At a lavish event on Friday, November 24 at Arenas Studio (Arts District, Buenos Aires), in the presence of leading figures from the world of Argentine gastronomy and wine, representatives from the Michelin Guide in Argentina revealed their chosen restaurants.
Wines of Argentina offered support to the Michelin Guide in Argentina in order to help promote and consolidate the reputation of local food and wine among the most demanding diners in the world. The menu was prepared by Eat Catering.
The Michelin Guide in Argentina
The undisputed winner of the evening of the Michelin Guide in Argentina was Aramburu, the fine dining restaurant run by chef Gonzalo Aramburu (Buenos Aires), which was awarded 2 Michelin stars. It was followed by the winners of 1 star, Don Julio and Trescha (Buenos Aires); and Zonda Cocina de Paisaje de Bodega Lagarde, Casa Vigil, Brindillas and Azafrán (Mendoza).
Bib Gourmand mentions (which focus on value for money) in Argentina went to Bis Bistró, Reliquia, Anafe, República del Fuego, Caseros, Mengano and La Alacena Trattoria. Casa Vigil, Zonda and Riccitelli Bistró won awards for their sustainability programs in Mendoza as did Don Julio Parrilla, Anchoita, El preferido de Palermo and Crizia in Buenos Aires. The guide also honored 57 notable establishments in Buenos Aires (42) and Mendoza (15).
Mendoza, the land of wine and good eating
Azafrán, which is run by Sebastián Weigandt, was praised by the Michelin Guide in Argentina for their focus on local products and traditions. The chef said, “Two years ago, in the middle of the pandemic, we were considering closing the restaurant. But my partners and I decided to back the principles I have always believed in: high quality cooking and excellence. Today, we’ve won a Michelin star. I don’t have the words to express my gratitude to my team and respect for my colleagues. Together, we’re making Argentina an incredible gastronomic destination.”
Brindillas, whose kitchen is run by Mariano Gallego, impressed with their high end cooking. The guide says: “This is one of those intimate places where the service and food are bound to seduce gourmandes! (…) What will you find? The kind of tasting menu that can’t fail to make an impression (with shorter and longer options). Technique, delicacy and pleasing textures!”
Casa Vigil, which is run by Iván Azar, is a favorite among tourists looking for the perfect combination of wine and stunning landscapes. The chef says, “The food scene has developed greatly in Mendoza. We were surprised by the number of stars we received. Today, there’s an amazing variety of restaurants in the city and among the wineries. The four restaurants that won are very different, but the fact that they all serve Mendozan produce is the most important thing.”
“The arrival of Michelin Guide Argentina raises the bar a lot. Mendoza has worked very hard over the past 10 years to raise the level of cooking to international standards. It’s all very encouraging, gastronomy and tourism create a lot of jobs and mean that we are getting to be known for more than our wines,” said María Sance at Casa Vigil.
Regarding Zonda Cocina de Paisaje, the Guide noted the work of Chef Augusto García and his commitment to running his own organic vegetable garden. “The goal is to pay homage to local cuisine, the kind that is written into Cuyo’s DNA. The forms are simple and honest but elevated to a higher level with delicate textures and lovely presentation.” A member of the team, Sofía Pescarmona was jubilant: “These are very important achievements for Mendoza. In addition to the 4 stars, the region won 3 green stars and 15 were highly recommended for the quality of their food. I think it’s a virtuous ecosystem that generates enthusiasm and encourages us to keep innovating, developing and growing.”
The 15 highly recommended restaurants by the Michelin Guide in Argentina included 1884 Francis Mallmann (Escorihuela Gascón); 5 Suelos (Durigutti Family Winemakers); Abrasado (Bodega Los Toneles); Angélica Cocina Maestra de Catena Zapata; Espacio Trapiche; Fogón (Bodega Lagarde); Osadía de Crear at Susana Balbo Wines; Piedra Infinita (Zuccardi Valle de Uco); Renacer (Bodega Renacer); Riccitelli Bistró; Ruca Malen; Quimera Bistró (Achával Ferrer); La Vida de Susana Balbo Winemaker’s House; Centauro and Soberana.
The full list is available at the Michelin Guide’s official website.
A night of stars and great wines
The wineries invited to supply their wines had to have received top scores from international wine critics. They included Malbec Argentino 2020 from Catena Zapata (96 pts Wine Advocate), Cheval des Andes 2020 (98 Pts Wine Advocate), Susana Balbo Signature White Blend 2023 (93 Pts Wine Advocate) and Botánico Chardonnay 2021 from Zuccardi Valle de Uco (97 Pts Wine Advocate).
“It comes very naturally to us to be accompanying the creme de la creme of the Argentine wine scene at this grand celebration. At Cheval des Andes we strive to produce great Argentine wines in the same way as they represent the best of local cuisine. We want to make wines that pair beautifully with the best dishes and these establishments think hard about their lists; an important factor in Michelin’s assessment of the best the country has to offer,” said Gerald Gabillet at Cheval des Andes.