Tag Archives: food

Cafe Rivas, Jazz, and an Umbrella

4 Jun

A Romantic Night at Cafe Rivas in San TelmoWe were standing on the cobblestone in San Telmo at midnight. It was wet, but not raining, and after an amazing dinner, it was simply the most natural thing to do. We paused to soak in the romance of the evening before heading back home. Then we heard a man calling out to us from down the street. We had forgotten our umbrella in the restaurant and the waiter trailed after us to return it.

Oddly, it was the perfect conclusion to our evening spent at Cafe Rivas.

Of the four or five times we’ve dined at Cafe Rivas, not once have we left disappointed. With live, talented musicians jiving on old standards almost every night, and a gorgeous building and ambiance nodding to an earlier era, it’s easily become our favorite restaurant in the city.

Inside Cafe Rivas

Cafe Rivas Traditional Menu

Cafe Rivas Pear & Gorgonzola Salad

The menu is also smartly done. For less than $40-50 pesos a person, you can have a consistently delicious and filling meal. The prices grow steeper as you tack on wine, starters, and dessert, or opt for the Rib Eye steak. Which, by the way, has surprisingly been the best meat (not just steak) I’ve had in Buenos Aires, only second to the ribs at Estancia La Candelaria.

On Thursday nights during the warmer months, the jazz trio sets up outside on the street sweetly complementing the charm of the San Telmo neighborhood. On a previous visit to Cafe Rivas we also hung around outside after dinner — dancing on the opposite street corner — hesitant to end the evening.

Cafe Rivas Jazz Trio

Cafe Rivas Jazz Trio


Part Two: Dinner with Friends

As a farewell dinner for our friends, Galen & Laura, who will be returning to Canada on Thursday, and Scott & Ashley, who will be in Santiago, Chile, for a month, our normal crew of eight went to Cafe Rivas at our recommendation. They loved the food and atmosphere, and since it was a Thursday night, the jazz trio was playing upstairs as we ate like royalty. Here are some photos of the amazing night with great friends.

Left to right: Kara, Matias, Stephen, Galen, Laura, Scott, Ashley, & Maggie.

The Rib Eye (“Ojo de Bife”). Seriously, the best steak I’ve eaten in Buenos Aires.

So good!

Kara (and Laura) celebrating their gazpachos in a glass.

Good ol’ Matias, the only Porteño in the crew. He teaches us so much, but especially to not ask, “So, how you do say … in Spanish?” too many times in one night.

The Mango Flan. Unique and delicious.

Chocolate Marquis: the most amazing bite of chocolate Maggie has ever tasted. No exaggeration.

Meat, Cheese and a Photography Lesson

5 Apr

One of our new friends, Jaco, recently took Maggie and me out for lunch at one of his and our favorite restaurants in Buenos Aires, Las Cholas. We loaded up on the “Parrillada Completa” (complete grill) and “Provoleta de Cabra y Rucula” (Argentine provolone goat cheese and arugula).

In the US, we’re not accustomed to eating the non-muscles parts of a cow. Here in Argentina, they eat just about everything, so we ventured out and tasted “morcilla” (blood sausage) for the first time. It got one thumb down from Maggie and two thumbs up from me.

After stuffing our faces, Jaco gave us an amazingly in-depth and helpful photography lesson in crayons. Just in time for Maggie’s mom and sister’s visit!

This is Normal

29 Jan

This an order for “parrilla completa” (complete grill) for two people. Four of us couldn’t finish it.

Our 5 Best Moments of 2011

31 Dec

Tonight for New Year’s Eve we’ll be heading out to celebrate with our friends, so last night we went out on our last date night of 2011.

We splurged and took a taxi from our place to Las Cholas in the foodie neighborhood of Las Cañitas ($8.84, but worth it over the 58-cents-for-two-people, 1-hour bus ride). We arrived early at 8:30pm and placed our order for a bottle of malbec wine, a grilled sausage link for an appetizer, a salmon and spinach casserole, and the classic Andean stew, locro.

The locro was originally my dinner, but Maggie kept reaching over for more as she was profoundly amazed by the texture of the hominy and the overall flavor. By the end of the dinner, I was eating the casserole and she was savoring the locro.

In between switching dishes, we reflected on the year and just how crazy it was that we actually made it to Buenos Aires. With the crayons on the table, I wrote down each of our 5 best moments of 2011, in no particular order.

Stephen’s 5 Best Moments

  1. My farewell from South Pasadena Christian Church. Not many people leave a job with the gift I was given that day. To not only have people like me even though I was leaving them, but to have them express their appreciation one-by-one over a home-made Argentinean lunch still brings tears of gratitude to my eyes.
  2. Arriving in Buenos Aires. It really happened!
  3. Getting The Culinary Institute of America website gig. This project stands as the marker for when I realized that I’ll be able to earn enough money for us to keep this dream alive for a while.
  4. The garden at SPCC. I loved that garden and was thoroughly impressed that we were able to grow some good stuff back there after that area had served as a junk yard for decades.
  5. My family’s recent visit to Buenos Aires. As I wrote about, it was perfectly timed and simply refreshing to have us all together again.
  6. Runner-up: Justo and Marie’s wedding. I got to be with the boys again and get the last of us married off. What relief I felt afterward!
Maggie’s 5 Best Moments

  1. Overall decision to come to Buenos Aires. The exact moment the decision was sealed is elusive, but the feeling of no turning back now and repeated confirmation that it would all work out stands out.
  2. Christmas Day. This was her first Christmas not to wake up in her mom’s place, so she was missing it. The day turned out to be amazing as we celebrated together in the morning and later with friends.
  3. Crab in San Francisco. Her favorite meal in San Francisco, which is saying a lot because we ate amazing food the whole time.
  4. New Year’s Eve 2010. This hits her list because it marked a time when I was introduced to the Ohio family traditions and was the last significant time she was able to spend with her late grandmother.
  5. Studying Spanish at Verbum. Being a student again and having the perspective to truly appreciate and enjoy it after 5 years as a teacher.
  6. Runner-up: Emily and Ryan’s Wedding. Little Emilita all grown up now and got herself a good man.

We’d love to hear about some of your best moments of 2011.

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