L’adesso: A Taste of the Real Italy in Buenos Aires

In a country dominated by those of Italian ancestry, it takes a real life Italian to bring the true flavors of Italy. Born in Puglia, Italian Cuisine Master Chef, Leonardo Fumarola, puts a modern and creative spin on traditional Italian cuisine at L’adesso. Italian for ‘the now,’ this favorite spot with a homey barrio feel cooks up imaginative comfort food highlighting homemade pastas and imported Italian products, all made with a whole lot of love and care.

So what makes this Italian haven extra special? Food cooked with passion, in a lively, friendly atmosphere, with impeccable service, and a customer-focused personalized dining experience, all make it hard not to love this place.

Each detail is put with a purpose, whether it’s the window in the middle of the restaurant peeking into the kitchen, the imported Italian products (one of the only bottles of Borsci in a BA restaurant), or the photos on the wall of famous Italian actors (the one scarfing down the pasta is Alberto Sordi in the film Un Americano a Roma – I didn’t recognize him but the nice older couple sitting next to me made sure I knew the origin of each photo).

The menu consists of a mix of Italian favorites with a modern twist. Dishes like burrata with ham, eggplant Parmigiana, risotto with black truffles, rack of lamb or a number of pasta dishes dominate the regular menu while diners can also opt for the tasting menu of the chef’s choosing.  (*They also have a fab menú ejecutivo during lunchtime).

It’s always a good sign when you start a meal with a banging bread basket. This one is filled with about five different kinds of glorious carbs, all freshly baked in-house. Fennel biscuits, dumbo ear-like crackers, olive bread and bread sticks. Since I had a five course tasting menu on its way, it was time to show bread basket restraint.

The meal started with an amuse douche – a bite of mini crostini with arugula mousse, capers topped with anchovy, mmm now give me a beso. For the first course that was paired with a lovely Alta Vista Classic Argentina Torrontés 2010, squid prepared three ways: crudofried and grilled. The fried calamari with red ‘peperoni’ sauce was especially special.

Cute lil’ critter.

And a plate forked clean.

I’ve never quite seen anything like the next dish – spaghetti wrapped in a prawn, then deep fried and served on a creamy chickpea puré. Super inventive, crunchy and surprising – I wanted to eat five more of those little guys.

Another extremely creative dish, cacao fettuccine in a mushroom sauce with champignones and porcini mushrooms. Perfectly al dente cooked pasta with a strong shroomy flavor, really delicious. CACAO. 

This giant fusilloni was both my favorite and least favorite dish. Served with chunks of sea bass, olive and topped with arugula, the massive pasta had that ideal pasta bite, with a peperoni sauce that I wanted to dip my face into for a red salsa facial. But I wish the dish didn’t have the corvina (sea bass), the strong fishiness took away from flavorful sauce. The pasta dishes were paired with Villa Seca Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.

Just when I thought I’d break into carb-induced sweats, out came the dessert degustación.  Panna cotta, chocolate and almond capresse cake with raspberry sorbet and a mini lemon-strawberry-basil tart. It’s hard to really appreciate desserts when you are so full, but the few bites I took were mighty fine.

You gotta give Chef Fumarola a lot of credit, he knows how to run a restaurant – treating customers like family, constantly popping out of the kitchen to make sure everyone is eating well on the main floor. At one point in the night, Tarantella Napolitana started blasting on the speakers (yes, it’s THAT Italian song you are humming in your head) and the whole restaurant began to clap, cheer and whip out their smart phones as the chef served a massive pan of pasta to a larger table.

And of course no Italian meal would be complete without the sweet after-dinner digestivo, homemade limoncello. A sweet and tangy note after a night filled with excellent Italian food, a familiar comfortable atmosphere and some of the best service I’ve experienced in the city. L’adesso might not be the most fashionable spot, but it’s for restaurant goers who are looking for a low key night filled with lovely food.

L’adesso
Bulnes 1248, Palermo
Tel: 4864-3189
Mon, Wed – Sat: 12pm – 4pm, 8pm – 12am
Weekly lunch special AR$55 (main course + dessert + water)
Average Price Dinner: AR$150
Cash only

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