Defensa 596, San Telmo, Buenos Aires 4342 7930
I’m a sucker for snails drowning in pools of butter, and each time walking pass this picturesque corner bistro, I find myself gluing my face against the window- like an outsider wanting to be part of the in-crowd, hanging with the snobbishly chic Parisians with a wine in hand and a cigarette in the other.
The restaurant itself is finely located in the heart of busy San Telmo, and the corner storefront of this place is picturesque memorable. The hippy streets of San Telmo and the refined Frenchness walking into the bistro is what defines this place- one of the most reputed and the longest standing French bistros in this city: cobblestone streets, big metal paned windows and doors, long tables that runs down the bar, high ceilings, booths in the corners, seats against the windows, and attentive to-the-point service to greet and serve.
The food is eh-okay. It is good, not bad, eh not great. The escargots seemed to be drowning in sticks of butter just melted, instead of nutty-browned butter with hints of garlic and spices. The forcemeat was wrapped in a crust that plays between simplicity and blandness, and the rabbit seemed to be stuck between mashed potato and sauce with some dijon mustard spooned on top. The naughty raw steak tartare, came out simple, with not enough capers and pickled spices to comfort me as I swallow mouthfuls of raw ground beef. French fries were awesome; the service was perfect and the ambiance made up for all the decent-ish dishes. Crave for a taste of French bistro food made in the classic simple way? I would suggest to go for their lunch deals and enjoy the window seat with a glass of wine, alone or with friends- and get their mussels if it is on their menu. For dinner, the bill came down to 300 pesos including tip (not wine): 2 starters, 2 mains, and a side.
- location and ambiance: uniquely reputed french bistro in San Telmo
- basic french bistro dishes: steak tartare, forcemeat, escargot, duck etc.
- great affordable lunch
- standard french dishes with lack of details and more so old-school