After leaving my Wednesday seminar this evening, I met my friend Germán in Almagro (probably my favorite Buenos Aires barrio) for dinner at El Molino Dorado. My meal at this family-run Russian restaurant was, unexpectedly, one of the best I’ve had in Buenos Aires. I ordered the salmon and ricotta blinis (there were no vegetarian mains on the menu; given the difficulty of rigid vegetarianism here, I’ve taken to eating fish on occasion). They were perfect, served with fresh herbs and so flavorful. And they came with a complimentary (and generous) serving of disarmingly delicious house-brewed vodka, infused with a special selection of herbs and spices. (Who knew you could find artisan vodka in BA?) Dessert–more blinis, but this time light, sweet, and drizzled with honey–was simple but oh-so-tasty, a refreshing change of pace in a city that loves to eat heavy. Dmitri, the exceedingly friendly Russian expat who co-owns the place and served us tonight, even threw in a pair of vodka shots as a digestif. Perhaps the greatest shock of the night–the check. Dinner for two, with a liter of beer, plenty of vodka, and dessert, was 98 pesos–about $12 per person. I’ll be coming back.
(A sad footnote–I’m writing the last four sentences of this otherwise exultant post on Augusto’s desktop computer, as my laptop has chosen this as its moment to fail. Another traveler accidentally pushed it off an airport screening table in Boston two months ago, and it’s been doing strange things ever since. Now it won’t boot up. Here’s hoping it can can fixed, and soon.)