Fodor’s Choice Argentina: Dining

Restó, Buenos Aires
Reserve at least a week in advance — seriously. Chef-owner María Barrutia came back to Buenos Aires to make a splash. Her menu is short, sweet, and reasonably priced. Three set-price menus pair exotic ingredients like codorniz (quail) with Argentina’s more traditional foods like zapallo (squash). Reservations essential. Montevideo 938, El Centro. 11/4816-6711. No credit cards. Closed Sat.-Sun. No dinner Mon.-Wed. $$$$

La Brigada, Buenos Aires
You’d be hard-pressed to do better for Argentine steaks, anytime, anyplace. Amid elaborate decor, a courtly staff will treat you to unimpeachable mollejas (sweetbreads) and chinchulines de chivito (kid intestines). The baby beef is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Reservations recommended. Estados Unidos 465, San Telmo. 11/4361-5557. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Mon. $-$$$$

Tancat, Buenos Aires
Tancat’s warmly lit room has a mellow vibe. The food couldn’t be more authentic. Begin with pan con tomate (grilled bread rubbed with garlic, olive oil, and tomato) paired with buttery Spanish ham. A deep, rich stew of callos (tripe) and gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) enjoy equal success. Paraguay 645, Retiro. 11/4312-5442. AE, DC, MC, V. $-$$$$

Casa Cruz, Buenos Aires
Truly sensational. Chef German Martitegui’s kitchen that will really blow you away, working rabbit medallions into a state of melting tenderness, pairing delicately crisped blood sausage with jammy fruit. Is this the best restaurant in Buenos Aires? Believe the hype. Reservations essential. Uriarte 1656, Palermo Soho. 11/4833-1112. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. No lunch. $$$$

El Viejo Molino,Trelew, Atlantic Patagonia
It’s fun to find a restaurant that outclasses its city. The thoughtful design and ultramodern renovation of this 1886 mill have set a new benchmark for dining on the Patagonian coast. The interior’s coup de grace is a glassed-in parrilla, where you can watch an attendant pour wine over the roast. Old photos on the wall reveal the restaurant’s long history. Mitre and Av. Galés 250. 2965/428-019. AE, MC, V. $-$$

Margarita Resto-Bar, Trelew, Atlantic Patagonia
This bar and restaurant has all the pretty young things of Trelew aflutter. Creative mixed drinks like the Albano (rum, Dubonnet, Cointreau, Absolut Mandarin, and Angostura bitters) complement an eclectic, vegetarian-friendly menu, which might include chicken breast with olive and Dijon mustard, and a wide variety of salads. The place hops on weekends. Av. Fontana. No phone. $

La Tablita, Southern Patagonia
This bustling parrilla is where all the locals go for a special night out. You can watch your food as it’s being prepared: Patagonian lamb and beef ribs cooked gaucho-style on an asador, or meat sizzling on the grill, including steaks, chorizos, and excellent morcilla (blood sausage). The enormous parrillada for two is an excellent way to sample it all, and the wine list is well-priced and well-chosen. Coronel Rosales 28. 2902/491-065. AE, DC, MC, V. No lunch Mon.-Thurs. June-July. $-$$

Hostería los Notros, Southern Patagonia
This lovely inn is 73 kilometers west of El Calafate. Appetizers and wine are served in full view of sunset over the glacier, followed by an absolutely spectacular menu that spotlights game, including delicious venison and creative preparations of Argentine classics. It’s not the cheapest restaurant around, but it is quite good. Reservations in Buenos Aires: Arenales 1457, fl. 7, 1961; 2902/499-510 in El Calafate. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed June-mid Sept. $$$$