One of the biggest restaurant hits of 2012, the Colombian boys at I-Latina opened up shop in Villa Crespo, bringing upscale Caribbean cuisine to Buenos Aires. A reservation only spot, this closed-door private restaurant made quite the impact on the local gastronomical scene, quickly climbing the rankings as one of the best restaurants in the city. While I’m a major team I-Latina dinner fan, there’s something about their brunch that’s extra special, ultimate Sunday perfection.
I should start off with the good news and bad news. Good news: I-Latina offers probably one of my favorite brunches in Buenos Aires. Bad news: They now only offer it once per month.
There are just some of those Sunday brunches where you leave incredibly happy and satisfied, despite the Monday morning dread, where you just want to press pause, rewind and go in for round two. I-Latina’s brunch features a multiple course mega meal, including coffee, champagne and a killer freshly baked bread basket. Brace yourselves for some extra sultry pornfoodtography. NSFW.Sparkling wine starter.
Lovely fruit cocktail salad that shows off Chef Santiago’s killer knife skills.This might not just be one of my favorite dishes of the day, but favorite dishes of the year. A lot of components on the plate, this patacone (fried crispy plantain chip) was topped with an avocado salad and served with a perfect arepa and pulled beef.If in front of me, I could down probably 15 of these patacone-palta chips.
Not thinking anything could top the prior dish, out comes a perfectly cook egg, with a firm yolk that still intact, sitting on top a creamy ají shrimp mix with micro greens and potatoes.Shrimp-seafood chef theory tested: if you can’t cook shrimp properly, you should probably get out of the kitchen. Luckily, this shrimp was cooked perfectly.Dessert key lime cheese cake. Happy Birthday to me.
If you are a fan of stalking chefs, making them feel a bit awkward while cooking, I’d suggest grabbing a seat by the open kitchen and watch Santiago and Vanesa work their magic.I know, I know… I’m a huge brunch tease. Even though I-Latina is only offering special brunches sporadically once per month, they still are excelling at their dinner menu Tuesdays thru Saturdays. Last week I got to sample their new tasting menu – six delightful courses – with highlights that included a salmon tartare with heart of palm emulsion and plantain chips, tamarind sauced duck with avocado mousse and a goat cheese arepa, Ecuadorian chocolate topped with thick cracks of sea salt and doused with olive oil for pre-dessert, and pisco sour pie for the postre. All paired with Lagarde wines, as always the service and food made for just about a perfect night.
Villa Crespo (exact address upon reservation)
Tues – Sat: 8pm – close, Sunday: check for brunch schedule
Average price dinner: AR$380 with wine pairings. Brunch: AR$180