La Pecora Nera, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Reviewed by: Martin Etchegaray

 

A block away from the southern limit of the famous La Recoleta Cemetery lies the latest creation of Chef Daniel Hansen – La Pecora Nera (The Black Sheep).

 

Image source: Flickr Photos (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) | Credit to: Christian y Sergio Velasco
Image source: Flickr Photos (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) | Credit to: Christian y Sergio Velasco

 

The restaurant is quite new, but can be seen as an iteration of Hansen’s previous venture, the excellent and memorable Sette Bacco – which also offered Italian at its best.

 

La Pecora – in a very similar manner than its predecessor – exudes elegance and refinement. Large chandeliers project soft, precise light over each table; abstract art with reminiscences of Picasso’s African Period hangs on the walls, carefully illuminated as well. The subtle sound of Italian operas and overtures rounds up the ambience. It’s like an open invitation for a long, soft-spoken, wine-sprinkled conversation.

 

The entire staff speaks both English and Spanish, and is very attentive and helpful overall. We had a reservation, and it seems like the best way to proceed with this restaurant. While not packed, it was full and people kept coming well into the night.

 

Let’s talk about food. La Pecora Nera is faithful to its Italian proposal, with a menu offering antipasti, first and second dish plus desert and spirits. We weren’t up for such a major challenge, and ordered antipasti and a main course.

 

Our antipasti of choice consisted in artichoke hearts with pepperoncino over saffron yogurt – the whole thing baked with olive oil. The artichoke hearts were fresh – not canned – and the mix proved itself effective and new to our palates. Other available choices were octopus carpaccio and some interesting salads with seafood and mushrooms. Maybe next time.

 

For the main course, we picked pasta – freshly made ravioli. There’s a wide selection of pasta, the alternatives being beef, chicken and lamb. Pasta was a smart choice. We ordered two kinds of ravioli: the first one, deer ravioli with malbec sauce; the second one, mascarpone, broccoli and king crab ravioli with basil sauce. Both, out of this world.

 

At one point, the chef came out of the kitchen to say hi and ask if everything was alright; a nice touch, and also a proof of that the man is not just a menu designer.

 

We didn’t have any desert, but enjoyed a magnificent cabernet by Catena Zapata until the very end. The bill wasn’t that high – 45 euros each – but keep in mind that we limited ourselves to entrance and a main dish. A full-course meal can get pricy (well above 50 euros per person). An excellent experience in the always captivating city of Buenos Aires.

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