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Il Matterello – Italian Dining in La Boca

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Incredible Pasta Recipes

Calle Martín Rodriguez in La Boca is the rough-and-tumble kind of street you’d normally want to avoid after sunset. But there’s one very good reason to set those concerns aside for one night: Il Matterello.

Italian Family

When you take your table, it’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of a working-class neighborhood. Il Matterello is all elegance, but manages to retain a casual atmosphere. The staff is friendly, and goes out of their way to make you feel like family. Before leading us to our seats, the greeter asked where we were from, and took us over to a huge map of Italy to point out Matterello (it’s near Venice). The restaurant has become an institution in La Boca, well-respected by critics and popular with the locals.

The food was outstanding. I had spinach raviolis stuffed with herbs and Juergen had the tagliatelle verdi, following a beautiful salad. All the plates were excellent; the pasta is prepared fresh in Il Matterello’s open kitchen, and the sauces were rich and delicious. With a long list of sauces to choose from, you can mix and match them with whatever pasta you want… I just asked the waiter for his recommendation. We saved room at the end for homemade tiramisu.

Il Matterello is just a couple blocks away from the Boca Juniors stadium. The dining area is small, so reservations are recommended on most nights. If you’re in La Boca and looking for a great meal away from the tourist-oriented taverns of El Caminito, you won’t be disappointed with Il Matterello.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map

Italian Breads
Fresh Pasta
Buenos Aires Restaurant
Pasta Buenos Aires
Fresh Cheese
Italian Salad
Pasta Verde
Ravioli
Ravioloy Focus
Tiramisu
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March 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm Comment (1)

Sebastián Rivas of Amici Miei

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Incredible Pasta Recipes

One of San Telmo’s most popular spots is Italian restaurant Amici Miei, where tourists and locals congregate in equal numbers to enjoy handmade pasta and a balcony view over Plaza Dorrego. We recently got to meet its owner and top chef, Sebastián Rivas.

Sebastian Rivas Proia

Sebastián perfected the art of Italian cooking while living and working in Parma, and decided to open his own restaurant upon returning to Argentina. He was lucky to find an excellent space in San Telmo. Four years ago, when the restaurant opened, San Telmo wasn’t all that touristy or popular, and Amici Miei has benefited greatly from the neighborhood’s recent resurgence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the restaurant’s classically elaborated pasta, made with imported Italian products and served with a modern flair, is excellent.

The restaurant itself is unpretentious, adorned with a few paintings from local artists, and with perfect light spilling through the windows during the evening hours. An open window into the kitchen permits observation of the cooks stretching, pulling and cutting the pasta. Sebastián invited us inside, so we could watch him throw together some of his signature dishes, such as black truffle risotto with mushroom sauce. We had a few spoonfuls — it was unbelievable, and I kept waiting for him to leave us alone in the kitchen, so I could shovel the entire bowl into my mouth.

The plates he prepared were all classic Italian recipes with unique touches. For example, he serves the rotolo, a traditional rolled-up pasta, with three kinds of basil: fried, dried and liquefied. This fusion of the time-honored and modern is what Sebastián aims for at Amici Miei, along with a friendly atmosphere (the restaurant’s name means “My Friends”). He comes out of the kitchen to visit with guests, and there’s often live music on weekend nights.

Many of the restaurants on Plaza Dorrego are tourist traps, leeching off the popular Sunday flea market, but Amici Miei certainly isn’t one of those. Watching Sebastián at work in his kitchen was a fun experience; with a small staff and a head chef who’s clearly intent on serving high-quality food, this restaurant is worth a look.

Amici Miei’s Website
Defensa 1040
Tel: 11.4362.5562 (Reservations recommended on weekends)
Location on our Buenos Aires Restaurant Map

Amici Miei
Balcony Dining Buenos Aires
High Cuisine Buenos Aires
Restaurant Buenos Aires
Pasta Dough
Ravioli
Buenos Aires Kitchen
Fried Parmesan
Chef San Telmo
Parmasan Flan
Italian Haute Cuisine
Best Pasta Buenos Aires
Redondo Setas
Redondo
Truffle Risotto
Haute Cuisine Dessert

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March 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm Comments (2)

Pizzería Banchero in La Boca

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Another great pizza place in Buenos Aires: El Cuartito

“Hey, what do you feel like eating?” Every time I’ve been asked that, every single time during the course of my entire life, the answer has been “pizza”. Even when it was 8am. Even when I was 18 months old. It’s the only honest response: there are other things I should eat, things which might even taste better. But pizza is what I want to eat. Always.

Serving Pizza

So you’re asking me what I want to eat? Well, I know we just had pizza last night, but there’s another famous pizzeria right across the road, there. We really should try it out. Everyone says we should try it out. Don’t look at me like that; it’s totally coincidence that we happened to end up in front of Pizzería Banchero at lunch time. I totally didn’t plan that.

Banchero is a classic spot in La Boca, established in 1932 by Juan Banchero, the son of a Genoese baker who had emigrated here at the turn of the century, along with thousands of his countrymen. The restaurant quickly became a hit, and a couple branches have even opened elsewhere in the city. It’s immediately apparent why Banchero is so loved among porteños — the prices are great, the atmosphere is casual and comfortable, and the pizzas are astounding. We ordered a fugazza, made with a crunchy, airy crust and topped with onions and mountains of cheese. Delicious. Plus, the service was great; our impeccably-dressed Paraguayan waiter was as friendly as could be, taking time to explain the pizzas to us and make recommendations.

If you’re in La Boca, and have survived the tourist hordes of El Caminito, treat yourself to a great pizza in a time-honored joint that locals love: Pizzería Banchero. And don’t worry about all that cheese. Diets are for later, and firm bellies are over-rated, anyway. That’s what I keep telling myself, as we continue to tick Buenos Aires’ “must-eat” pizzerías off our list.

Pizzería Banchero
Suárez 396 y Brown
Tel: 4301-1406
Location on our BA Map
The Art of Making Pizza

Pizzzaria Banchero
Pizza La Boca
Pizza Waiter
Fanta Buenos Aires
Beer Snack
Fugazza Pizza
Fugazza
Cheesy Pizza
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March 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm Comments (0)
Il Matterello - Italian Dining in La Boca
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