The only way to improve on a leisurely feast of several courses in Buenos Aires is to pair the food with wine. Sommeliers at many of the city’s finer restaurants offer wine pairing options, typically pairing the entrada (appetizer) with a sparkling wine, the second course with Torrontés—a fruity, aromatic white produced in the north—the third course with a Malbec from Mendoza, and ending with a dessert paired with a sweet or fortified wine. In addition to drawing out the flavors in the food, the wine pairing menu allows guests to sample wines from many of Argentina’s regions. One to try is I Latina, the Colombian closed-door restaurant in Villa Crespo, where each of seven courses can be paired with specially chosen wines.
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Colombian Cuisine, Behind Closed Doors
When a journalist asked the legendary Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez about his favorite pleasure in life, he responded, "Eating. What I like most is to eat."
It's fitting, then, that dining at i Latina—a closed-door restaurant inspired by the flavors and culinary culture of Colombia's Caribbean coast, García Márquez' home—is such a wonderfully leisurely experience (plan on setting aside several hours for a meal here) filled with small and unexpected pleasures.
The restaurant is located inside a romantic old house that's been repurposed as a restaurant by three Colombian siblings—Santiago, Camilo, y Laura Macías. After passing through the elegant front gate and patio, you step into the low-lit dining area facing a magnificent open kitchen—note the antique stained glass behind it—where several chefs are busy at the stovetops or preparing artfully presented small plates.
On a recent evening, the seven-course tasting menu featured a range of colorful, fresh dishes, from Barú-style ceviche with mango, coconut, and lychee to braised bondiola (pork) in a rich coffee and sugar cane reduction. And for dessert? Avocado and tequila ice cream with Colombian coffee infused with cinnamon and cardamom.
To fully appreciate the evening, spring for the wine-pairing option—and raise a glass to what may be the city's best new closed-door restaurant.