Guest Blogger: Julián Díaz’s Villa Crespo Top 5

Julián Díaz, owner of 878 bar in Villa Crespo, shares his favourite places in that neighbourhood. 

Via Pick Up The Fork

Via Pick Up The Fork

La Crespo is easily the serving up the best pastrami in Argentina! Homemade, made the legitimate and traditional Jewish way. I like to have lunch there during the week, plus, dangerously, it’s only two blocks away form 878! Thames 612.
Via Guía Oleo

Via Guía Oleo

Angelín has to be the one place that I’ve eaten at the most times in my life. Ever since I was little, I’ve always gone with my parents to eat a muzzarella pizza, an humita (corn) friend empanada and then finish up with the ricotta and dulce de leche cake. Always at the bar, always with a dry greeting from Raúl. Córdoba 5270.
Via Planeta Joy

Via Planeta Joy

Malvón  is an excellent bakery and cake shop. It acts as our second office, thanks to the many meetings and afternoons working spent there. The farmhouse bread, toasted, and I’m infatuated with the dulce de leche alfajor. Serrano 789.
Via 2 Backpackers

Via 2 Backpackers

A bastion for Middle Eastern immigrants, Sarkis is the one place where peace has finally been established and people share the same roof on a corner that seems to have existed ever since Villa Crespo was founded. I hold Sarkis close to my heart because that’s where I used to go for those first dinners with Flor, my partner, some 13 years ago, back when we dreamt of opening 878. Thames 1101.
Via Cuchillería Villa Crespo

Via Cuchillería Villa Crespo

Cuchillería Villa Crespo is one of the best cutler’s stores in the city, selling excellent products and has an even better workshop. Very discreet, very local but full of top-quality knives and swords. Scalabrini Ortiz 197 and Camargo.
Via Santiago Ciuffo

Via Santiago Ciuffo

Julián Díaz is 32 and been a  gourmand for  13 años. He owns two bars, 878 and Florería Atlántico. He writes about the cocktail scene for El Gourmet magazine and talks about gastronomy on Gente Sexy on Rock & Pop 95.9FM. He’s a member of the Asociación Argentina de Sommeliers and Acelga. He also writes short and ridiculous things (his words) on Twitter – @diazdejulian

 

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!

Guest blog: Jocelyn Mandryk’s Buenos Aires

Photographer Jocelyn Mandryk shares her mix ‘n match tips – your wardrobe can complement your cocktail.

Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan culture hub of expression; a place where dogs wear onesies, everyone goes by their nickname, and couture can be anything from faux fur to Roberto Cavalli. But when and how to dress while visiting the city that only sleeps during the day? Climate and company are worthy considerations, but I say veto these factors and dress for your cocktail… as in, the one that’s currently in your hand. Here are my favorite liquid BA indulgences and how they fit with your closet.

Hot damn, that Negroni is upstaging me.

Hot damn, that Negroni is upstaging me.

Negroni To offset the ruby red flamboyance of anything made with Campari, both women and men should stick to neutral tones such as beige, off-white, terracotta, or my personal fave, warm greys. You can let yourself go with a shiny pair of shoes to bolster this look. For virgins to the Negroni, this cocktail packs a punch, so your wardrobe doesn’t need to. Be natural, let your skin tone do the talking – guaranteed, your drink will do the rest.

Best places to get one in Buenos Aires: Negroni, Milion, Mundo Bizarro

Don't be bashful with Mary

Don’t be bashful with Mary

Bloody Mary
It’s all about the florals and patterns – this is not a subtle drink, people. It’s Sunday morning brunch at 4pm and it’s time to sober up… and then down again. Dress loud, and use a straw. Ask for extra salt ‘n peppa, and tuck a napkin into your plunging neckline. For the gentlemen, colored socks, or a Hawaiian shirt will be fine. There’s no need for sunglasses as an accessory. We all know you’ve chosen to indulge in your vices on the Day of the Lord and we’re totally cool with it. It’s no time to be bashful.
Best places to get one in Buenos Aires: Florería Atlántico, 878, Hernán Gipponi Restaurant
Fernet 'n Coke - a cocktail or a remedy?

Fernet ‘n Coke – a cocktail or a remedy?

Fernet & Coke
It’s debatable on whether we’d call this a cocktail or a remedy, but nonetheless it’s a liquid staple in Argentina, so if you find yourself drinking one out of a plastic cup or otherwise here’s what you need to wear: Leather (or pleather if you’re on a budget ). You’re not fooling anyone with this drink and an innocent white cardigan, so tap into your rebellious side and go for leather boots, pants, jacket, or even gloves if it’s chilly out. Cross your legs and try not to burp. When your tongue feels a bit numb, just point to the glass and have the bartender bring you another round. No talking necessary.
Best places to get one in Buenos Aires: Anywhere! Everywhere! But Gibraltar, La Puerta Roja and MOTT for mint-flavor Fernet and Sprite are my picks.
You're Betty Draper and everyone wants to be you

B is for Bellini and Betty Draper – and everyone wants to be you

Bellini 
Elegance is the name of the game and it’s time to go a bit more formal. Often served in a Champagne flute as the first drink of the evening, Bellinis should be matched with a pair of diamond studs or a tennis bracelet. For the gentlemen, this is where you wear cuff-links or a dress watch, and maybe even carry a money clip. Go with a classic tones such as black, white, navy or royal blue. You’re Betty Draper going to a polo match and everyone wants to be you – dress accordingly.
Best places to get one in Buenos Aires: Faena Hotel, Gran Bar Danzón, Doppleganger
This drink is fun-loving

This drink is fun-loving

Caipirinha
My personal favorite first date preference – consequtive caiprinas…emphasis on the consecutive. This drink is fun-loving and relaxes the mood and conversation. Great for a hot summer’s night or a rainy one where you wish you were in Rio.
Ladies: Skinny jeans, mini skirts, or short shorts and a  brightly colored top. Pony tails, head bands, or tousled long hair pairs nicely. If you’re doing a passion fruit caipi, consider wearing some colorful earrings or lime green accents – you’ll give off a tropical vibe.
Gents: Bermudas, graphic Ts, bright colored polo shirt, maybe a V-neck if you’ve got a nice chest. Your wardrobe shouldn’t look like your trying too hard because you’re sipping on a Caipirinha – you’re already trying hard enough.
Best places to get one in Buenos Aires: Boteco do Brasil, La Fábrica de Tacos, Green Bamboo
jossPhotographer Jocelyn Mandryk is a co-owner of Foto-Ruta. Collages compiled by Jocelyn.