The food scene in Buenos Aires may be changing, growing, and diversifying, but it’s still rare for a restaurant to spring up that truly excites with an original concept, while also waving the Argentine spirit flag. So often an eating den either has a cool atmosphere or interesting food, but rarely do those two beasts cross paths. Aramburu Bis is from a different school and joins a select few in the Nueva Cocina Argentina movement who have set the tone for a new kind of simple yet contemporary Argentine cuisine.
Bis is the second installment from Gonzalo Aramburu and team (of the great Aramburu Restaurant). Unlike Aramburu’s elaborate and whimsical 12 course tasting menu, Bis shows off a simpler model – managed by Gonzalo’s sous chef Juan Pedro Piergentili - that centers around a reduced offering of seasonal high quality starters, main dishes, special lunch menu, and daily specials — with the option of a partial menu tasting. (Click here for menu).
The space is open, airy, breezy, with industrial light fixtures and rustic distressed mismatched wooden tables and chairs. The restaurant is surrounded by shelves of Argentine products: pinguinos, spices, aperitivos, olive oil, and of course the wonderful local Argentine wines, all chosen by the country’s rising star sommelier Agustina de Alba. Agustina has already won top sommelier in Argentina two times, first in 2008 when she was just 21 years old. She’s kinda a big deal.
It’s not every day you have pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment dangling over head while you eat. Totally blurs the line between the kitchen and table.
I’m a big proponent of the open kitchen — a peek into the magic that goes on behind the scenes.
Watching these talented young cooks at work makes it hard not to show an extra special appreciation of what’s on your plate.
Any restaurant with a mobile aperitivo cart already wins in my world.
Take a loaf off (budumching) and stuff your face in carb city.
Okay, time to take a seat at the communal table and hope no food weirdos sit down next to you.
Let’s take it to the top with the house starter spread: fresh homemade bread, garlic infused olive oil, and garbanzos served in a sardine can. And a ‘lil aperitif shot to get in the mood.
Aww snap, if my vegetarian teenage self could see me now. SUCK IT younger me (?) Every time I eat a tartar I feel like I passed a STD test – slightly terrified yet oh so satisfying. Hellz yeah I didn’t eat meat for 10 years but I just devoured RAW BEEF WITH A RAW EGG ON TOP, I tell myself as I simulate a 1980s John Hughes movie fist pump.
The tartar is served with a take on papas pai, or shoestring potatoes, served in a brown paper bag / fish fry basket.
Give me a mason jar filled with slowly cooked lamb and I may just close it back up, keep it in my yak pak, and sneak spoonfuls every few hours. It’s served with a corn foam on top and feta cheese — totally unique hitting the flavor and texture notes, although the saltiness of the lamb was a bit of a tongue attack.
Whether my egg is cooked at 62 degrees, 68, 98 degrees or on the hot sidewalk, eggs are kinda sexy shit and the food of the future. It was served inside a lovely mini saucepan with a Hollandaise sauce, duck confit, spinach, peas, and mushrooms and topped with mandioca and garlic chips.
The salt also overwhelmed the broth on here, but I’d still wish this dish for breakfast any day or night of the week.
I guess I’m a sucker for Aramburu’s meat shlong. The homemade extra smokey and perfectly spiced sausage was served with mixed greens and pickled apples, in a sexual yogurt sauce. Smoke me up, roll me up, and stuff me in a casing so I can get cozy with this salchicha.
I’ve never really had mad respect for a sandwich until now. Juicy chicken, roasted vegetables, with a sunny side up egg window and served on homemade sea salt focaccia, with killer potatoes and even more killer dipping sauce. If I had to pick a sandwich to have an extra marital affair with, it would be this one.
What you don’t notice is the size of this mother. Two forks in length. Very well endowed.
We should all respect differences in personal tastes as there is no right or wrong way to eat. But if you order your meat overcooked, you should get your beef privileges taken away and shouldn’t really deserve to eat a great piece of steak. The ojo de bife was cooked a perfect rare, served on top of a squash puré with sweet potato chips, purple basil pesto and roasted leeks. Still moo-ing in the middle but absolutely beautiful.
Me no like da sweet stuff, but the best component of this torreja (like French toast) with almonds, strawberry and cinnamon ice cream was the coffee cream on the side. I kinda wanna make the coffee cream into an everlasting gobstopper to have on file 24/7.
Sorry to hurt your feelings, but arroz con leche kinda sucks. It’s the end of the meal, you want to order a sweet, gratifying dessert — WHO ON EARTH WOULD ORDER WHITE RICE COOKED IN MILK WITH CINNAMON?! Only a crazy person. BUT I’m happy to announce Aramburu’s version is not only the most interesting arroz con leche I’ve eva seen in ma life, but one of my favorite desserts I’ve eaten in Argentina.
Remember when you’d go to the Air and Space Museum and would get to try astronaut ice cream? Well that’s exactly what this arroz con leche was like. Layers of textures, temperatures and flavors, the bottom was a creamy cold rice pudding, topped with a crunchy praline candy and a freeze dried-like ice cream. Have mercy.
Two years in the making, Bis means more than just a new hotspot opening. It challenges Nueva Cocina Argentina cooking to move away from being the exception, and start to become a contemporary cooking rule.