Happy New Year to you all, what are your resolutions? One of mine is to eat out more (and therefore write more) and so I am back on the blogging wagon after a very welcome break with my family down here in Argentina. I had a great time, ate a lot but sadly didn’t have much time to blog. So this is my first blog of the year and I have just got back from a great lunch at La Petanque, a small French brasserie in San Telmo.
As you walk into La Petanque you are instantly transported out of Argentina and into a little brasserie somewhere in the south of France. Ricard posters scatter the walls and you are even offered a complimentary glass of the stuff when you sit down. It is great place for a summer lunch, lots of light floods through the giant windows so that you almost feel like you are sitting outside, although the air conditioning is very welcome. The menu (all in French) is filled with the usual sort of French fair you would expect from any decent brasserie; Duck confit, oysters, steak tartar and a host of other delicious mains. They have a menu fixe as well 2 courses for a very cheap 50 pesos.
However as this was my first Friday lunch of the New Year I thought I should start as I meant to go on and went for 6 oysters and steak tartar (let’s not forget we are in Argentina and a bet on steak is a safe one). My companion went for some mullet. As it was a Friday we also went for a couple of glasses of the house white which went down very well.
If steak is the safest option in Argentina then oysters are the riskiest, although we are on the coast the fish options in the city are very hit and miss. The best oysters I have had came from Oviedo (which is probably the best fish restaurant in BA, post coming up later in the year), they had come all the way from Chile and were just as they should be; plump, juicy and full of flavor. The ones that arrived at Petanque were skinny, slightly dry and lacking in any discernable flavor. They weren’t inedible by any means but they are not something I would be ordering again given that the rest of the food was so good. My companion went for a delicious steak carpaccio that was light and perfectly dressed.
The steak tartar and the mullet were both fantastic. The tartar comes with everything that you could need; mustard, Worcester sauce, Tabasco and even an egg yolk. Once you have all of these drizzled over some deliciously fresh red meat with a bit of pepper and salt you know you are on to a winner. The mullet came in a delicious white sauce and both came with some decent size chips which were done perfectly; crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My companion gobbled down her mullet and confirmed that it was as good as it looked.
Along with a couple of espressos all of this came to about 120 pesos each which by San Telmo standards might be a bit on the expensive side but was worth every penny, especially as I shelled out the same amount the night before at a perfectly ok but definitely inferior Mexican the night before (if anyone knows a decent Mexican in Buenos Aires please let me know I am on the hunt for one!)
After this delicious lunch I then had to go back to work to battle the on coming food coma that is a given after 2 glasses of wine, 6 oysters and a steak tartar. This is the 3rd time that I’ve been to La Petanque and I will definitely keep on coming.