I do not have a lot of opportunities to eat truly authentic Argentinian cuisine so I was thrilled to get an invitation to check out the new $35 brunch special at Buenos Aires, a highly recommended establishment at 513 East 6th Street in the East Village. Every step along the way I was blown away–no wonder it has 4 1/2 and 5 star reviews on Yelp and all the other major foodie sites. This brunch is truly a great deal because you get an entree, two cocktails (they have kick ass super fruity sangria here) and a dessert. All meats are imported from Argentina and all produce is organic and grown locally. Buenos Aires has had a strong 13-year run but brunch is new for them and it’s fabulous that they are usually their lovely glassed in garden area to serve it in. The ambiance here is warm, sunny and inviting and servers are knowledgeable on all the dishes. Don’t be surprised if the chef throws you a fun “extra” like their wonderful chorizo or a mild traditional sausage. We press folks got these placed on our tables along with rockin’ homemade chimichurra and criolla sauces. (It is interesting to me that Argentinians put these wonderfully fresh sauces on sausage and not just on their steak!)
Here is the mild house made Argentinian sausage that was placed on the table for us to have along with a bread basket that was a mixed bag of assorted bread including some thick crusted freshly baked white bread that I loved and some with olives inside. The bread basket came with a wonderful homemade herbed truffle butter.
It is incredible but true that a large cut of USDS Prime Argentinian skirt steak (about 8 to 10 ounces) is included in the brunch deal at no extra charge. It comes covered with roasted root veggies and red peppers, two organic eggs done any way you like them (although it officially says “fried” on the menu) and a generous portion of white rice. The steak had a tremendously rich taste and truly backed up the statement that many foodies have made about Argentinian beef being in a league of its own.
My friend Gail got the gorgeous golden beef empanadas as her main dish. (They are also available in a spinach version. These were huge (about 5″ x 4″) and I saw the meat juices flow when she cut them open. This is one of the top five items on the Buenos Aires menu any day of the week just because it is a classic dish many foodies seek out.
Let me not fail to mention that the empanadas came with a very large beet, fresh mozarella, arugula and hearts of palm salad with a vinaigrette made with EVOO. I think I will go back to brunch just to get this salad. It just looked so fresh!
For dessert, everyone at our press brunch was served “panqueque”–which I guess is the Argentinian way of saying pancake or crepe–which were filled to the brim with dulche de leche and served with a side of homemade vanilla ice cream. This dessert made my week. I love dulche de leche in or on anything but rarely have the opportunity outside of the various dulche de leche gourmet ice creams available.
I definitely will be returning to Buenos Aires. I like the way owner Ismael Alba (pictured above) has created a cozy but casual eatery that has the classic East Village boho vibe teamed with first class quality fare. Arguably, Buenos Aires has the most extensive list of Argentinian beef in the five boroughs so as an avid carnivore I need to try a few more cuts!
You will love not only the airy and intimate 26-seat garden area but the exposed brick walled main room that features dark wood tables and chairs with native cowhide covered seats. The walls are decorated with black and white photos or Buenos Aires most interesting travel sights–there are even a few pics of The Pope who has enjoyed Buenos Aires’ famous organic chicken as well as other Argentinian grilled delights. The official website for Buenos Aires is www.buenosairesnyc.com. Just so you know, you can get the brunch without alcohol for only $25. Phone 212-228-2275. Reservations are recommended but not necessary. Be aware that on weekends they are pretty much crowded all the time, though!