When in Buenos Aires, open your eyes and bellies to the craze that keeps evolving – underground supper clubs. Last week I dined with an ousted cult from Alabama, a brain surgeon on sabbatical and an ex-prostitute from Amsterdam, complete with mini-me poodle (still a poodle). Welcome to the puerta cerrada closed-door dining experience. Fixed menus, themed nights and paired wines, all hosted in someone’s house. It sounds very bourgeois bohemian, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
The original US and UK supper clubs might have been anarchic counter-prohibition ‘anti-restaurants’, but not so in Buenos Aires. They are now part of Latin American culture and some have been open for four decades. Behind closed doors, food breaks away from traditional Argentine dishes with experimental vegan cuisine, pan-Asian chow and – shock, horror – spicy food! But nothing is more surprising than the people you meet. These organised nights with strangers sat around communal tables are perfect for foodies, solo travellers, expats, Argentines who want to improve their English, and those who want to show off how much they know about the city. I warn you, don’t sit me next to a snorecore travelbore food blogger, or those carefully selected wines will be downed faster than a married man’s trousers in a telo. There’s something about having each course’s cultural context being introduced by a charismatic intellectual that I like. It certainly doesn’t happen in my home.
For more exotic, fiery, healthy, arty and cool dining out (but in) Buenos Aires experiences, go to the full article in The Real Argentina, Aug 2011: