At Café Buenos Aires
By Luann, Richard, Margaret
Ann & Rich/
Weve deemed the Town of
Huntington many things, among them the restaurant capital
of Long Island and the culture capital of Long Island. Café
Buenos Aires in Huntington village is where both food and
culture converge in an experience that can be described as
exotic, delicious, unique and enticing.
The face of the restaurant is Argentina-born Hugo Garcia,
whom we like to call Huntingtons unofficial Argentinean
ambassador. Professional, personable and classy to the end,
Garcia, a Huntington resident, seats you when you walk in,
checks on your table later and chats it up. He has been working
on the same street for 28 years, including helping open Bistro
Cassis in Huntington.
I had the opportunity to be in many different places,
but I wanted to be in my Huntington, he said on deciding
to open an Argentinean restaurant in Huntington.
Café Buenos Aires menu is 70 percent Argentine
with some dishes of Spanish like the paella over saffron
rice and Italian like the cannelloni
influences. Tapas and appetizers range from $3 to $14, and
entrees $16 to $28. Get a round of tapas and share, or share
some entrées. You cant go wrong; its all
Behind the long, sleek, handsome bar on our recent visit was
bartender Scott, who kept plenty busy mixing pitcher after
pitcher of sangria. Naturally, we had to see what all the
fuss was about. One glass and we understood. Refreshing and
cool, the sangria is one that perfectly balances the tastes
of wine and fruit.
We then moved to the dining area, with white clothed tables
line walls of Argentinean decorations and paintings of Tango
Bread is served with three sauces, chimichurri, a mix of olive
oil and herbs, a spicy version of chimichurri with flakes
of red pepper, and a diced tomato topping.
Paired with a light and smooth 2008 Viña San Esteban
Pinot Noir from Argentina, we started with empanadas ($3 each),
given the choice of corn, chicken, ground beef or spinach.
The favorite at the table was the corn, though all were excellent
and the spinach had a slight unexpected kick.
Next up was a grilled lobster dish served with bacon and sliced
mango in a sauce made with ginger, a touch of cognac and a
little garlic ($10-12). Weve never tasted lobster like
this. The barbeque-grilled style adds flavor to it, while
keeping it tender.
We thought the lobster was our favorite until we had a filet
of halibut inside a puffed pastry with a lobster claw ($29).
The fish is fresh and the pastry flaky, and its served
over a risotto that was the best weve had in a while.
Hugo probably could have just brought us the risotto and we
would have been happy.
Soft shell crab (market price) with avocado, diced tomatoes
and red onion is crispy and light, while the cheese in the
four-cheese fondue with bread and assorted meat skewers ($12)
is creamy and warm. This is definitely the dish to order at
the bar with friends.
Most impressive was the parrillada mixta ($59, serves two),
which was plenty for four of us. Served on a grill, it features
cuts of tender skirt steak, chicken on the bone, sweetbreads
(meat from the thyroid), sweet and black sausage with tasty
vegetables and mashed potatoes.
We thought we couldnt fit dessert, but when they came
out we couldnt say no. The standout was the crepe filled
with dulce de leche from Argentina served with bananas. The
chocolate cake is also delicious, warm and filled with white
chocolate. Churros are crunchy and sugary, served alongside
a must have dulce de leche ice cream that left us speechless.
On the drink end, we had a Scott original: a malted martini,
which tasted like a milkshake, but so much better.
Along with its extensive lunch menu, as well as a pre-fixe
$19.95 lunch option, Café Buenos Aires just introduced
a Sunday brunch with what else? Tango dancers.
The dancers also appear on Friday nights for added authentic
Take a trip to South America just around the corner.
And dont forget to shake Hugos hand on the way
23 Wall Street
Atmosphere: Lively, fun-loving, sophisticated
Cuisine: Argentinean with Spanish and Italian influences
Price range: Moderate
Hours: 7 days lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch