Opened in 2008, I Latina is a veritable institution in the culinary landscape of Buenos Aires. Forget the typical “parrilla” restaurants (with Argentine barbecued specialties)—here, you’ll find a much trendier and more modern vision of Latin American cuisine. Experiences Luxe will give you a tour of this high-flying restaurant!
A journey through the countries and regions of Latin America
No need to fly across the continent; I Latina will take you on a journey through the countries and regions of Latin America, from Mexico all the way to Patagonia. At the helm is chef Santiago Macias, who has been keeping foodies happy for more than 12 years with his gourmet restaurant in the heart of the Villa Crespo neighborhood. Born in Bogota, Colombia, he spent part of his childhood in Cartagena, where he developed his passions for cooking and eating. He moved to Buenos Aires to pursue his studies, then traveled throughout Argentina, working in various locations. Finally, he returned to the capital to open I Latina, the result of his many culinary inspirations.
Just a few quick searches for the best restaurants in the city are enough to show that I Latina is at the top of the rankings, with numerous distinctions. The dishes served here are ultra-contemporary and flavorful, a kind of revisited Latino cuisine, and available to try only in a seven-course tasting meal (no menus to choose from, but of course the chef can adapt to the allergies and tastes of each guest). The best way to savor the dishes is to pair them with wines, allowing you to sip on vintages from throughout the country, from Mendoza all the way to the hilltop vineyards of the Salta region.
A beautiful hidden house
When we arrive in front of the restaurant’s beautiful building, we’re a bit confused by the absence of a sign to mark its presence. I Latina is somewhat hidden, and we have to ring the bell to get in. We enter a brightly lit but cozy house with an open kitchen (allowing us to admire the movements of the chefs) and large, colorful paintings, giving the ambience a boost. On the Friday evening of our visit, the clientele is for the most part international, with some groups of friends as well as couples. The service is professional and relaxed.
A seven-course tasting menu
Time to try the first courses! The taco de yuca hors d’oeuvre with seasonal vegetables already sets the bar high, transporting us to Mexico in the blink of an eye. This first bite is accompanied by mate, a traditional South American drink that’s similar to tea (but more bitter). Next up is Peruvian cuisine—a fish ceviche with beets, pineapple, chia seeds, and leche de tigre—followed by a fish encocado with coconut milk from Ecuador. The third course is a mushroom dish with aji panca sauce (made with Peruvian chilis). We enjoy a less spicy version of this dish, as we’ve asked for our food to be adapted to our sensitive taste buds.
Next, we return to Mexico with the quail marinated in achiote accompanied by mole sauce, corn tortilla, and black beans, all beautifully plated in an elegant and modern style. We continue with the beef cheek with coffee and sugar cane reduction—a meat that’s as tender as can be!
Now it’s time for dessert. First off, we have a cocoa truffle with olive oil. I’m apprehensive, but my mind changes the moment I taste it. The mix of sweet and savory is terribly addictive! Time for the second dessert: mango sorbet, tequila, and meringue, all subtly spiced up by a dab of chamoy (a Mexican condiment) for an astonishing effect! Our culinary journey comes to an end in Colombia, with a cup of coffee to top off our delicious dinner.
I Latina is hands down one of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires, offering a modern dining setting with trendy cuisine. The plating is absolutely perfect, and every course is bursting with flavor. The beautiful dining room inside an enormous mansion makes you feel at home, as does the relaxed (but excellent) service. In short, this is a must-see if you’re going to the Argentine capital!
- Excellent value: 4700 ARS (€70) for the meal, plus wine pairings for 1600 ARS (€24)
- Delicious and super innovative cuisine
- Gorgeous setting inside a “hidden” mansion
- The courses are brought out at a strange pace—too quickly at first, and then very slowly during the main courses
- More information available on their website
- Don’t forget to reserve your table!