La Bourgogne

Alvear Palace Hotel, Ayacucho 2023, C1112AAK CABA, Argentina • +54 11 4805-3857 • www.alvearpalace.com

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The Alvear hotel is an icon of Argentina, located at the end of one of the ritziest streets in the city, overlooking the cemetery where Evita is buried (I guess the truth is she did eventually leave them). Which is nowhere near as macabre as that sounds. In fact, they somehow mange to turn it into a selling point.

It’s like what The Drake is to Chicago or The Waldorf Astoria is to New York. Historic, grand and stupendous. So, it would only make sense that the restaurant within need live up to the reputation surrounding it. And live it did, with a veritable feast of greatness ranging across three appetizers, two entrees and three desserts. Oh, but this was not a tasting menu. This is actually how much we ordered to split just between two people. Not to mention two bottles of wine and a finale consisting of two glasses of their finest, most expensive 70-year-old port. It was truly a meal for the ages.

But surprisingly, the most remarkable thing about this meal was not the food, albeit excellent. It was the price in US dollars. Are you sitting down? Fifty. No, not fifty thousand. Fifty dollars a head. And this is with seared foie gras, filet mignon and the works. I mean, holy favorable exchange rates Batman! Ya know, I hate to use a cliché here, but at prices like these, you really can’t afford not to eat here. So book your ticket and your reservation at the same time and bon appe-gluttony!

5 teeth

Juniper

575 Warburton Ave. Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 • (914) 478-2542 •  juniperhastings.com

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I have to say that I’m a little surprised that Juniper has held on as long as it has. Sure, its cute little dining room and friendly staff make for a pleasant first 15 minutes, but after that, the wheels start coming off compared to the likes of The Cookery, Twisted Oak or Wolfert’s Roost, all of which handily beat Juniper when it comes to food in the River Towns. It’s a shame too, because after hearing fellow foodies rave about it, I got my hopes up, not realizing they were raving on a curve. Ya know how it is, it’s “suburbs-good.” Well, I beg to differ.

I had the brisket burger, which sounded too good to be true, and unfortunately it was too eh to be good. Wifey had the special mushroom soup which was the best thing of the night and the hanger steak, which sagged below the low-set bar of my brisket burger. But even worse than a mediocre meal is having to wait 45 minutes for it to arrive with no bread or anything to tide us over. This, topped with the fact that they don’t even serve alcohol made me even more cantankerous than I already am, having to run across the street to a wine store and buy a bottle. Fortunately I had plenty of time. 😉

For dessert, we cut our losses and didn’t even order it, not that we were dieting, but because I didn’t want to have to run back across the street for port. Plus, it probably wouldn’t have been worth another 45 minutes anyways.

2 teeth