Neither time I went to Arguibel was it over crowded, so I don't think reservations are necessary. The atmosphere inside Arguibel is excellent for dining. The inviting, low level lighting and low noise level are comforting and not formal. The decor is relatively simple with somewhat abstract paintings hanging on wood paneled walls. The floor space is open but also sectioned, so you can only see some of the tables from the different sections. Tables are spread well apart for ample space and privacy. Since there were 4 of us, we were given the cozy, red cloth booth.
The service was attentive, but not intrusive. There were only a few waiters/waitresses but it was easy to attract their attention. The food was served in a reasonable amount of time, with time to rest (but not starve) in between courses.
Although, the meat is generally excellent all over Buenos Aires, my favorite type here was the medallions del lomo. The meat was well seasoned, not fatty and cooked perfectly to my specification. The soft meat cut easily with a butter knife and practically melted in my mouth. It came on a tasty polenta square. There was also a type of banana potato which was strangely delicious and slighty sweet. My appetizer, a salad was relatively plain containing lettuce, radish, tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella but mixed in a tasty light vinagrette dressing.
I ordered my same entree on my second visit and found it to be almost on par with my memory of the first time. There were other meat entrees available on the menu, but even more important their were non-meat options, especially in the form of a variety of fish specialties. My dining companions were equally pleased with their fish selections and the reasonable prices that went with them.
Argentina also has superb, inexpensive wines though less well known than those of their neighbor, Chile. There was a wide selection of wine at Arguibel and I savored good red "tinto vinos" both times. The red wine was also served in large, wide mouthed glasses, perfect for breathing. When I return to B.A. the next time, I will again frequent this delightful restaurant, but this time I will actually order something besides the medallions del lomo.
by Harry Potter
New York, New York
March 26, 2002
From journal Buenos Aires - Europe in South America