Already we have been really impressed by the variety and quality of food and service being offered here in Buenos Aires. If these high levels and consistency remain the same elsewhere in Argentina, then they will receive the coveted followsummer.com reward for service and quality! All the restaurants we have been to, whether they are for lunch, late afternoon coffee, or dinner, have been a consistently happy, no-issue experience. White shirts, and black ties are the predominant uniform; occasionally we see a quilted vest or dark apron thrown in for good measure. All staff, whether they be front of house, wait or bussing staff, are neat, brushed, and scrubbed. You are always met with a friendly “hola” or in the better houses, “buenos dias”, “buenas tardes” or “buenas noches”. A table is found very quickly for you, there is never any harrumphing about lack of a reservation, and a basket of bread, a cordial (on the house) and a small “amuse guel” arrive immediately, and very shortly after that the bottle of water “con gas” is placed on the table. Even with a language difficulty, one is never made to feel the fool about ordering.
Service is quick and efficient and always impeccably timed. Courses come and go without you feeling rushed, the service has that subtle feeling of being there and yet being imperceptible. Clean table cloths and napkins (always cloth) are always present. Paper coasters are a small but vital part of your cocktail or water glass. Your food arrives and in many cases it is French service (which we never saw in France), the food arriving on serving dishes, and the waiter plating it at the table. Your meal finished, coffee and dessert are offered discreetly, unlike in France, where offence is taken if you do not partake (sorry François!!) in the after-meal sweet and caffeine being offered.
The bills arrive, and every time we are left breathless by them. With the level of service, the quality of food and the small niceties thrown in, we expect them to be huge. They never are. We have not eaten with this level of quality and service since we were in Asia.
Now all we have to do is find the right clothes to wear to dinner from our limited followsummer suitcases.
Eat well, my friends, in Argentina!