Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cabaña Las Lilas

Cabaña Las Lilas is one of those Puerto Madero parillas that locals never go to and ex-pats only visit if they get paid in dollars or when their friends and family come to BA. Well, I didn't make it when my family visited, so I pretty much wrote it off. That was until my mom, true believer and amazing orchestrator of special occasions, hooked me up with a "whatever I want" birthday dinner. 
Here's how it went down:
The location is macho elegant - hardwood floors, brick walls, lots of metal and an expansive outdoor patio for cigar smoking (don't worry if you forgot yours, they have), whiskey drinking and other other manly things. Though beautiful, it's not the most authentic environment, but neither is paying $100 USD for parilla for two. 
The complimentary entrada is definitely the best I've had in the city. (But, maybe that happens everywhere the food is overpriced by 100% or more...) It included roasted red pepper, salmon, eggplant escabeche and tomatoes and mozzarella. The variety of breads were also excellent and included my favorite- chipa plus a classic white bread which was delicious and quite aesthetically pleasing in it's vertical display.  
Unfortunately, the big moment was anticlimactic. The meat was by no means bad, it just wasn't what it was built up to be - better than what I've gotten in other less exclusive and less expensive parillas. In fact, the only thing that set it apart from the others was a cute little cow decal with toothpick legs stuck in the steak, happily declaring "I'm juicy." (Being that since childhood I've been a fan of small things and animals, this wasn't as disappointing as it sounds.)
As this was my birthday celebration, I was pleasantly surprised when after the meal they brought out a tray of digestivos. All you can drink! I don't know if they meant it in a physical challenge (to quote the great Double Dare) kind of way, but they didn't just pour one and take it away... One option was similar to lemoncello and the other was a simple white liquor. 
If you enjoy the finer things in life, this is definitely the place for you. The experience is the in the details. However, if you are looking for a blow your mind piece of beef and an authentic Argentine experience skip it- you can get a whole lot more elsewhere for what you'll spend here. 

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