Over the weekend I had the opportunity to eat at NOLA Buenos Aires, a new puerta cerrada in the city that I’ve been looking forward to trying for quite some time. The restaurant specializes in New Orleans style Creole food, so the menu is influenced by French, Spanish, and Caribbean cuisine with a Porteño touch.
Puerta cerrada (closed door) restaurants are all the rage in Buenos Aires right now, but in my trials, many of them don’t live up to the hype, offering mediocre food and service at a premium price. NOLA Buenos Aires on the other hand was a fine-tuned dining experience with friendly and experienced hosts, a warm and social setting, and some of the best food and wine I’ve had in Argentina.
Upon entering the beautifully restored Palermo home where the dinners are held, we were greeted by the chef and sommelier with a glass of sparkling wine and introduced to that evening’s other dinner participants, a pleasant and interesting group of people from around the world. The first of the four courses was a crab and chorizo gumbo, a warm and hearty way to start. Next we had a wonderful green bean, endive and hazelnut salad that was a refreshing change to the often uncreative salads offered in Argentina. The main dish, and my favorite part of the dinner, was polenta topped with roasted pork and a chile ancho sauce. Finally, we finished with an outstanding bourbon pecan pie. Additionally, each of the courses was paired with an excellent Argentine wine, of which we received generous pours and refills.
NOLA Buenos Aires is an exciting addition to the city’s dining scene, and has joined a small group of Buenos Aires restaurants that I’ll unquestionably return to again and recommend to friends and clients.
NOLA Buenos Aires currently operates every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, as well as some Wednesdays, by reservation only. To make reservations or to learn more visit NOLA’s website, email NOLAbuenosaires@gmail.com or call 15.5348.4509.