El Farol | Dulce Maria + Seafood | The Lost Asian

the space

crisp cheesy flatbread

eggplant ricotta rolls

spinach croquettes

here it comes. dulce maria

the content

pasta with centolla

got to show you the filling

yes yes, the salad: enchives, green sun dried tomatoes

seafood risotto

oh yes tiramisu

por que no?

El Farol

Estado de Israel Av. 4488, Almargo, Buenos Aires 4866 3233

“You have to go check out this place I’ve just been to,” my friend Katy exclaimed, “this dish they have there is to-die-for. The shrimps, crab, and lobster mix platter is divine.” Just hearing the word of the uncommon red-shell creature just gave me goosebumps. I asked about the other dishes; she shrugged, “it was okay, but that seafood platter- OMG”. Months has passed since then and I’m constantly haunted by her ‘OMG’ expression about that one dish, yet every time the reasoning in my head was: it wasn’t worth hiking to Almargo for just one dish.

Or was it?

So it came down to this; last week I ended up doing the same ‘OMG’ expression. Yes, I caved. I’ll never know what my justifications were for coming in the end, but most importantly: why didn’t I come earlier?

Restaurant Critic

This long-standing place sits right at a fork of two intersections, squeezed between other reputable restaurants surrounding these streets. Old-style, all-men, and white-table cloth service pretty much sums up this place. The well-aged owner, walks around to greet the returning customers, and if inspired- delivers a complimentary plate of something from the antipasto table. Packed with asians (where do they appear from), old retirees, families, and celebrations, the place is full by 9pm with bunches of people waiting infront of the door. Good for gatherings and families to celebrate, as the seafood portions are hearty. Or anyone who craves for pastas and anything seafood.

Food Critic

If we were to go do it all over again, I would cut down the party to 3 and stick to one order of dulce maria, the awesome salad, and the desserts: tiramisu and chocolate sundae. All other dishes pale in comparison. Dulce maria comes with four balls of dense seafood mix, more so crab meat, shrimps than lobster meat, and sits in a creamy tomato sauce; and every bite is just more reasons to come back here every week. The rest?  Let’s skip to dessert. Have a taste of the tiramisu that is dedicated to be a mascarpone heaven drenched in coffee liqueur. As if that is not enough, scoop up spoonfuls of Porque No: a chocolate creamy-sticky sundae that hypnotizes me to agree, “porque no”? Why not un-share this dessert, and eat this whole great thing all by myself? I advise not. One order of Dulce Maria is 190 pesos ($44). For this price, this dish is meant to be shared; unless your doctor’s visit for your cholesterol is already scheduled right after. A meal of two starters, an order of dulce maria, a crab-filled ravioli, seafood risotti, drinks, coffee, two dessert-for a solid group of 6 came about to 150 pesos ($34) per person including tip. Not bad.

Pros

  • great service and the complimentary little bits: drinks/or antipasto dish
  • good for groups
  • bread basket: the parmesan flat-crisps
  • local, neighbourhood joint: good standard local fares
  • lots of seafood everything: pasta, risotto, grilled fishes, shrimps
  • eggplant rolls with risotto filling
  • delicious components of salads and dressings
  • dulce maria is the highlight for me: this dish is meant to be shared, and could be the main dish or something to be shared with a big group
  • dessert: tiramisu, and porque no- the chocolate sundae
  • good price, and unpretentious mark-up
  • they have tabasco sauce (?)

Cons

  • pastas and risottos: although the seafood was abundant and fresh the flavours were somehow lacking, or more so- unmemorable
  • spinach croquettes were okay
  • normal wine list

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