Friday, January 09, 2009

buen ayre

I don’t' have anything against vegetarians. I honestly don't. I just don't really understand them. While I might inadvertently go without meat for stretches of time and I am extremely partial to tofu, I invariably have phases of extreme carnivorousness where all I want is a bloody steak. And I like mine quite bloody. I figure, the cow's already dead, you might as well eat it.

I was having one of my moments of extreme carnivorousness. I hadn't been to buen ayre or seen mister yau or fz in a bit, so I convinced them to make the trek to hackney - buen ayre was definitely worth the trip.

And it definitely is. It's exactly what it says on the pack. It's an argentine grill. Think COW. And Argentinean gauchos on the pampas. And a proper asado where the meat is treated with respect and dignity and grilled to perfection by an expert parillero. Don't think uncle fred at the family poolside barbeque charring everyone's steak to bits while drinking way too much Carlsberg and repeatedly saying "oh my, what a big girl you are now" with a leery sneer when you go back for seconds of carcinogenic carbon and try to save the bit of steak from absolute destruction.

mister yau and fz were running late. And I was hungry. So I ordered empanadas to start - little deep fried pockets of spinach and cheese. And a bottle of Malbec. The pretty waitress suggested the Finca Flichman, Reserva Malbec 2007. It was very nice. And it wasn't terribly dear. If you know me, you'll notice I only ever describe wine as nice, very nice, or crappy plonk. I'm not terribly astute at this wine tasting thing as you can tell. The tasting notes say that it was a "rich, well-structured wine with a strong, peppery, slightly earthy palate. Four months in oak barrels gives an attractive roundness to the finished wine." As I said, it was very nice.

i would have done serious damage to the bottle when the mister yau and fz finally arrived. They were hungry, so we ordered the parriladas deluxe - 14oz prime Argentine Sirloin, 11oz grilled Argentine rib-eye, two pork sausages, black pudding and provolone cheese. fz wanted a portion of hongos a la parilla con pesto - grilled mushrooms with pesto. I'm being juevenile - the word "hongos" inexplicably makes me laugh. The mixed grill arrived on a mini barbeque - heaps of meat sizzling happily away, eaten with dollops of chimichurri dressing.

It was a real bonus to find the Off-Broadway Bar down the road where we went for post-steak constitutionals. I love it. It's a lovely space, coffee shop by day (with proper Americano and no frothy cappuccino affairs), stellar bar by night. felt a little east village new york. They have wooden tables, connect four and boggle and you can sit playing games, drinking cocktails and eating their plates of cheese and charcateurie all evening. Next time perhaps.