This Week: 31 March-6 April

It’s a big week in Buenos Aires, and the next seven days are jam-packed with music, film, food, wine tasting and more. Here are our picks over the next seven days.

Via Gastronomique

Via Gastronomique

Monday

Well, what do you know. Today is Mexican Taco Day! One place we like to go to for a dose of comida mejicana is María Félix.  Order a trio of yummy pork tacos al pastor, slather on some hot sauce and kick back with some Margaritas. It’s two for one on tacos today so it really is a feliz día del taco!

Via Grimy Goods

Via Grimy Goods

Tuesday

Today is a huge day, with the very first Lolapallooza Argentina taking place. Some one- and two-day tickets are still available to see the likes of Nine Inch Nails (photo), New Order and Arcade Fire creating musical havoc at this giant music festival. San Isidro Hippodrome. Today and tomorrow.

Plus, the third edition of Buenos Aires Food Week also swings into motion today, and naturally our very own Hernán Gipponi Restaurant is participating with tempting lunch and dinner menus over the next fortnight. Other Palermo favorites participating include Bernata, Azema Exotic Bistró, Unik and M. Check out our menu here! Until April 14.

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

Wednesday

Movie buffs will thrill at the next two weeks, given that Bafici, Latin America’s largest independent and international film festival, kicks off. This is the perfect time to become acquainted with local film makers who are making their mark in this hard-to-please industry. In the Argentina competition, our pick is Santiago Loza’s Si Je Suis Perdu, C’est Pas Grave.  At cinemas and open-air venues around the city. Tickets can be purchased online. Bafici HQ – Abasto Shopping Mall. Until April 13.

Via Bafici

Via Bafici

Thursday

Guitarist and composer Matias Ravier launches his third solo album tonight, called Cizaña, which draws inspiration from his time living in in Mexico and Paris. Check out this intimate gig at La Oreja Negra, which promises samba, bossa nova and funk. Uriarte 1271, Palermo. 9pm. 50 pesos.

Via Flor Carrozza

Via Flor Carrozza

Friday

Getting ahead of preparations before Malbec World Day on April 17, head El Dorrego for an evening of tasting and sampling and, oh okay, drinking at the Malbec Making Noise event. With more than 400 producers, this looks to be an awesome way to kick of celebrating Argentina’s favorite fermented grape juice. El Dorrego, Honduras and Dorrego, Palermo Hollywood. From 6pm to 1am. 180 pesos.

Via Anuva

Via Anuva

Weekend

Those English speakers who like a good yarn and don’t mind telling it in front of other people would do well to head to Second Story on Sunday. This story-telling performance group makes its monthly appearance at Sr. Duncan, with the theme of Happy Endings, Rivadavia 3832, Almagro.

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

PLUS: Save the date! Our next TFIF Happy hour will take place on April 25. You heard it here first!

Guest Blogger: Gisela Giunti’s Favorite Bookstores

A cup of coffee and a good read, that’s it. Good reads wake me up and make me happy! That’s why there is no chance I’d skip a nice book shop plus coffee shop anywhere in the city, and that’s why deciding which are among my favourites is a tough job. And if you think about it, it’s kind of a difficult job considering the fact that Buenos Aires counts a high number of bookstores in comparison with other capital cities around the world.

Via Craphound

Via Craphound

Quoting Ray Bradbury, he would be really happy in Buenos Aires saying thing like this: “A book has got smell. A new book smells great. An old book smells even better and an old one smells like Ancient Egypt.” He also pointed out that “Without libraries what we have got? We have no past and no future”. These are my favorite bookstores in Buenos Aires.

El Ateneo

A real shelter surrounded by beautiful baroque stalls where you can sit down with a book and forget about the world. The interior, the building and the ambiance embrace you; it’s naturally inviting and the stunning stalls and remarkable architecture are a reminder of the glory years when it was possible to watch a film or enjoy a play at El Ateneo. You can also sit on a sofa, in the beautiful café and listen to the piano concert at around 6pm everyday, if that weren’t enough. Luxury at the price of a coffee.

Via Distal

Via Distal

Distal Libros Recoleta

My most recent discovery. One of those places you wouldn’t think is special, a very lovely bookstore on Junín street, just in front of Recoleta Cemetery and half a block from the Village Recoleta. This bookstore has a long entrance which takes you to the café at the back and then on to the patio. It’s sort of unexpected but nice enough to surprise you in the good sense. It’s a bit of a touristy place but the customers are mainly locals interested in serious books, the most recently released International titles and well-known authors. The vendors are really willing to help you, also a plus!

 

Cúspide Village Recoleta

This one shows up like a huge bookstore from outsider as soon as you pass by on Vicente López street where the Village Recoleta Entrance is. It doesn’t look anything special from the outside, but once you get in and go to the back, Cúspide has much more to offer: a quiet place to read, a Brioche Doreé café and lot of well-read vendors eager to help. The place offers a huge variety of books, CDs, DVDs, games, maps, stickers and photography books, if you are in need of any of these.

Via Cuspide

Via Cuspide

Clásica y Moderna

A blast from the past. Its very name tells us about Argentine history, about hours of great artistic performances, hours of politicians discussing the country (it’s only 10 blocks away from the Parliament building), lots of great intellectuals hiding in this redoubt, just behind the piano at the entrance. At the back, you’ll find one of the most well-known, smallest and cultured bookstores in the city.

Via Clásica y Moderna

Via Clásica y Moderna

Prometeo Libros

It always was one of the icons of the Corrientes Avenue bookstores. Sociologists, philosophers, linguists, actors and students know that Prometeo has what they are looking for: specialized items, interesting titles and an amazing assortment in general. Its just two blocks away from the typical Corrientes and Callao corner, an authentic emblem of many of the Buenos Aires demonstrations and cultural events.

Via Opera Mundi

Via Opera Mundi

 

IMG_2941 (1)Gisela Giunti is qualified Spanish language teacher for foreigners, proofreader in Spanish and holds a BA in Communications and Journalism. Check out her own blog here and her website here.

 

This Week 24-30 March

As Buenos Aires starts to adapt to a new season, take advantage of the sun while it’s out, and remember to take a jacket out for those deceptive evenings… Monday It’s a feriado (holiday) today so pack up your thermos, grab some medialunas and enjoy the autumnal sun with a picnic in the park! Why not head to the Palermo Woods and set up a corner near the Planetarium, possibly the most mind-blowing, intergalactic construction in the city…

Via Wikimedia

Via Wikimedia

This week’s One Table is fully booked so it’s time to be extremely unArgentine and think ahead to next week to dinner with our chef Hernán Gipponi taking centre stage! Reservations: 3220-6820. Tuesday Turn a glass of vino into something way more exciting and drop by Pain & Vin wine bar. This Palermo store-café-tasting room has a great selection from boutique Argentine producers, plus they speak great English to help you get the most from your choice. Take a Malbec home for later, or crack it open there and then. Gorriti 5132, Palermo Soho.

Via Pain & Vin

Via Pain & Vin

Wednesday Following its glorious success in 2013, Usted Está Aquí, the interactive theater experience by directors Natalia Chami and Romina Bulacio Sak is back for its second season. Without spoiling the plot, prepare for the unexpected as you’re transported to different towns, cities, countries and situations as you rove around the Tardis-like Konex, accompanied by a huge cast. Fun and fantastic. Four shows, from 8pm, Ciudad Cultural Konex, Sarmiento 3131, Almagro. 100 pesos.

Courtesy of Usted Está Aquí Experience
Courtesy of Usted Está Aquí Experience

Thursday Get down to the Malba today for a calmer, mid-week browse of the photographic exhibition of 2014. Mario Testino’s In Your Face opened a few weeks ago and there’s no sign of the fervour dying down quite yet. The Peruvian photographer has snapped some of the world’s good and great in his time. This is his first and long overdue Buenos Aires show. Malba, Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo. 50 pesos. Until June 16.

Courtesy of Malba

Courtesy of Malba

Friday Too Epic For House is back with DJ duo Soundexile taking to the decks to create some digital mayhem. Oliverio and Baunder mix it up with special guests warming the night up. Shamrock Basement, Rodriguez Peña 1220, Recoleta. And if that doesn’t suit your fancy, legendary DJ Sven Vath will take over State this evening as he drops into Buenos Aires on his World Tour. Alsina 940, Monserrat.

Via Soundexile

Via Soundexile

Weekend If you’re not resting in light of the epic music fest that kicks off next Tuesday, well, you’ve clearly been asleep for the past six months. Lollapalooza makes its Argentina debut with a two-day festival at San Isidro Hippodrome. Catch New Order (photo), Arcade Fire, Phoenix and Nine Inch Nails over the course of 48 hours – some one- and two-day passes are still available.

Via Discover Northern Ireland

Via Discover Northern Ireland

But if thumping rock concerts don’t turn you on, Saturday night at Bebop sees young singer-songwriter Cata Raybaud present her more delicate version of funk-rock in a far more intimate space. Moreno 364, Monserrat.

Via Bebop

Via Bebop

Guest Blogger: Daniel Politi’s Retiro

Believe me when I tell you, I’m no hipster. My (mild) dislike of Palermo has nothing to do with thinking I’m too cool for the City’s perennially “cool” neighborhood. It’s simple logistics really: I’m a grumpy, impatient man and Hollywood is just a trek. The solution? Retiro. The streets may not be the nicest to walk around after dark but here it’s the destination that counts. Here, five restaurants that prove taking a train isn’t the only reason to head to the neighborhood of Retiro.

Pony Line

Walking into Pony Line, the bar at the Four Seasons hotel, is always mildly stressful. ‘Will there be room at the bar?’ I wonder as I rush past the doors. I invariably do a little dance in my head when I spot an empty chair because I know I will immediately be greeted by bartenders who know exactly how to shake up a great cocktail. And in a city where you often have to make the hard choice between good drinks and good food (talk about a Sophie’s choice),  Pony Line is the full package. In the mood for bar grub to accompany that Rob Roy, the vodka-infused tereré or a Manhattan made with Malamado? The hamburger (be sure to order it jugoso) never disappoints. Want something a bit more fancy? Ask for the menu from the hotel restaurant Elena and feast on some inventive takes on traditional Argentine dishes. Three tips: always sit at the bar, don’t even think about ordering a caipirinha, and for the love of all that is holy skip Wednesday nights, when the relaxed bar turns into a sweat-infused after office. Posadas 1086.

Courtesy of Four Seasons

Courtesy of Four Seasons

El Mirasol de la Recova

A block away from Ponyline, nestled on the far end of La Recova, El Mirasol may seem like a typical stuffy high-end parrilla. But it has a little secret: a patio area unlike anywhere else in the city. Ever wanted to eat a good steak next to 9 de Julio? Yeah, probably not. But trust me, you do. The area is sufficiently covered by greenery to not feel like you’re eating provoleta with a helping of exhaust fumes but at the same time the rumble from the street makes it’s impossible to forget you’re eating right next to the widest avenue in the world. The steak is tender and the waiters are that ideal mix of old-school without the rudeness.  Be warned though, it’ll be an expensive meal and the markup on the wine is enough to make your jaw drop so be sure to take that out of town friend who will offer to pay with the enviable blue coin. Posadas 1032.

Courtesy of El Mirasol

Courtesy of El Mirasol

Juana M 

Right across the Avenida 9 de Julio is the restaurant that, over the years, has become my reliable go-to place to take anyone visiting from out of town. The basement restaurant doesn’t look like much from the outside but open the big metal doors to find that rare mix of informal with a great ambience. The star of the menu is certainly the steak, but there are also enough pasta and vegetarian dishes to please all but the most finicky eaters and at a relatively reasonable price to boot. As if that wasn’t enough, Juana M also has a secret weapon: square tables that sit up to eight people, meaning you can go out with a big group and actually talk to everyone rather than just the people sitting right next to you. Carlos Pellegrini 1535.

Courtesy of Juana M

Courtesy of Juana M

Dadá 

The perennial expat favorite has one major thing to hate: it’s always packed. Forget about Argentine dining times. If you hope to get a table at this small restaurant, early is the name of the game. But fear not, because a couple of cocktails can help whet your appetite. Yes, Dadá is another one of those rare finds where you can have a good meal with a Martini in hand that won’t make you gag from the vermouth. Yes, any regular will likely tell you the food isn’t what it used to be, but there’s a reason why Dadá continues to be consistently packed weekend after weekend: the ambience. No matter how packed the place is you’re always made to feel welcome. Sure, it may get a little loud but it’s a great spot for people-watching and striking up conversations with strangers. Or, you know, just judging them silently. San Martín 941.

Courtesy of loquelasguiasnodicen

Courtesy of loquelasguiasnodicen

El Federal

This is the place to go whenever you need a reminder that there’s more to Argentine food than just steak. In an unassuming location a stone’s throw away from Plaza San Martín, El Federal serves up traditional Argentine dishes from the northern and southern provinces — with a modern twist. Some places take the concept of new Argentine cuisine to an extreme, making the traditional dishes virtually unrecognizable. But in El Federal, the chef’s flare does not get in the way of tradition. The wine list is also federal, giving you an opportunity to branch out from the Mendoza staples. San Martín 1015.

Courtesy of El Federal

Courtesy of El Federal

Daniel Politi is a journalist who has been living in Buenos Aires for nine years. He spends his days writing about politics and economics and wishing he lived in the era of Martini lunches. 

This Week 17-23 March

From St. Patrick’s Day to TFIF happy hour and a free bonus track for our Inside Buenos Aires readers, a look ahead at the coming week…

Monday

Happening all day today, Buenos Aires celebrates all things Irish, and with good reason – Argentina has the fifth-largest Irish community in the world and so it’s the perfect excuse to go wild on a Monday night. Our pick takes place at expat haunt Magdalena’s Party, which will start things early – from 5pm, scoff down bangers and mash and down green pints and Irish whiskey. The bar will also hold its Second Annual Irishman of the Year contest, in which eight Irishmen and women compete to take home the accolade – they will be chosen based on ability, character, dedication and spirit. Magdalena’s Party, Thames and Costa Rica, Palermo Soho.

Via Magdalena's Party

Via Magdalena’s Party

 

Inside Buenos Aires is also thrilled to invite our readers to download a free track from Raglans, the Irish folk-rock band creating waves on the music scene. Their eponymous debut album is out on March 29 so hit up this link to grab your FREE copy, Limited to the first 200 downloads so get clicking!

Courtesy of K1 Entertainment

Courtesy of K1 Entertainment

Plus this week’s One Table is fully booked so it’s time to be extremely unArgentine and think ahead to next week! Reservations: 3220-6820.

Tuesday

Over at Blanch in Las Cañitas, a new edition of Cocina Intervenida takes place with shrimp fan Joey Lin taking over the kitchen for this one-off event that will set to make US southerners homesick for their food. Joey will be whipping up kilos of shellfish for Cajun Shrimp Boil, so go hungry because it’s all you can eat. Reservation only, 180 pesos, Andrés Arguibel 2813, Las Cañitas.

Via Blanch

Via Blanch

Wednesday

Following its glorious success, Usted Está Aquí, the interactive theater experience by directors Natalia Chami and Romina Bulacio Sak returns for a second season. Without spoiling the plot, prepare for the unexpected as you’re transported to different towns, cities, countries and situations courtesy of a huge cast. Four shows, from 8pm, Ciudad Cultural Konex, Sarmiento 3131, Almagro. 100 pesos.

Courtesy of Usted Está Aquí Experience

Courtesy of Usted Está Aquí Experience

Thursday

Franco-Argentine tenor Yamil Le Parc, son of the famed artist Julio, takes to the stage for the third in a series of shows entitled Chansons & Tangos. Expect melodies from the likes of Michel Legrand, Kurt Weil and Astor Piazzolla. Clasica y Moderna, Callao 892, 9pm, Tel: 4813-6977.

 

Friday

Boom! TFIF – our much-loved monthly happy hour – is on tonight! Hernán Gipponi whips up tempting tapas, while guest bartender Fede Cuco delights with some cocktail faves – the Ginger Smash is always a big hit. Music comes from the delectable Buddha Beats duo.

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

Weekend

One of Argentina’s musical revelations on the digital cumbia scene, El Remolón launches his latest album Selva with a free gig in the Botanical Garden on Saturday. With a supporting cast including ZZK record label stable mate Villa Diamante, this afternoon session is sure to be a blast. From 2.30pm, Jardín Botánico, Palermo.

Via El Remolón

Via El Remolón

Guest blogger: Natalia Beneitez

naty bNatalia Beneitez, co-founder and writer at Kick Wines and owner at Enocinestesia, says the The biggest fear of a teenager’s parents is just that, that he is a teenager.

Educating Nano

The biggest fear for the parents of a teenager is just that, that he is a teenager. Accompanying the sweetness of this youthful age are the disturbing concerns, such as, “the child will begin his first experiences with alcohol.” Yes, dear parents, teens drink alcohol and, even, occasionally overstep into what we know as drunkenness. (But, come on! Anyone reading this has had the teenage experience of wanting to try the spirits of that bottle that Dad had tucked away, right?)

My experience tells me that if one enjoys high-quality drinks, it’s difficult to return to the dubious world of mixed drinks of questionable quality. It’s for that reason that I decided to dedicate myself to training my tender teen by inviting him to a trusted bar: the “8”.

Courtesy of Santiago Ciuffo

Courtesy of Santiago Ciuffo

878 Bar has been a virtual extension of my own home for nearly 10 years, so there was no better place in the world to take my kid to enjoy “the best lamb burger and a small fruit juice.”

I must clarify that Maite Elorga, a dear friend and the manager of the “8”, has already made the effort of getting Nano to try an ultra premium vodka and, when we got there early that Tuesday, she continued her “training” in the simplest way recognised the world over: Temptation.

The lamb burger and fruit juice were served, along with a gin & tonic, made on the light side, I ordered for myself. I chose Tanqueray Ten because if we’re going to educate, it needs to be done in style. Nano refused to try my drink, as it was “very strong and very bitter.” He also didn’t want a beer because of its bitterness and “straw-like” taste (yes, my son has a rather unorthodox way of describing things).

Courtesy of Santiago Ciuffo

Courtesy of Santiago Ciuffo

But Temptation, that old and sensual seductress of souls, was there, and so attractive and perfect was the description of the cocktail that he yielded and began tasting and very nearly finishing it all. The issue of the beer was simpler still: a bottle of Grolsch magically appeared, as if the genie from Aladdin’s lamp suddenly appeared and asked, “what is your greatest desire?”

It’s been a couple of years since that summer night, and that budding teen is now 16 years old. And from that moment to now, he’s tried almost everything he’s encountered; he’s participated in tastings, rock and wine festivals, he’s come to know the futility of trying to remove the violet colour of Malbec – that stains everything it touches – from his teeth and, above all, he has learned to drink responsibly and not mix drinks that could cause a two-day hangover.

As my son Nano has acquired an almost religious fanaticism for bitters, I present you with my recipe for his favourite cocktail that can be used as a good introduction for most teenagers:

El Nano

½ part Campari

2 parts grapefruit juice

1 part tonic water

Chopped mint

Ice

It’s perfect for the afternoon, after clubbing, and impromptu gatherings of friends at home; it goes well with pizza, hamburgers, franks and choripans. You can make El Nano in a pitcher and even my own mother declares it “healthy.”

Once, long ago, we were all teenagers. That glorious time when several of us had that one drink when we thought we’d never feel or hear again because we were in the midst of the worst hangover of our lives. Let’s try to ensure that the teens that live with us never suffer that experience.

PS: Sorry Julián Diaz, I promise we almost certainly won’t repeat that!

This Week 10-17 March

Monday

Test your mettle against the quiz master extraordinaire at the Pub Quiz Buenos Aires tonight, in what is the final and triumphant quiz organised by tour guide Jonathan Evans. Fear not though, trivia fans, the quiz will continue as normal next month with a brand-new host (we hear he’s pretty tough)… With three rounds of 10 general knowledge questions and one themed round of 25 questions, you’ll either be breezing through with a perfect score or scratching your head in extreme bafflement. 7.30pm, La Cigale, 25 de Mayo 597 (corner of Tucumán). 15 pesos.

And of course, those in need of a fabulous feed should book at One Table – five course, five wine pairings, one chef – our very own Hernán Gipponi. Tel: 3220-6820. Reservation only.

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

Courtesy of Jocelyn Mandryk

Tuesday

For those of who you who like your comedy in English, get down to Gringo Standup this evening. Featuring local expat hero Daniel Tunnard (the Englishman who rode all the buses in Buenos Aires), Matt Roper AKA Wilfredo and the extremely hilarious Ana Carolina, you’ll be in for a rib-tickler of a night. The Cavern Pub, Av. Corrientes 1660, Paseo La Plaza. 10.30pm, 70 pesos.

Courtesy of Comedy in Buenos Aires (that porteños won't understand)

Courtesy of Comedy in Buenos Aires (that porteños won’t understand)

Wednesday

Ditch Palermo for one night only and head down to Retiro to one of the hippest bars in town. Part wine store, part florist and a whole lot of bar, Florería Atlántico was voted the best watering-hole in South America in 2013. What are you waiting for? We love the frogs’ legs and their grilled steak.

Courtesy of Florería Atlántico

Courtesy of Florería Atlántico

Thursday

In what has become the summer slash autumn mid-week party of the moment, go and get High on the Roof in Recoleta at Primafila.  Expect a beautiful crowd starting the weekend early with this early-evening rooftop sessions that ends at 1am. Entrance is free but by list only, so stop by for supper before shaking off the calories on the outdoor terrace. Once you’re done but still need to groove, head to Palermo classic Club 69 for funk, break-dancing and drag acts.

Courtesy of Club 69

Courtesy of Club 69

Friday

In what is likely to be the photographic exhibition of 2014, Mario Testino’s In Your Face opens today at the Malba. The Peruvian photographer has snapped some of the world’d good and great in his time. This is his first and long overdue Buenos Aires show. Malba, Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo. 7pm. Until June 16.

Courtesy of Malba

Courtesy of Malba

Weekend

For a touch of urban intervention, San Telmo is the place to go. Quirky musical and artistic combo Al Ver Verás provide the visuals and the sounds for “music to look at” at what is likely to be a most interesting night.  Chez Praliné, address on reservation.

Courtesy of Leticia Fraguela

Courtesy of Leticia Fraguela

And of course, we are taking reservations for our epic weekend brunch sessions. Go with an empty tummy, leave with it more than sufficiently filled. HG Restaurant, Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood. Tel: 3220-6820.