Introducing our dame series, in which Kevin rounds up three of his favorites for a particular dish or flavor and revisits them, giving us a chance to catch up on the places we’ve missed as well as the occasional dishes from establishments that might not warrant a full restaurant review. In our first edition, he revisits the classic Argentine staple of milanesa – but don’t worry, they’re far from boring.
The Traditional – 37 different milanesas at Don Ignacio
The menu’s bread and butter doesn’t present any truly wild flavor combos (with the exception of a membrillo and cheese). They are always imperfectly shaped and flop off the edges of the oblong metal trays. But this austerity is a falsehood—the excellence is humbly hidden behind-the-scenes. Ease in the back of house dictates that a milanesa be breaded and chilled. Leftovers are frozen or reserved for the following day. Here, they are breaded to order in a modest mix of eggs laced with salt, garlic and parsley and rough bread crumbs. The small batch technique makes for more tender steaks and crispy breading that turns into an deep copper brown.
Av. Rivadavia 3439, Almagro
The New Kids – brunch banquet at Anafe
On Sunday afternoons, one of the hottest tickets in town is at Anafe, the wonder kids that took the tepid closed door scene by storm last year. The pop-up puerta cerrada hybrid inaugurated their new home in early 2018, an airy 8th floor studio apartment designed to look and feel like a familial comedor. Cook Mica Najmanovich is Jewish and spent time in Australia. Her partner Nico Arcucci spent part of his childhood in Spain with his Italian family. All of these family histories blend together and make a meal that feels like half a dozen tias from around the world got together for a Sunday feast—and they refuse to let you leave hungry. Amongst our favorite dishes, spread between shwarma, faina, lengua with aguachile, papas rosti and endless trails of roasted vegetables is their simple milanesa, with homemade breadcrumbs using the leftovers from baker Fran Seubert of Atelier Fuerza.
Address via private message, Colegiales
The Curveball – falso conejo at Miriam
If you feel like going rogue, go big and order the falso conejo, the high Andes take on the homey milanesa. Beef is dusted with bread crumbs and pounded impossibly thin before being fried and finished off in a sauce flavored generously with yellow chile pepper and cumin that creeps into every groove along the bubbled up batter. The result isn’t your basic bitch milanesa. The flaky outer shell has the delectable crackly texture of twice fried chicken skin or a slightly gooey pork chicharrón with a soft center that fades across the tongue. It’s complimented by an austere serving of chuño, boiled potatoes, twirls of spaghetti and a parsley and tomato garnish. The mish mash works but truth be told, I’d eat a whole plate of faux chicken skin with a smile from ear to ear.
José León Suárez 122, Liniers