iguazú Falls are). There, one of the most common ingredients used is cassava from which they bake bread, cakes and make meat stuffed rolls. Many desserts are also made from papaya.

Corn, peppers, quinoa and chayote (a fruit similar to squash) are all part of the cooking repertoire up in Salta and Tucuman, which are also the empanada epicenters of the country!

Further south in the Patagonia region, local specialties include trout, lamb, smoked boar and cheese, as well as delicious boysenberries and raspberries. There is also a typical indigenous dish called curanto in which the food is cooked by wrapping it in tinfoil (originally leaves) and burying it in the ground with hot embers and stones.

In Buenos Aires, many restaurants are aiming at incorporating some of these lesser-known local culinary traditions into the gourmet gastronomic scene. Casa Felix is a self-defined “supper house” that opens several months a year to offer unique Latin American dining experiences. El Baqueano specializes unusual and native meats including ñandú, chinchilla, yacare and more.  Hernán Gipponi also fuses Latin ingredients, such as quinoa and chayote, with Spanish cuisine. And to top it off, there are always great wines to match!

Beauty and the Beast at MAMBA

(Photo by  Bienal Artes Mediales CL)

The Chilean duo, Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, have traveled all the way to BA to take over one of the MAMBA’s spaces and make sure that it is clear the cinema is indeed the 7th art. Animation, sculpture, literature and film come together in the works of León and Cociña and for this experience, the two artists will be filming a part of their film La Casa Lobo in one of the museum’s spaces and using it as a transformative set in which different artistic disciplines intermingle. The process will be on display for the public and there will also be screenings of three of the filmmakers’ short films in which the ideas of beauty and bestiality merge.

The exhibition is being held until the 6th of April and the museum opens from Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 7pm and on weekends from 11am to 8pm. Tickets are 10 pesos. Av. San Juan 350, San Telmo.

New in Town: Olaya

Olaya opened late last year and is the fourth of a series of successful restaurants including Sipan, Osaka and Mullu, in which chef José Mendivil Castro has displayed his culinary talent for preparing Peruvian fusion cuisine. The restaurant’s name is a tribute to José Silverio Olaya, who was a martyr in the Peruvian independence.

At the stunning location, which is ample in space and has a welcoming decor, Peru meets Japan, China, Indonesia, Italy and France for an overall palatal experience of globalization at its finest. Humboldt 1550, Palermo. 4843-1751.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

If you’re planning to visit the city center to see the obelisk, or to take a tour of the Colon Theatre, head to the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes (palace of running waters) on Cordoba Avenue and Riobamba first. Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-1pm.  Riobamba 750 – 1° Piso. Tel: (54-11) 6319-1104.

One Table, the city’s top Monday event, is the best place to start the week with glorious foods, great wines and a chance to share with lovely people. Book your place at 3220-6820.

Tuesday

(Photo by Christchurch City Libraries)

Head to La Boca and stop by Fundación PROA to check out the stunning Ron Mueck exhibit! The exhibit is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm. Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca.

Every Tuesday at 7pm throughout January and February, the world’s most famous operas will be screened at the Plaza del Vaticano. So if you’re touring the downtown area, stop by an ice-cream shop and then sit in the park to enjoy! Viamonte and Cerrito Street, downtown.

Wednesday

(Photo by FJTUrban (sommelier d mojitos))

Take a tour with Buenos Aires Art Nouveau and check out some of the most stunning buildings in the city! Tours must be booked in advance with Cecilia Alzano at 15-5376 1305 or at ceciliasalzano@hotmail.com. Find a full list of art nouveau buildings in BA here.

Later on, stop by La Catedral in Almagro where you can take a tango lesson staring at 7.30 pm or 9pm. Sarmiento 4006, Almagro.

Thursday

(Photo by Edgardo Schener)

The sunny summer weather is ideal for discovering the city from another point of view by sailing down the Rio de la Plata! (see smile on sea for sailing options.)

In the evening, stop by La Esperanza de los Ascurra for some delicious tapas and refreshing beers! Aguirre 526, Villa Crespo/ Fitz Roy 1818, Palermo

Friday

If you came to Buenos Aires and you’re not a vegetarian chances are you want some of that famous Argentine beef! Book your place for the full parrilla experience with Parrilla Tour. These filling excursions, which take place in San Telmo on Fridays, will surely satisfy your meat cravings!

Later on, at 9.30pm, Fernandez 4 will be staging a live show at Boris Club de Jazz. Gorriti 5568, Palermo.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by veintiun_gramos)

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s unique must-try brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays! Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. 3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

Check out some of the free cultural events taking place around the city as part of the Verano in Buenos Aires program. More information here.

Argentine Poetry: Evaristo Carriego

(Photo by stevegarfield)

Evaristo Carriego made a brief transit through the city of Buenos Aires, having died young at the age of 29 in 1912. He was a modernist poet from Entre Ríos who published works in some of the most renowned literary magazines of the day, inspired tangos and also, a biography written by Borges. Because of his early death, he published few poetry books: Misas herejes, published in 1908 and the later El alma del suburbio and La canción del barrio, which were published after his death and draw upon local topics such as tango, the barrio and city cafés.

Check out this beautiful performance by tango dancers Carlos Gavito and Marcela Durán of A Evaristo Carriego, a famous tango written by Eduardo Rovira.

And Milonga Carrieguera, composed by Astor Piazzolla.

Argentine Sweet Tooth: Chocotorta

(Photo by  Old Ben Kenobi)

Say chocotorta to any Argie and you’re sure to evoke happy childhood memories and a smile. Its four-ingredient no-bake factor, plus its deliciousness make it perhaps one of the best sweets to come out of the local kitchen.  Basically, it consists of coffee-dunked chocolate cookies layers with a thick dulce de leche and cream cheese filling which is then cooled. That’s it, and no more is needed. Try either making it yourself or, if you’re in the San Telmo area, stop by  Pride Café for a generous serving with a strong cup of coffee.