Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt like you just belonged there? All of the decor, the vibe, everything just meshed with your soul and you could happily live forever in this restaurant/market/club/bathroom? While planning our wedding I had this vision of what I wanted the room to feel like and it took months to get to the place where I could visualize it. Halfway across the world in Argentina, I walk in to the restaurant named Caseros and I was home.
We had a lot of amazing food in wonderfully atmospheric restaurants during our stay in Argentina. But Caseros was special. From the gorgeous antiques artfully displayed in the kitchen window, to the bowls of brightly colored fruits and vegetables on the tables, I was head over heels. I admit to being so inspired by the decor that I constantly refer to it when choosing paint colors, pieces of furniture and outfits.
Enough gushing let me show you what I mean.
The inside of the restaurant is full of whitewashed furniture with pops of richly hued green and dusky blue. It’s spare design focuses the eye on the exquisite textures and layers within the negative space.
Have I mentioned that it is nearly impossible to get really good bread in Argentina? Most of what is served on the table looks like day old, stale hot dog buns. It’s really a shame considering the butter is sinfully delicious. If you only went to Caseros to try their crusty, richly perfumed, perfectly baked bread and rich unsalted butter, it would be well worth it.
For lunch, Caseros offers a menu ejecutivo which consists of a beverage, salad, entrée (usually consisting of a choice between meat and fish), and a coffee for only 40 pesos or $10 US. No need for a menu, just order one of each from the menu ejecutivo and go with the mint lemonade to drink. Trust me, it looks like pond water but is equal parts refreshing, tart and sweet.
Our salad consisted of baby arugula, thinly shaved carrots and zucchini, and shaved Parmesan dressed lightly with a buttery olive oil vinaigrette. It was the perfect marriage of crunchy, fresh vegetables, spicy arugula and salty, creamy cheese. The vinaigrette was so good we were taking finger swipes off the empty plate and still swooning after the salad was long gone. It’s amazing how something so simple can be so delicious. The salad was actually bigger than pictured but we forgot to take a picture until we had already devoured a few bites.
When we first heard the choice of fish or chicken for the entrée, Roem and I briefly considered having the same dish. We had been told the fish was amazing but I absolutely insisted we have seperate orders, so Roem ended up with the chicken. Don’t feel too bad for him, because the chicken was declared the winner in the entrée smackdown. it was lightly pan fried, richly flavored with crushed garlic, salt and herbs with crispy, perfectly cooked potaotes on the side. The fish was also lovely with a light, ephemeral breading that literally melted in your mouth and perfectly paired with roasted root vegetables. You’ll notice we didn’t capture one image of this feast because we were swooning over the food and didn’t remember the camera (or our own names) until our plates were clean.
After our plates were whisked away, we were brought two beautifully plated coffees with little caramel cookies and a small glass of seltzer water. This simply elegant presentation echoed the entire experience at this wonderful restaurant. The bitter, perfectly pulled coffee was enhanced by the rich caramel in the cookie.
The coffee was a perfect ending to our meal, but we threw caution to the wind and ordered up a dessert to share. I simply turned around and saw several people around me digging into a dense, pudding-like dessert. I gestured to my neighbor and asked for one of those, por favor. It turned out to be rice pudding that was perfectly cooked and lightly sweetened, topped with carmelized almonds.
Tormented by the fact that we had discovered this restaurant so late into our stay, we made plans to come back on our last day in Buenos Aires. Our second meal lived up to every heightened, exaggerated memory of the first. We definitely recommend Caseros restaurant in San Telmo for your stay in Buenos Aires.