Expensive Theatrics

2007.Jul.06 Friday · 2 comments

in Life, Restaurants

 I like to morph reality into theatrics.”

– Robert Davi, Actor

Buenos Aires – The last few weeks have been filled with theater. Perhaps filled is a stretch, but far more than I normally set about to watch. I mentioned a few weeks back going to see Cabaret, and since then we’ve popped off to see Victor, Victoria – a horrendous production, filled with a cast who couldn’t sing, dance, or act, bad staging, and a band – I can’t call them an orchestra – that was a bit shy on musical talent, to be generous. From there, we headed on to La Jaula de las Locas, literally “the cage of the crazy women”, more commonly, perhaps, known as either La Cage aux Folles or The Birdcage – a completely non-musical staging of the play that was played so over the top that not one of the actors managed to keep a straight face for more than a minute or two straight, if I may use that term, in a production that was so gay that even the non-gay parts, like the conservative deputy and his wife, the son of the gay couple, and his mother – came across as equally gay as any of the transvestites – in fact, every cast member appearing at the end in drag. And, finally, some good theater – the new staging of Sweet Charity, which was brilliantly produced, directed, staged, acted, sung, danced, and any other term one might care to throw in – Bob Fosse would have had a hard time choreographing it better.

And, in that same sort of vein, we found ourselves one lunch at Teatriz, Riobamba 1220, in Recoleta. Now, it’s not that huge spectacle that, say, Teatriz in Madrid is – but that’s over the top Philipe Starck. But, it’s definitely a large spot, with a huge window looking out on the street – a lovely building across the way, wonderful Roman columns, all behind security grating now, and turned into a fertilitiy clinic – fascinating watching people literally seeming to sneak in and out of the place, furtively glancing around hoping that no one has seem them enter or leave. But back to the restaurant, and it’s mix of white tablecloth draped tables with black and white harlequin pattern clothed chairs – a bit much on the eye, but at least they didn’t go for a riot of color, like, say, Le Cirque in New York. The crowd, clearly upscale, and leaning towards the older set – at least on the one afternoon we were there. The upscale is no doubt maintained, given that the prices are as well – in fact, as it turns out, Teatriz offered up easily the most expensive lunch I’ve ever eaten in Buenos Aires, a three course meal, with average priced wine, running us 100 pesos apiece. Admittedly, we ordered two of the more expensive main courses that we could have, but even had we not it would have run us 90, and could have run us 110… the menu, I gather, is the same at lunch and dinner, with appetizers and desserts that range from mid-teens to mid twenties, and main courses from high twenties to mid-forties.

Now, of course, the question comes in… was it worth it? The answer, I’d have to say, is a qualified yes. The food is very good. It’s an elegant atmosphere, and probably more so at dinnertime. The service is quiet, efficient, and friendly. Can you get a better meal for less here? Absolutely. And by local standards it’s outrageously priced – but by international standards, and for those not traveling on a budget, let’s face it – a top quality three course meal with wine for US$30 is still a bargain.

Teatriz - king crab saladTeatriz - carpaccio de lomo

We started off with the king crab leg salad. Right there you know the place is something special – finding king crab legs in this town is near impossible. Given their texture, they’d clear been frozen, and then poached or steamed, and then chilled again – just a touch on the softer side than I would have liked, but still tasting deliciously fresh, and served atop a very nice mesclun salad, dressed lightly with a slightly sweet vinaigrette. We also went for a carpaccio of beef – lomo, or sirloin – with some nice greens, shaved cheese, and just a drizzling of good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We ordered up a bottle of Pascual Toso Estate Syrah, 2004, which was really excellent – packed with ripe black fruit, a touch of black pepper, complex, deep, delicious – and a fantastic match with our main courses, if a trifle overpowering for the appetizers…

Teatriz - lamb chopsTeatriz - duck magret

On to the main courses – a fan of Patagonian lamb chops – actually – a choice – our waitress asked if we preferred rib chops or a boneless cut of loin of lamb, a nice touch – cooked to medium in lots of rosemary, and served up with some tender roast potatoes and just a little bit of a lamb jus. For our other dish, a duck magret – the breast cooked a touch too far to medium or medium well – good magret really should be served medium rare – and the one service faux pas in my view – neither of us were asked how we wanted our meat cooked. And although I admittedly loved the sauce – a fairly sweet reduction of dark beer mixed with brown sugar and black pepper – you can see from the photo that there was a bit much of it – the duck practically swimming on the plate – and a nice cylinder of good mashed potatoes topped with sauteed spinach and some frizzled leeks.

Teatriz - orange flanTeatriz - chocolate almond tower

And, for dessert – not that we really needed it, but we’d enjoyed the first courses sufficiently that it seemed worth the literal stretch. An orange flavored flan, very well made, though could have used a touch more orange flavor – it was just hinted at – along with a little chocolate gelato; and the “tower” of chocolate and almonds “in three textures” – well, after all my classes recently in combining textures, how could I resist? Turned out to be a chocolate almond soft cookie on the bottom of a chocolate mousse topped with shavings of chocolate and surrounded by a chocolate sauce and a creamy sauce that might have had a touch of almond in it – so really it was more like four textures for the chocolate and two for the almonds – but I guess that averages out to three…

Overall – quite satisfied palates and stomachs – not so satisfied wallets – but still, recommended for a special occasion, certainly.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

vardaman July 7, 2007 at 02:08

…a completely non-musical staging of the play that was played so over the top that not one of the actors managed to keep a straight face for more than a minute or two straight, if I may use that term, in a production that was so gay that even the non-gay parts, like the conservative deputy and his wife, the son of the gay couple, and his mother – came across as equally gay as any of the transvestites – in fact, every cast member appearing at the end in drag…

this is perhaps the funniest thing that I’ve read the entire year…

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: